Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Traditions

I just can't resist vintage Christmas decorations. My largest Nativity set is displayed on the buffet in my dining room. Most of the Nativity figures are from a set I purchased from an antique dealer 25 years ago. The colors are vibrant and rich. This set is German, as the figures are not as twisted as the Nativity sets made in Italy. I have added German Putz animals to the set and a few German angels as well.

My stable is not as old. I would love to find an old German stable that was the right scale. I collected smaller sets from the thrift stores for each of my children and they would always set them up in their bedrooms under there own special Christmas tree. They would move the animals around and never put Baby Jesus in until December 24th. These are the wonderful memories of Christmas time! Figures for vintage Nativity sets were sold at Woolworth's and Five and Dime stores for less than a dollar. Families would buy a new figure each year. I can just imagine a family going downtown to look at the beautifully decorated windows and Christmas decorations and carefully selecting a new figure for their creche.

My set has some unique figures. I even have a camp fire with a soup pot for the shepherds.

If I had to pick a favorite it would be the three Wisemen and the camel. The camel is very large and beautifully painted. The set includes a camel driver as well. I added the two German composition camels. Another very unusual piece to this Nativity set is the palm tree with its wax leaves. It is so fragile and the only person that is allowed to touch it is me!

We are under a blizzard warning until tomorrow night. It rained a bit before the snow hit so the trees are just beautiful. I'm going to try my hand at "Winter Wonderland" pictures tomorrow. I spent most of the day decorating my tree in the living room with my antique ornaments. I have put several hundred ornaments on and only have about 100 more to go. I can hardly wait to share photos.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ho Ho Ho Santa Vignettes

I have always loved Christmas. As a little girl, I would pass the time before Christmas by making new decorations or making gifts for my family. You wouldn't believe my collection of vintage Christmas decorations. I have a tree of some sort in every room of my house. Each room is decorated a little bit differently and I generally tend to put all one sort of collectible together. Small vintage collectibles make more of a statement when they are grouped. I just finished my den using my vintage and handmade Santas.

The room has a built in desk unit with bookshelves. I normally use the shelves to just display my collection of transferware. At Christmas I nestle the Santa figures in among the dishes and add a few vintage bottle brush trees and fresh cedar.

Check out my display.

A few close-ups.

German Santas and one of Christopher Radko's first issued candy containers

Some of my Santas are handmade. My husband carved the Santa on the top left for an Art class project in college. I made the little red wool St. Nick on the lower shelf.

I have several "Denise Calla" St. Nicks which are signed and dated. Denise went to grade school with me. She is a very talented artist. It seems hard to believe that a small town girl could create work that would become famous.

I set some of my "white" St. Nicks on a little antique cherry side table. One is a "Denise Calla", but the other two are St. Nicks that I made. The tall skinny one has a painted cloth face and a wool coat decorated with vintage braid. The more traditional woodland St. Nick has a porcelain face and is carrying a basket of vintage ornaments. I make my own little trees for my St.Nicks to carry.

An adorable celluloid baby rattle Santa

On my antique cherry table, I use a feather tree with a collection of vintage and handmade Santa ornaments. I use a piece of vintage garland for just the right amount of sparkle.

This is my favorite ornament, a vintage candy container. Candy was placed in the mesh bag before it was hung on the tree.

On to the next room with my Christmas decorating. Stop back to see the rest of my vintage Christmas decorations.