Decorating days are here. I like it to be festive and beautiful not Christmas psychotic.
I have taken a long time to hunt my Christmas decorations and as a process it is a constant evolution.
I find decorations I like, but if I find ones I like better I will swap things out.
Some people just do mass assemblages of layered and layered decorations with not much restraint (or taste) and well it ends up looking like an episode of Christmas Hoarders. If you take your time it makes it easier and you don’t have to put out all of the ornaments and decorations…rotate them!
Last year I did a lot of little decorated trees with feather ornaments and such, but this year I decided to have more Santas and nutcrackers out instead. (I did one small tree with vintage ornaments for our bedroom – a tabletop tree).
Ebay and Etsy are great resources for Christmas decorations and ornaments. So are Facebook yard sale groups, church rummage sales, and garage sales and my favorite…barn picking 🎅
Decorating for Christmas is easy and fun. Use Pinterest for ideas and inspiration and keep it simple to start.
Vintage holiday table linens and dishes also do not have to cost a fortune at all.
But seriously where people screw up every year is they take the time to decorate… And then it’s paper plates and plastic cups! Just say no! Buy yourself a pair of festive dish gloves and towels and do the dishes!
Well now that I spent a full weekend running around junking, barn picking, and antiquing with friends I actually have to clean the stuff up!
The old large depression glass era bowls that I snapped up at the Smithfield Barn for $6 and $8 cleaned up in a jiffy and will get put away until I need them at Christmas.
I have a thing about people who talk about setting a beautiful holiday table and then use plastic bowls, mismatched and plastic cutlery, and either paper or plastic plates. And yes, I get the lament that you have kids, it takes more time and so on and so forth.
Guess what? My mother and most of my friends’ mothers used real silverware, linens, and dishes and so on for the holidays and we did not destroy the stuff. Yes it requires more effort, but it looks so much better. And why go to the trouble of cooking up a storm of fabulous in your holiday kitchen to have it look like a Wawa?
I have probably just insulted a whole slew of people, but I can’t help it. To me it is like an insult to what comes out of the kitchen. A woman I used to know used to do that. She would half-set her table with aluminum foil pans just plunked on the table at Thanksgiving and never met a paper plate she did not love. But her “good” dishes were brown crockery and they looked like mud so there is no accounting for taste. Seriously though? Paper tablecloths are for picnics and kid birthday parties, and even then I prefer real table linens.
So now all my vintage Christmas linens are soaking in Woolite. I generally use that or liquid Ivory Snow now. I used to have these soap flakes that came in a blue and white box but I can’t remember what they were called, nor do I see them in the grocery stores now. I will carefully rinse them and hang them up to dry and then iron them. I know a lot of people send their linens out to be laundered by the dry cleaner but with vintage linens that often leads to yellowing.
And let us get into the cost of things. I am a bargain hunter. I might love good old linens and dishes and so on but if I am at a Flea Market or garage sale or something similar I will walk away from things I know are overpriced for what they are and more importantly WHERE they are. Whether it is an old tablecloth, a platter, or even vintage Christmas décor do not be afraid to ask for a best price or bundled price if you are buying a few things.
I have found everything I need for this Christmas as far as how I want my table to look, and the things I wish to decorate with. It will be slightly retro Christmas, but there is something to be said about that simple and pretty look.
Of course now I will spend the next few weeks agonizing over menus. Am thinking of doing a country pâté since I scored that cool commercial loaf pan. And of course lots of cookies!
Taking the time to set your holiday tables with real dishes and linens pays off. Another thing – if you are having a crowd a buffet is fine if you don’t really have the space for sit down. I would rather my guests be comfortable than knocking elbows at the table because they are crammed in like
What are you all planning for the holidays? Do we want to do a cookie recipe exchange on this blog? As in send your favorite cookie recipe in via a comment and so on? Let me know!
So the vintage ornament haul continues. Yesterday at AngelFest at St. Paul’s in Exton I scored a vintage tea towel and a professional grade loaf pan…and a Santa nutcracker !!!
Yes, you know about my vintage ornament disease, but if you know me, you know it extends to nutcrackers too! Not just any nutcracker, either. I tend to go for the more traditional nutcracker, leaving the golfing and fishing and nutcrackers like that for other people.
Yesterday, when I got to AngelFest the things the church was selling directly in their cute house on the church property was pretty picked over, but upstairs where they had ornaments and holiday decor, there was this Santa nutcracker with his $5.00 price tag…he was standing in between two nutcrackers priced at $40 or there abouts (and truthfully the other nutcrackers were priced too high). So I snapped him up! He was so cute I could not believe he was still there!
And yes, then yesterday on the way to a friend’s house in Elverson, we stopped at the Smithfield Barn. I had to pick up my vintage Christmas tablecloth…and go through more vintage ornaments!
Apparently some of my friends went out yesterday looking for vintage ornaments and didn’t see enough. LOL I was not the only one buying them on Friday, but ornaments like that do not last— you should see how they fly on eBay! When someone says they’re going to be selling vintage ornaments at a barn sale or a fleamarket, go early. And be prepared to dig through ornaments. (Carefully because if you break it you buy it.)
Anyway there were MORE ornaments out at the barn when I got there…so sigh…I bought a few more.
And no, I do not need a Christmas ornament intervention, there is a method to my madness. In addition to the Christmas tree of a traditional size, I have decided I am going to have small trees in multiple rooms.
So I have been scouring church sales, garage sales, flea markets and the Smithfield Barn for small table top and even smaller sized trees. Most of what I have acquired look like the traditional feather tree. If you can find real goose feather vintage feather trees they are incredibly expensive, so I decided to seek alternatives. And I have not paid much for these trees.
Putting little trees in multiple rooms, means that I will have to be very disciplined with my other decorating or it will look like Walmart burped in my house. And that is not the look I am going for. I have no desire to have people feel like they’re dizzy when I walk in my house at Christmas time. I just want people to feel the magic.
My parents always did the more traditional silver and gold dominated Christmas tree when I was growing up, but my taste sort of evolved in a different direction. I love the look of vintage ornaments, and I also love the look of nutcrackers and folk art Santas.
How do you dress up your home for the holidays? Tell me!
And also, before I forget, the Smithfield barn is open today. You can also often find vintage ornaments at Frazer Antiques and sometimes at Resellers Consignment too. Also worth noting is a store in Ardmore, PA on Lancaster Avenue that always has fabulous vintage reproduction ornaments and unusual new ones that are quite beautiful. The store is Past*Present*Future.