vintage christmas wonderland

The Smithfield Barn opens it’s big barn doors November 8th – 10th for their Vintage Holiday Market in Downingtown.

Me and my cane got a look see this evening (NOT open to the public.)

I love Christmas and I love vintage Christmas and Kristin has outdone herself with the spectacular ornaments and lovely Christmas things.

There is some new mixed in with the old because for example there is this amazing wood carver who has some things in the barn.

There are also some fabulous vintage Christmas ornaments from the Ukraine. They’re very different and beautiful.

Yes, I literally have a torn meniscus and I had to brace my knee up and bring a cane just so I could take a look because I don’t know when (given the state of my leg) I will be out again. One of my best friends was nice enough to drive me.

This was just what the doctor ordered and it makes me so happy to see a little Christmas in a big old Chester County barn. This is literally a big old barn and this is not a store so you can’t just show up whenever.

Smithfield Barn 425 Little Conestoga Road Downingtown, Pennsylvania 19335.

pixies and elves

Collecting Christmas….yes I know…not even Halloween but I love Christmas.

The green leaf dish was purchased at the Glenmoore Deli this summer when Smithfield Barn did a pop-up. But the pixies or elves? I hunted them down recently.

Aren’t they cute???

I already have a bunch of green ones and I have some white ones but I didn’t have any red. And I love these elves they’re only a few inches big if that and some I also have are only a couple inches big.

I stuff them into little hiding places in bookshelves, peeking out from behind lamps, scattered on tables and so on.

All of the ones I have are from the 1950s and 1960s and I just love them. You have to hunt for them though because they can be really expensive and they’re not worth over paying for in my humble opinion so I look until I find reasonably priced ones. I hadn’t found any for a couple of years until this year.

These came from sellers on Etsy. VintageCurlyGirl and StarrRoadRetro.

Collecting Christmas is fun and I love vintage decorations!

collecting christmas

Everyone who knows me knows how much I love Christmas! Today I went to an estate sale in the rain and found these two lovely little Christmas books in a pile of other things.

These are sweet little books that will sit on a table at Christmas with other Christmas books. They aren’t super valuable, they’re just a nice little addition to my Christmas books.

In 66 days it will be Christmas 🎄

Ho Ho Ho and thanks for stopping by.

the last hurrah

Life got busy and sort of in the way and although the rest of the Christmas decorations have been put away for a while, I never actually took the Christmas tree down.

So today, I decided to bite the bullet and git r’ done.

I really hate putting the Christmas tree away. And because of that it’s probably good we use an artificial tree now.

I know there are people who keep Christmas decorations and Christmas trees up all year round. That I couldn’t do. I’m afraid if I did that they would start calling me Miss Havisham right out of Charles Dickens or something. Or sign me up for Christmasaholics Anonymous.

I am saying goodbye to my ornaments one by one. Like every year I swear I am going to put every ornament away perfectly and I know next year I will be telling myself I should’ve done a better job now in this moment.

Every ornament has its own little story.

The ornaments that came from my late father will go back into the boxes he had them in hopefully for one more year. The boxes sadly are falling apart and I know I am only going to be able to hang onto them for just so long. It’s not that I find the boxes of any great value, it’s just that it’s his writing on the outside of the boxes. So it’s a nice memory.

As I put the final bits of Christmas away I wonder if many years in the future whomever has my ornaments will love them as much as I do?

Perhaps to some that is a very strange and fatalistic thought. It’s just one of the funny things that my busy brain occasionally wonders. And I think part of the reason I wondered that is because of the vintage ornaments I have collected from estate sales and similar situations over the years. You can always tell when you’re buying an ornament if the ornaments were well loved.

OK well enough procrastination for me I have to finish up.

Thanks for stopping by.

saying good-bye to christmas…bit by bit

I really don’t like saying goodbye to Christmas. But it has gotten to the point as it does every year where the Santas and Nutcrackers seem to be staring at me throughout the house. It’s like they’re telling me it’s time for them to come down and go away into their bins until next year.

I started a few days ago by putting away the outside decorations. And then I began inside with the Christmas plates and linens. Everything back onto their storage shelves and into trunks.

Today the Santas went away. They always look so sad lined up ready to go into the bins. I am getting better at putting Christmas decorations away in a less haphazard manner. But next year I still won’t remember which decorations are in each bin. I swear it’s part of the decorating process!

Piece by piece, bit by bit. Deconstructing Christmas and bringing the house back to non-holiday normal. By the time all of the ornaments are put away I will once again swear I am NOT, NOT, NOT doing all of those decorations again next year….and then next December will roll around and I will do it all over again.

Until next year, Christmas, until next year.

ghosts of christmas cards past

This morning I slept much later than usual. So waking up was a slow, slow process from a deep, deep sleep.

As I waited for my French Press coffee to be ready I sat there on the sofa looking at our Christmas tree which sits in front of our bookcases. My eyes caught the glimpse of what looked like forgotten mail on top of books on a lower bookshelf. I got up and walked over to pull the pile out. (I have a habit of stashing mail if it’s lying around and people come over. It looks messy to me to have mail lying around.)

It wasn’t old mail, per se, that I pulled out of the bookshelf. What I pulled out was an old pile of Christmas cards tied up with a Christmas ribbon.

Ah yes, another habit of mine. I hang onto Christmas cards. People put so much effort into their cards. They are pretty, personal, and festive. The photo cards are people’s families caught in a moment in time. Sometimes it’s fun to see how everyone has grown, so I untied the ribbon to look at them once more.

These were the Christmas 2016 Christmas cards received. The first card which caught my eye, was one where the envelope had spidery Catholic school taught cursive of years gone by. It was the last Christmas card I ever received from my Godmother who passed away last Christmas Day.

That card had me in an emotional puddle immediately. Was it really a year almost already? She was one of my mother’s oldest friends. She is missed.

Next up was a Christmas card that was literally an annual production. Family friends whose cards often showed up closer to the New Year. When we were growing up, the cards were of the family in various landmark locations throughout the Philadelphia area. They are among my favorite cards because they were always among my favorite people

As the kids in the family, (who are essentially the age of my sister and I) grew up and started families of their own, the cards changed. The Christmas cards became a story of what everyone was doing via photos. Soon their children were also in the photos. I have saved a lot of their cards here and there over the years, they are among my favorites.

Another card which was in the pile was from a local woman I was friendly with for my first few years of living here. That was a card that sort of hit me with irony today because she was a woman who tossed me out of her community Facebook group over my opinions on development in Chester County. At the time she also sent me a note which sort of contained a play on words of my middle name that I didn’t bring her joy any longer. This person wasn’t terribly important to me in the grand scheme of life, and of course I wish her well in her life, but real friends don’t do things like that to one and other. Today I threw out her old Christmas card. There is no point in keeping it.

Another card is from a friend of mine who is an artist. I love her cards and they are a fun different card every year, created and illustrated by her.

My other favorite Christmas “card” is of course from our family friend Margery Niblock. But her cards are not cards they are woodcuts, and they hang on my wall. They never end up in a pile of Christmas cards wrapped in a ribbon. I wish I could show you this year’s woodcut but I’m not sure everyone has received theirs yet that she sends them to.

The rest of the cards are a kaleidoscope of images from friends and family. Kids, dogs, Christmas trees. With the photos of everyone’s kids, it’s like a journal of how they have grown up from year to year. I find those cards fun and very sweet to look back upon.

I do love all my Christmas cards that I receive, and next year I’m going to have to be a better friend and family member and actually get my act together to get a card out in time.

I have a lot of friends who are very creative and saving and displaying their current an old Christmas cards. I am not so original. Every year they end up with either a ribbon around them or in a Ziploc bag and I tuck them away. And every once in a while, like this morning, they fall out of a shelf or a place for me to look at again.

It’s wonderful to have Christmas memories. Even in the form of the ghosts of Christmas cards past.

Thanks for stopping by.

christmas magic

My friend Sara came over this morning. And either while she was here or before she got here someone else was here. And it’s the great Christmas mystery thus far.

Someone left me this beautiful bag with two of the cutest nutcrackers ever in the bag. There was no card, there was no note. It’s like my O. Henry Christmas magic moment.

Only I do not know whom to thank!

If you are my Christmas elf know that I love this present! It’s so awesome and perfectly Christmas!

See that’s the thing about Christmas: if you just believe these amazing things happen.