Vintage Christmas- Part Two

  I’m stepping back in time a good 45 years today.  Choir candles like these, as well as some taller ones, and a few with black cassocks (the colored part of the choir robe), were neatly arranged on our dining room buffet, as if they were processing to the little church.  My mom told my friends, cousins, and me not to mess with the candles or move them around.  But, it was just too tempting.  Once the adults went into another part of the house, the kids went to town, playing with the candles.  We marched them around and sang Christmas carols using fake vibrato voices.

Years later, as an adult, I was helping my mother decorate for Christmas, and couldn’t find the candles.  I asked where they were and was told they were too shabby to use any longer.  They’d been thrown away.  The whole scene had been replaced by an newer, glitzier Christmas village.   I wasn’t really happy about that.  A big part of my childhood Christmas decor was gone.  

Fast forward to just a few years ago.  I was flipping through The Vermont Country Store’s Christmas catalog, thinking I’d pitch it into the recycling bin.  Suddenly, I saw them….. my choir candles… They were only available in the small size, and only with red cassocks, but still… candles.  So, I ordered some,  and when they came, arranged them in my own small village, snapped a few pictures, and posted them on Facebook. 

The response was huge, both among old friends and relatives who’d been at my childhood home at Christmas, and newer friends. Many people remembered the candles, or had some just like them in their own childhood homes.  And some of those Facebook friends were among those who snuck into the dining room after being told not to mess with the candles. 

Sometimes the simple things are the best.  I, along with a few friends and relatives, have the fondest memories of a very non-elaborate Christmas activity.  Here’s to good Christmas memories….or the new ones we may make today!  

By the way, I’m not affiliated with, nor did I receive any compensation from The Vermont Country Store.  Even if only two or three of you read this, I’m supposed to state that it information.


Vintage Christmas- Part One

As a child, I was curious about some of the older ornaments that graced our Christmas tree each year.  My mother told me they were purchased during the years following World War II (my parents got married in 1946) and were not expensive as there was no money for elaborate decorating.  Now that those ornaments hang on my tree, I decided to do some research.   

I didn’t find anything out about the new plastic ornaments, but I did learn that Germany and Japan were major producers of glass ornaments prior to World War II.  Of course, once the war started, glass ornaments from those countries were no longer imported to the a United States.  Following the war, Corning became a major producer.  When I looked at images of of the ornaments online, many were displayed in Woolworth boxes.  There was a Woolworth store in downtown Columbia, so mine could have come from there.  

The colors in my glass ornaments have faded.  Because I have an abundance of ornaments on my tree, I display some of the glass ones in a bowl.  Perhaps I’ll pass a couple of them on to my sons when they have homes of their own.

This last ornament was bought in Colonial Williamsburg in the early 1970s. At one time, there were several of these, but this is the only one remaining.  I was in Williamsburg just before Christmas last year and didn’t see anything like this.  I haven’t done any research on this style or ornament, and have no idea if it’s very collectable, but it’s another reminder of the past that will remain on my tree for years to come.