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Christmas Collecting 2019

Oh my! I have been having so much fun Christmas collecting this year!!

Before I show you some of my found treasures though, Here’s a quick view of our Thanksgiving table taken while I was working on setting it:

Christmas Collecting 2019 SimpleDecoratingTips.com

I found these black and white buffalo check chairs here. They work better than the wider wicker ones we had here because they’re a little narrower and we can more easily squeeze extra chairs in-between them when we need to.

It was a lovely understated table setting. I love using my parent’s wedding china, which is a simple 50’s pattern of silver and gold. The plates look pretty setting on the gold chargers. The smaller turkey plates on the china are for appetizers during the day, but always look so pretty out at first. For the ‘centerpiece’ I had a vision of a mix of vintage brass candlesticks. It was fun searching for them once I had ‘the vision’! Here is where I found some really great ones! For safety I was happy to use battery operated tapers I found here.

The food was yummy, so nice to have everyone help by bringing side dishes… and to have everyone help clean up! What a nice time to gather and celebrate thankfulness together. I hope you were able to celebrate in your own special ways as well.

Now on to the Christmas collecting…

I used to be a ‘banshee’ about garage sales. I couldn’t help myself, if I saw a sale, I’d stop. I’m sure I should have had one of those yellow caution signs in the back of my van that said ‘CAUTION, I stop for garage sales’. Not that it would help others avoid near collisions with me as I crazily slammed on the brakes and did many a U-turns to pull into a driveway with that little telltale cardboard sign out front announcing their ‘garage sale’. It was a mad feeling of treasure hunting for me.

So many sales were just total duds too, but always the optomist.

If you’ve garage sale-d very much, you know there are those sales with tables piled with just junk like cleaned out containers from cottage cheese and the like, emblazoned with an actual sticker marking 5 cents! What?! So many things wrong with that! Uh… selling an empty cottage cheese container, really? and is it really worth a nickle to sell anything?

You’ll also find sales with piles of clothes… not ideal when you’re ‘treasure hunting’ like I was. But still, worth a look through to see if there was something hiding under the piles. It was just at one of those ‘piles of clothes’ sales that I found an authentic string of pearls for a quarter! I wasn’t sure they were authentic, so figured I pay the quarter and get twenty-five cents worth of education to find out what they were. The jeweler confirmed they really were authentic pearls! It’ll be a sweet gift for one of my granddaughters some day.

I did find and learn about so many wonderful antiques that way. Unfortunately though, buying vintage Christmas decorations just wasn’t on my radar. I don’t know why either! I could have gotten so many beautiful vintage Christmas things for a song, but I was focused on other treasures and always passed over the Christmas ornaments not giving them a second thought. I’m still kicking myself for being so careless.

Fast forward 30 years, (feels like I hit fast forward too… time has gone by so fast!) and I am in love with vintage Christmas ornaments! I love their tarnished finishes as their colors mellow with age. Their delicate tiny tops amaze me how they could have survived so many decades. It’s impossible to not try to imagine what the Christmas celebration would have been like in their original home when they were new, maybe 100 years ago.

To prevent myself from being a hoarder, (haha. funny, but seriously), as I’ve been buying more vintage ornaments, I’ve been cleaning out my old Christmas stuff and either donating it or selling it. Whew! No hoarding here… I’m a bona fide collector of ‘stuff’, at time a little obsessive maybe, but not a hoarder.

I have found some great treasures this year at the local Goodwill store, like these fun classically colored glass Christmas ornaments:

Christmas Collecting 2019 SimpleDecoratingTips.com

They’re not very old, but done in the old style and a little on the small side, so they add a little sparkle of color on the tree, easily tucked in the branches.

One of my favorite treasures I found this fall was at an indoor garage sale. It is a set of 3 Mid-Century Czechoslovakian glass Eskimo ornaments originally purchased from Pier 1:

Christmas Collecting 2019 SimpleDecoratingTips.com

They are vintage and are in mint condition, with the little tag even in the box stating where they were made.

Did you know that Pier 1 started in the 60’s?!!

Christmas Collecting 2019 SimpleDecoratingTips.com

Here is the original price tag, way before UPC was used, looks like these little cuties were $1.99!! I hung them on a small tinsel tree I have on the mantel, and almost want to display the box too, it’s so sweet.

I’ve admired genuine feather trees for many years, but have never bought one until this year. I found a gal on Etsy that makes them, and bought the 24″ one from her.

Christmas Collecting 2019 SimpleDecoratingTips.com

The feather tree is new, (made from dyed turkey feathers!) but I wanted to only have very old, Victorian aged, ornaments on it.

Christmas Collecting 2019 SimpleDecoratingTips.com

A couple of won online auctions here netted me the perfectly feather tree sized ornaments!

Christmas Collecting 2019 SimpleDecoratingTips.com

The Victorian feather tree iron fencing was another won auction at the same place!

I find it so much more fun to do vignettes than the actual decorating of the main Christmas tree. I think it’s the creative part of making vignettes that stimulates my imagination. Like this fun vignette I put together in the kitchen.

I bought this Swedish Christmas print from a friend who had listed it on a local Facebook sale site.

Christmas Collecting 2019 SimpleDecoratingTips.com

It is fairly long, and fit nicely on the kitchen bay window sill.

I like that though it is long, it’s not super tall, so didn’t feel like it was blocking the view outside.

Christmas Collecting 2019 SimpleDecoratingTips.com

These sweet little vintage ornaments I found at a moving sale this fall. Just hanging them on a mini tree set in this vintage wooden sleigh are perfect with the style of this print.

Christmas Collecting 2019 SimpleDecoratingTips.com

On the other side of the tree are some more simple ornaments I’ve had for ages…

Christmas Collecting 2019 SimpleDecoratingTips.com

Like this little ceramic house! I actually painted it when I was a little girl.

One more find that’s new this year…

Christmas Collecting 2019 SimpleDecoratingTips.com

This vintage wooden plate with a hand painted Christmas tree on it was one of a few great treasures I picked up at a wonderfully fun local shop called ‘Vintage‘. They specialize in mid century pieces.

Christmas Collecting 2019 SimpleDecoratingTips.com

So how about you?? Where is your favorite place to shop for vintage Christmas decorations? Or do you even like vintage Christmas decorations?!

Here are more posts on Christmas decorating:

Thanks so much for stopping by! Please feel free to follow and share this blog with your friends, as well as on Facebook, Pinterest, Flipboard, Bloglovin, YouTube and Instagram! I appreciate you reading along.

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Comments

  1. Donnamae says

    Great finds Liz…love those Eskimo ornaments from Czechoslovakia. My favorite place is a thrift store that supports hospice care. They opened a pop-up store this year only for Christmas items. Last year I found a box of shiny brights, and this year even more vintage ornaments. It’s been fun. While my tree is full of family ornaments, I do enjoy putting out vintage ornaments in bowls or baskets. Enjoy your day! 😉

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