I have been a collector of vintage Christmas decorations now for 7 years. I love the magic of this special day of the year and the nostalgia that my collections bring to me.
What interested me most about vintage Christmas decorations is the awe that they inspire. I often gaze upon a piece and wonder what family gatherings it has witnessed in the past. Was this a treasured ornament? Did it take pride of place in someone else’s home?
I like the age of the pieces, and the respect that they command. I learned that some ornaments have traditional meanings, and some of these meanings vary from country to country. Some families like new, sparkly, shiny decorations, while others prefer earthy tones or rich colors. This was how I first learned of Christmas themes.
Over the years I have experimented with different themes for my decorating. My favorite so far has been the earthy tones of a Rustic Christmas theme.
This theme was particularly suited for my vintage decorations, which were not overly ornate nor shiny. My vintage decorations were fairly plain, and this teamed well with some handcrafted centerpieces for the dinner table.
One of my favorite pieces is a simple salt and pepper shaker set, in the design of Santa and Mother Christmas. They are a favorite at our dinner table. It is almost as if they are part of the family now. Often a dinner guest will play with them creating a conversation for them and encouraging others to join in. It is a fantastic feeling to see others getting joy from something so special to you.
Another favorite is the candle centerpiece surrounded by dried flowers and twigs. Sometimes I wonder if it just gets in the way, but I just can not bear to part with it. It has journeyed through many a family Christmas, since before my time. It is so special, it just has to be there. I tried a smaller, newer centerpiece one year and my family objected. It seems they missed the tired, old candle and flowers. That is when I realized that it was not just special to me. Everyone held a special place for it in their hearts.
Sometimes the older, less fancy decorations can be much more meaningful than anything new and bright and sparkly.
The thing with vintage decorations is the character that they have. They do not have that mass-produced feel. Every piece feels unique and that is what you want your guests to see – a tasteful and thoughtfully organized collection.
As far as vintage Christmas decorations go, I am glad I started my collection. It is a hobby and a passion that gives me much enjoyment, not only in the search for a new piece, but also in using the pieces for a fantastic display on Christmas day.
So if you are interested, I could recommend starting your own collection. Just know you are getting into a hobby that could take over your spare time and your home (in December).