• Losing Ourselves in Holiday Windows As the deadline approaches for ordering last-minute gifts online, most of us must finish our Christmas shopping the analog way—walking into stores and picking things out by hand. If you're lucky enough to live in a city with an old-fashioned department store, you might get a glimpse of their fantastic holiday displays, packed full of animated elves and artfully piled gifts. But in most places, suc…
  • Will the Real Santa Claus Please Stand Up? We always think of Santa Claus as an incredibly old man—positively ancient—but the fact is, he’s exactly 150-years-old, born in 1863. Indeed, we might be thinking of Santa’s predecessor St. Nicholas, who is far older, believed to have been a Turkish Greek bishop in the 300s. But the first European winter gift-bringer is even more of a geezer, going back to ancient Germanic paganism and the Norse g…
  • Happy Kids on Christmas Morning It's easy, as an adult, to get bogged down in the un-fun, stressful aspects of Christmas. The mall becomes a madhouse that empties your wallet. Meals have to be planned and cookies baked. The house has to be decorated, inside and out, cards must be sent, and presents need to be wrapped. And that's not to mention all the tension and drama that can arise when family members come together. But most o…
  • Vintage Wisdom: Have an Old-Style Christmas Theme No. 1: An Emily Post Dinner Party Let us, for the moment, consider an Emily Post vintage Christmas. Ms. Post, with her irascible wit and no-nonsense approach to etiquette, provides in immense detail, how to give a perfectly elegant dinner party. Here is an excerpt of her rules: "” To live up to Ms. Post's impeccable standards, polish your finest antique silverware and bring out yo…
  • Vintage Christmas Ornaments, From Cardboard Dresdens to Silvered Kugels About 42 years ago, my wife, Darla, went to a very large white elephant sale and found a box of antique Christmas ornaments. She thought they were wonderful, so she bought them, and that’s been her passion ever since. Eventually, ornaments became my passion, too. We’ve been collecting for 42 years now. Our collection’s not the biggest or the best, but it’s very nice. We put up 23 antique feathered…
  • The Charms of Christmas Ephemera and the Changing Face of Santa Claus I grew up in a home without any antiques. As a small kid, I started decorating my parents’ home for Christmas. I don’t know what influenced me, perhaps being alone and living in a rural environment might have had something to do with it because I engaged in a lot of fantasy play. I made a lot of ornaments out of stuff that I had lying around, and I decorated using things that I found in the garden…
  • A History of Dimestore Christmas Village Houses The following is a history of these wondrous little artifacts called cardboard Christmas village houses - a history devoted to establishing some way of categorizing them and putting them into chronological perspective. It's a tall chore, because these were small-change notions, not expensive nor considered serious enough to impart model numbers, cataloging, and so forth by those who made them. …
  • A Guide to Christmas Antiques and Vintage Christmas Decorations Ever wonder about that box of vintage Christmas decorations in the attic? From wooden nutcrackers to glass Christrmas tree ornaments to 1930’s Lionel model trains, this article can help you identify what vintage or antique Christmas items might be in that box. Your cherished decorations might be valuable, and even if not, you can sure have a whole lot of fun decorating with them! Christmas Trees:…