Let us put by some hour of every day for holy things...

I will not doubt, though all my ships at sea
Come drifting home with broken masts and sails.
I will believe the Hand which never fails,
From seeming evil, worketh good for me.
And though I weep because those sails are tattered,
Still will I cry, while my best hopes lie shattered:
I trust in Thee.
--Ann Kimmel

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labor of the olive shall fail and the fields shall yield no meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold and there shall be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:17-18

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Old Friends

A vintage Christmas card from my collection.

I've been poking around in the big wooden storage box we keep most of our Christmas decorations in and, as usual, it's amazing how much of a surprise it is. Even though I've reined myself in mightily in recent years when it comes to collecting vintage Christmas items--I've even sold some of it, given away some of it, and (gasp!) thrown away some of it--it's still an daunting array and inevitably I find I've forgotten exactly what we have.

Some of it, of course, is indelibly part and parcel of our Christmases, and it's like greeting old friends when these items come to light There's a pottery king figure we call "Wenceslas", our battered old revolving aluminum Christmas tree and color wheel, and my beloved vintage deer collection. Other things I've totally spaced on and these are the "Oh, wow, I'd forgotten all about this!" items

This year is proving no exception. While hunting for the old advent calendars and the ceramic nativity set, I came upon three stuffed reindeer, a wrought-iron candle holder, and a small lighted cone-shaped "tree" made of styrofoam and fluffy metallic garland. Pleasant surprises, all. (Well, maybe not the cast iron thing!)

Meanwhile the advent calendars and old mounted Christmas card collections continue to elude me. Ah, well.  They'll turn up eventually...

What did I just tell you? 

Sure enough, I've found some advent calendars and my book of mounted vintage Christmas cards!

We had just got back from church when I had one of those "eureka" moments when one suddenly remembers something that's been baffling and eluding the mind for several hours. I went to the big hinged ottoman/box where I store the kids' Christmas books, and there was a folder with the missing items.  Rah, rah!!

So now I can show you!  

First, I want you to see this terrific little book of cards I found at a garage sale probably 10 or 15 years ago. It is SO cool! 

For those of you Generation X-ers who don't know what this is, I'll clue you in.  This is a catalog that some earnest baby boomer kid took door to door (usually in the heat of summer!) endeavoring to get orders for boxes of Christmas cards. For every box sold, a pittance could be earned, but more enticing--one earned points which, theoretically, could mount up until you could redeem them for a new bicycle or a record player. 

Naturally no one ever earned enough points to get anything other than the headache of mailing the whole kit back to the sales company. But kids were gullible and hopeful back then, and so they went pounding the streets, every now and then selling a box of cards to someone with a soft heart. I remember going along as moral support with a neighbor kid who was selling cards like this.

Let me show you some of the pages inside, displaying the samples:

There are 13 pages of samples!  It's so much fun to peruse them all. 

Now for the advent calendar. Every year my kids got a new calendar and I took great care to find the nicest ones possible, and these were kept and re-displayed year after year. Most of them eventually became so tattered and worn that I either threw them out or cut them up to make gift tags. But I have a couple which I will always keep no matter how battered they become, because my daughter made them. Here is my favorite:

Apart from the fact that we had no fireplace in the living room and our big dog was not allowed in the house, this is a fairly accurate depiction of a typical Christmas Eve at our house. That's me, coming in from the kitchen with the tray of cookies!  
I love the detail she put into this project.
I remember that pair of pajamas!  Also the blocks and the train.

While we never hung stockings on the mantle, we did (still do!) always display the nativity scene there.

I especially like this accurate little slice of life--the joy of jumping on the couch!

Now we'll find the first window, marked with the numeral 1, and open it...

It's a Christmas bell!

I hope you've enjoyed this little gallop down my memory lane. Tune in again tomorrow!

P.S.  Please pray for my faithful reader Heather and her family. Her father-in-law passed away this morning.



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