Here Comes Santa Claus

Setting upWell, I can now say that I am done with my final fall term; two finals and the completion of my 25 page essay examining Portland’s vice racket in the 1940s and 50s. It nearly killed me. I was up until 4:15 am finishing it up. I will not be posting it until I receive a grade though, which I hope is soon. And now that I’m out of the fray, I can finally focus on Christmas related stuff.

As always, I put up my aluminum Christmas tree. I chose to do all turquoise balls. And this year, I found some atom ornaments, and put the turquoise colored one up as my “star”. I wanted a floating effect, so I put a hook in the ceiling and hung it with some thread. Pretty nifty, if I do say so myself!

At my dad’s, we put up eight, which isn’t all of them. We have 14 in total. But, we realized if we put anymore in, there wouldn’t be room for people to sit come Christmas day. I plan to have at least two once Patrick and I get a larger place.

An atomic tree for the Atomic RedheadMeanwhile, I’m rushing to get my Christmas shopping done. I’ve gotten my brother (who is super easy, he collects vintage Hawaiian/surf stuff) and my dad taken care of (bought him an awesome blown-glass ray gun along with some books), but I’m scrambling to get a few friends, my mom (who collects Peanuts and shoes, so shopping shouldn’t be too difficult) and Patrick taken care of, (I’ve gotten Patrick into collecting old cameras, which is more difficult and expensive than you’d think) and I have no idea what to get my sister-in-law (maybe a giftcard). sigh Plus, I also make all of my Christmas cards…

Books to Guide You Through a Retro Christmas

The art of the aluminum Christmas treeDecorating retro for Christmas is perhaps the easiest of holidays, since so much was produced. The post-war economic boom made Christmas a time where people bought a lot of presents and decor. Susan Waggoner has three books that really showcase what Christmas was like in the 1950s. The first one, It’s a Wonderful Christmas highlights a range of items from 1940-1965. Her second, Under the Tree, offers up toys from 1930-1970, and her third, released this year, Christmas Memories, discusses Christmas fads from the 1920s clear through the 1970s! Each book is drool worthy and makes people like you and me create mental check-lists for items to keep and eye out for.Another great book that provides a good overview of fabulous retro Christmas items is Kitchmasland. Since it’s a Schiffer publication, it also provides a price guide. There’s everything from offbeat ornaments and strange little elf creatures to wonderful ceramics and glass works, along with the classic cardboard houses. But perhaps my favorite Christmas book is Season’s Gleamings, a book all about the aluminum tree. It is more of an art book, filled with wonderfully photographed images from a couple’s private collection.

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