Thursday, December 24, 2009

O Christmas Tree

Each year I ask my husband to help me decorate the Christmas Tree and each year he declines.  I usually get mad at him and pout, but, as I took photos for this blog post, it occurred to me why this prospect may not seem like "fun" to some...

This table is conveniently beside the tree so that I can layout all my boxes of (mostly) vintage glass ornaments.  To me, this is a wonderful decorating fest.  Which ornament to choose?  Where to place it?  It's like a candy store full of glass confections!  To my husband (and others I am sure!) this is a nightmare!

I tried to piece together three photos above to show what this table looks like full of boxes. This was actually "round two" of what I chose from to decorate the tree!

I started collecting vintage glass ornaments in my early twenties when I had my first "real" apartment (i.e.: not a student apartment in New York City and thus with room for a tree).  I had been trained the "art of the church sale" by my mother and was living in a suburb of Massachusetts that was centrally located to a number of wonderful annual sales.  It was at one of those that I recall heading upstairs from the "white elephant" section to the "Christmas" section where someone had decided to display two boxes full of gorgeous, large glass ornaments.  $1/box.  I bought them both and the rest is history.  (Of course, two years later I awoke to realize our decorated tree was missing and found it laying behind the couch after my roommate's cat had decided to climb it.  Lost some of those original ornaments but a good incentive to find more!)

I know exactly how I came by some ornaments, and, completely forget others.  These above I think I found in a large lot I luckily stumbled across taking some photos for our wedding book a couple of years ago.  These are not the most glamorous of ornaments, but, significant in that they are war-time ornaments.  Note the lack of silvering, the lack of metal toppers and hooks, and, instead, the paper and string hangers!  A wonderful piece of history for the tree...

These beautiful glass acorn ornaments are not vintage but, very important to me.  They were given to me as a housewarming gift by the realtor who helped me find my first house.  She had remembered my admiring them as we were walking the local neighborhood one day, and, went back and purchased them for me as a gift.  Each year when I decorate the tree, I add these beautiful ornaments and am reminded of her thoughtfulness and the excitement of buying that first house all on my own!

I have a thing for stenciled ornaments, and, the faded silvery blue/green color you sometimes find on the mid-century ornaments.  This lovely little one fills both categories.

The bottom of the tree is a special place, especially when you have cats!  Here, I combine some wonderful, Dr. Seuss-like flocked ornaments given to me by the daughter of a friend of mine (they are huge, and fill the open bottom space of the tree wonderfully!) along with foil angels from my childhood (which can be batted but not broken) and what I call "Decoy" ornaments; new silver plastic trees that blend well with the vintage ornaments but, are deliberately hung in tempting cat areas to provide non-breakable decoys...

You see many ornaments sold on-line described as "mercury glass" ornaments but the true mercury glass ornaments are a wonder to behold!

Another new glass ornament provides a sentimental touch.  It was given to us by a very dear friend the year we were married and is just perfect on the tree each year.

A few years ago I spied this little wren's nest in a tree we had selected at a local tree farm.  It was at the very bottom where I was afraid it may get damaged in the trip home so I removed it and add it back into our tree with an antique ornament "egg" each year!  This glass clip-on bird provides the perfect parent to keep watch.

I sincerely hope you have enjoyed this little tour of our Christmas tree.  This will be my last post before the holiday so I wish you all a Merry Christmas and all the best wishes to your friends and family.


  1. Great pics! Brian kept telling me, "You don't have to put all the ornaments on the tree" as Idcecorated. Your collection would indeed be a nightmare for him. How do you decide which to put up? They are all so beautiful.

  2. I have certain types that I always like to have tend to do like, two of these on this side, and two more on the other side, then m ove to the next box. I also use all the little teeny ones at the top, so, often start on a ladder on one side then move to the other. I also make sure certain ornaments - my favs - are always on, then, go back and fill at the end! Sometimes the tree dictates which ones will work. I probably put about 2/3 of all of them on the tree each year. It's good, I think so have some "back ups" in case of tragedy! (none so far, thankfully, aside from accidentally flinging a glass ornament across the room while decorating!) C&G

  3. Claudia @ Salvage ChicDecember 27, 2009 at 11:10 PM

    Of course, I LOVE the ornaments, but I noticed even the tree had a vintage look to it. Not like the triangle shaped ones they sell now that are so full that the ornaments don't hang!. What kind is it?

  4. I too collect vintage ornaments but I'm afraid to hand them on the tree. Instead, I showcase them in glass containers and jars and boxes and anything that can hold an ornament. My family knows I have Christmas OCD but they just put up with me. Your tree is gorgeous.


  5. Hi Claudia - the tree is real...a Blue Spruce perhaps? Purchased locally in RI...

    Bunny, you will be the one laughing when my cats topple my tree! Actually, at my last house I used to hang them from the rafters on fishing wire. Out of reach of kitties and most others. This house just screams for a tree though, with 9' ceilings so for now, tree it is!


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