Friday, December 24, 2010

Their stockings were hung by the (cardboard) chimney with care...

I spoke to my friend Marie the other day, who was enjoying decorating her new home for Christmas.  The place is more spacious and beautiful, with lovely light and a charming neighborhood.  She had one dilemma, however, she had not considered when they signed the papers over the summer.  No mantle for Christmas decorations!  I therefore send this little post out to Marie, in her new home, with documentation of an old solution to her new problem.

I happened across these photos of a couple opening their Christmas gifts in front of the "chimney" and "fireplace" offered by a fellow Etsy seller.  This looks like perhaps a first Christmas for the pair, and, likely dates to the early to mid-1950's?  The photos are undated, so, we need to rely on fashions, hair-dos and decorations!

The woman is opening some sort of knitted thing, the man, a pair of argyle socks.  They must have the camera set up on a tripod to capture their Christmas moment.  The couple does not look especially happy, but, boy, is that some background!  The entire fireplace is cardboard with printed "bricks" while the "chimney" is a sheet of coordinating brick paper that extends all the way to the ceiling.  It holds not only a small tree, fake snow, candles and a smattering of charming Christmas figurines and such, but also accouterments that would adorn a real fireplace!  There are hanging pots and pans and utensils above, a pot below and it looks like even some wood to complete the scene!  In fact, it is so elaborate you wonder if installing an actual mantle might make more sense?  It certainly adds festivity for the holidays though!  I wish we could spy on this scene in color.

No color option but we can take a closer look at those socks.  These are the mesh kind with paper printed labels across the front.  Each holds a pair of something; perhaps Clementines?

And now a closer look at that mantle!  Little tree decorated with Shiny Brites!  What looks like a pair of Tavern or Gurley candles to the left. To the right, a hard plastic Santa on Skis candy container (I have this one) and perhaps a larger hard plastic Santa in the background?  I arrange my vintage items in much the same way on my own mantle now so it is really fun to see this snippet of history of Christmas cheesiness!  Please note that I scanned and uploaded all of these images quite large for you, so, click on them to zoom in further for details.

And if you are jealous of my vintage Christmas photo finds, there are plenty more if you poke around Etsy!  Here is just a sampling of some gems you too can purchase for your own enjoyment!

From Christmas 1954, this gem from Gwensewvintage

Oh my - the decadence!  From ChristmasAngel
I love dad's expression here - from EandO
An American Classic from Americathebeautiful  (and check out those tropical barkcloth drapery panels in the background - oh my!)
No collection would be complete without a visit to Santa from SCFQ2
And if you are doing your last-minute shopping today, December 24, here is one last one (again, from ChristmasAngel) documenting what that looked like in 1938.  So much more charming than the mall, eh?

1 comment:

  1. Love that-very cute and so nice to see those old great photo's. Thanks for including my Santa. Susie Q's Vintage Shop


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