Sunday, December 18, 2016

Vintage Christmas Down-sizing?

A found treasure is what started this Christmas for us.
 First, we aren't having the holiday here this year. Not much company---and well we are still exhausted from finishing our DIY house remodel.

In November at an antiques show---with emphasis on Christmas items, I scoured each booth and with the idea of down-sizing--for Christmas, 
I passed up wonderful 1940-50's that reminded me of my childhood. 
I bought nothing----except, way back in the corner, twenty minutes before closing 
a dealer was taking her display down. And there it was---an OLD antique fence/Christmas tree stand.
Original paint---mellowed red, with silvered (tarnished) white snow on the pickets and posts. 
The base is on wheels, and it's about 40" square.

The price was excellent, and I just was so excited---I couldn't get my money out fast enough 
and then grinned while hauling it the two blocks to the car. 
There are some bits and pieces missing here and there...but I don't care---
I've always wanted one---and couldn't be happier----BUT---

...there's the issue of the tree. 
While we must have 4 large trees in the basement or garage, nothing seemed really appropriate. 
Our gorgeous big tree---that usually holds over 15 totes/boxes of ornaments 
and has over 750 lights, would overwhelm this antique. 
And we wanted to simplify a bit this year anyway.

I went online and looked at stores, and the tree I was searching for 
was something quite Victorian and expensive
and they---were out there, but 
we really didn't want to spend another $250 + dollars on another tree.

Wouldn't you want this to show---

And glisten with snow! And fill with favorite toys, or brim with special presents?

Two weeks later at GoodWill there was a gorgeous primitive tree 
with 6 strings of non-working lights on it for $9.99---yes, under $10.00. 
I would have to do a REDO. The tree had probably been a store display from the quality of the lights, but when they had a problem, they just wired more lights on top of those not working/
so it was thick with professionally wound cords.
Every branch had red berries and little buffalo check bows on it, too.

So I cut and unwound and pulled and yanked, and muttered.

And this is what it looked like all straightened w/o lights after over four hours.

We put four strings of LED's on it...golly they are bright.

And then we hand-picked from our OLD HUGE collection of ornaments.
 I chose one or two of the ornaments we had bought in sets each year: like the balloon clips we bought one year, and the ginghams, which turn up now in vintage/antique venues. The carousel horse I have two of--they were just so gorgeous, and probably 15 years old already.

We have two OLD original Rudolphs from 1947-8, these were my Hubby's as a child.

This NEW little guy---comes from a vintage reproduction collection 
that occasionally crops up at TJMax.
 I snag them when the price is right. Boats and fishing are always popular here.

The OLD mushrooms I bought here in Chicago in a Polish neighborhood way back in 1975, when we were thinking of moving here from Northern Wisconsin.

This guy was Hubby's Gramma's, he's not sure how old they are---but we have two.

Here is the other one, he had been altered a bit over the years and REDO eyes painted on.

This silvered tinsel atop an Victorian glass bell, is hard to show, but these are also from hubby's family.

Another one has a curlicue tinsel surrounding it. Behind large glass snow owl keeps watch.

This OLD silver cone basket---has two bells attached to the side, I haven't filled it with anything, but maybe will put some candy canes in it.

The Raggedy's were sewn from felt back in the early 1970's. The huge mushroom is more recent, with the resurgence of gnomes, mushrooms are popular. I saw red dotted mushrooms in the wild in Denmark when I was there as a teenager. They are a very popular motif there and to my family.

It was hard to choose just a few birds. We have boxes/totes of them.

Paper woven hearts (Julehjerter) are a Danish tradition and I've included a link for a simple video on how to make them. Behind is a photo mounted on porcelain of my son when he was 3.
A sweet kitty in a basket form the 80's.

The yellow and blue ornament below is from my parent's 1st Christmas tree. Dad was still in the service in December of 1945, and they sublet an apartment from another soldier complete with a decorated Christmas tree.

We have many tiny ornaments and a wax lamb and wax angel at the top of the tree, Gurley ornaments, I purchased last year in this post to replace my grandmother's which had melted.
A silver glass horn from my mom's collection.

I've displayed some toys: a favorite teddy and a reindeer, sitting on a 
1907 reproduction Sears Catalog. 
How many generations of children pored over catalogs for their wish list. 
But it isn't until night when the magic happens.

I hope you enjoyed our down-sized Vintage Tree and Stand. 

And a Very Merry Christmas and 
Happy Holidays 
to All!

Thanks always for visiting. 
I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions or posts. Please do not use photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle

I will be sharing at these fine Parties!


  1. Such a unique Christmas Tree Stand and what a great find for the tree to fit it. Season's Best Wishes.

    1. Merry Christmas, and thank you, Joy. We are really pleased with it. Perfect for two weary old people this year. Thanks again, Sandi

  2. Oh found treasure indeed!! Love that Christmas tree stand and the tree is perfect. You are in possession of the most incredible ornaments. I do believe I have never seen such a beautiful assortment of decorations. Your tree looks gorgeous with all those lights shimmering. May you have a wonderful Christmas!

    1. Thank you Kim. We have inheirited so many and we have always bought at least one--unique one each year since 1968. And Merry Christmas to you and yours, Sandi

  3. Your tree is so gorgeous! I would have never thought to use the red fencing like that but wow, it's really pretty. I love all of your vintage ornaments and treasures you've collected. I know you've been working on the house so I hope you take a bit of time off to enjoy the season and that gorgeous tree. Everything about it is magical. Sending you happy hugs and wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas, CoCo

    1. Thank you for your comments, yes, it has been a long haul, and we are low-keying the rest of the holiday and simply enjoying relaxing. Thanks so much for your visit, Sandi, and Happy New Year

  4. Wow, you really brought that tree back to life! It looks so pretty all lit up, and covered in ornaments that have so much history!

    1. Thanks so much for the visit, Amy. And have a Happy New Year! Sandi

  5. O MY!! I absolutely love this tree and the fence!! So petty and so vintage..... I keep thinking I am going to downsize but ended up with 20 + trees this year.... LOL!! Thanks so much for stopping by!!
    Your collection of ornaments is astounding!!

    1. Well, your Christmas is an industry. I have to confess, we have a woodland tree in the basement, and the kitchen tree, still this year, but they are only small. I think it's just for the lights, lol. Merry Christmas, and have a Happy New Year

  6. Oh wow, what memories your tree and fence bring back. I would have died and gone to heaven if I had seen that little red fence. What a wonderful purchase, and your tree also. I still have all of my Mom's ornaments from growing up in the 40's and 50's,, which I put on the tree every year, and of course have added many of my own along the way, and even most of those are vintage. I remember and loved all the lead tinsel my Mother would hang so carefully on each branch of the tree(real) and the huge colored lights with the foil/tin reflectors. She had those little cone candy containers too, but I don't know what ever happened to those. My husband and I always have a real tree, but have downsized from once a 15 ft tree (real) in one of our homes, to now a 5' tree (real) on a table in our new mobile home. But even on this little tree, I hang lots of antique ornaments, no lead tinsel any longer, altho I do have a box that I bought on eBay, just because I could still get it,for old time's sake. This year I changed from white fairy lights to the colored lights, to give it more of the old fashion look, I bought 500 of them, so the tree does light up. Looks like you decorate your tree, pretty much I like you do, and I LOVE..LOVE your tree. A BEAUTIFUL tree filled with memories. Thanks for this photo filled post, I enjoyed it more than you know. Merry Christmas and Hugs from central white snowy Wisconsin.

    1. I'm a Cheesehead by birth, though I have been in Chicagoland longer now--my parents had a cottage west of Oshkosh, so we may have crossed paths at sometime. I remember the reflectors also-they are getting pretty hard to find. Thanks so much for the cheery words and memories. That's exactly what we were going for, a bit of ALL the memories. Grins and Happy New Year, Sandi

  7. Sandi, that tree is definitely unique. I love it! And, wow do you ever have so many wonderful ornaments. The deer are among my favorites! The little fence is perfect!! thanks for sharing with SYC.

  8. Aww, thanks Jann, we have surrounded ourselves with just what we love this year, and taken it a bit easy. Surprising--ornament KING--hubby, loves it too. Because we can clearly see the ornaments, making less---more in everyday. Happy New Year, Sandi


Thank you for any and all comments. I will reply to any questions!
And great to meet you, Sandi