Sunday Special ( December ) : Kickoff to a Holly Jolly Vintage Christmas Series

For the past few months I have done a “Sunday Special” post, once a month, in honor of the Sunday newspapers. Those posts, for the most part, had links to other blogger sites with some vintage tidbits here and there. This month, Sunday Special kicks off  a series of Vintage Christmas posts…( if any of you who might read this have a similar post or memories post, please link it up in ‘comments’ for all of us that like this sort of stuff to enjoy :)  This is the first of three.

I picked up a library book called “The Christmases We Used to Know: from the readers of Reminisce Magazine” and took some pictures to start this off…

For any of us that live with four seasons, this idyllic scene represents some of our fondest Christmas memories.

Home for Xmas page 9

I just loved this story about The Christmas Doll : most of us have had some special doll or gift that we really longed for as a child and this story from 1909 is so precious. I have manipulated the photo to try to make it clearer and easy to read the story…

Xmas Wish Doll page 13

Years from now, people will look back fondly with nostalgia at trees that had burlap on them. Just as people do now in regards to tinsel.

Trimming the Tree page 30

Now I shall stop with the pictures for a moment,  because I picked up a book at a library book sale a few months back, titled ” Christmas Memories with Recipes” which brings together the holiday food recollections of some of today’s leading cooks and writers…”   Copywrite 1988 by Book of the Month Club. Some of these people I had heard of and some not, but in thinking about Christmas trees, I thought that you might enjoy this excerpt:

This is from the chapter “Old-Fashioned Christmas in Michigan” by Julee Rosso.  

“Then it was back to my grandparents’ house for Christmas Eve dinner….We gathered in the huge cabbage-rose living room that had twenty-foot trees in each of its corners. This was my grandmother’s favorite treat for all of us.

In one corner her Harvest Tree was covered with fruit, tartan ribbons, tiny baskets, straw figures, miniature gourds, nuts, and strings of cranberry and popcorn.

In another corner the Spice Tree had gingerbread men, pomanders, nosegays of rosemary, nutmeg, and cinnamon sticks, and candy canes.

The Peace Tree was a vision of white with wild juniper, white doves, dried sea lavender, angels, baby’s breath, and a dusting of snow.

Finally there was a silvery green Herb Tree laden with sprays of rose hips, lavender, sage, lamb’s ears, thyme, rosemary, and light-green and white ribbons sprinkled with silver glitter.”

I just loved trying to picture that room with the four twenty-foot trees!  Have any of you strung popcorn for Christmas trees ? I did it when my boys were young.  I’d wanted an old-fashioned tree and that was part of it. I sprayed the popcorn garland with hairspray to preserve it and it did so for a few years! :)  Source for the photo below

Then does anyone remember what I called the tinsel tree. My grandparents had a traditional tree in their living room but a tree similar to this one stood on a corner table in the dining room and all of their Christmas cards were hung there.

Silver Tree page 40

My sister has that old tree now :)  She puts it up in a little corner on a table in her family room, as it holds sweet memories of Christmas time at our grandparents when we were young.

The other two posts in this little series are: 


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No Black Friday here; our Thanksgiving dinner Friday instead

This year I asked my son’s GF what she does for Thanksgiving. She goes to her grandma’s. Her and my son had agreed to split up the day…some time spent there and some time spent here.

Frankly, with a Thanksgiving meal being so much work, I didn’t think that either her grandma or I would appreciate that so I suggested that we do our dinner on either the Sunday before, the Sunday after, or on Friday. If I am going to cook a big meal, I want people to be hungry for it :)

My son said “let’s do it on Friday after I get out of work” .

This worked out better because my grandkids would be hungry, too…not coming here from the other grandma’s house, already full.  My oldest son had been traveling for work, so once home in St.Louis he was going to stay put. My youngest and the boys dad ( my ex ) would be here on whatever day I cooked. So we’d have five adults and five children altogether. The GF has three and my son has my grandson + older sister …they are like the Brady Bunch, Tattooed Generation :)

This worked out nicely because on Thursday I still cooked my turkey ( Upside down as usual…when I do it that way, it is literally falling apart when I take it out of the oven. ) People have all sorts of complicated basting that they do but I cook it upside down and it works : ) The breast is sitting in all of that juice…it is super moist that way.

I put all of the falling apart turkey back into the cleaned roaster pan and then poured the broth from the giblets and neckbone that I had made over it. This would keep it moist and juicy in the fridge overnight. That way on the next day, I only had to deal with potatoes, gravy, stuffing, pies, and one side. ( I assigned some other sides and dinner rolls to the boy’s dad. )

I do not decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving but I have been itching to, since Thanksgiving came so late, plus there is all of that Christmas-y snow outside. So while the turkey was cooking, along with some regular cleaning, I started to take down the remainder of the fall / Thanksgiving decorations and bring out a few Christmas ones.

In the interim between your children growing up and becoming a grandmother, you can decorate however you want. When there are little kids around again, all of a sudden the  Nativity set and other precious things have to be put up somewhere high, and non-breakable things can be at a child’s level. My holiday season will have five little kids 8 and under, in and out of here so hopefully my decorations will survive all of that. ( there have been some beheadings and amputations from my grands over the last few years to some of them :(

As to Black Friday, God Bless those people who venture out on what I would consider to be  The Worst Shopping Day of the Year…I cannot stand crowds like that. I only did it once, years ago, not knowing what I was in for.  Never again :)

I’ll be using my grandmother’s china turkey platter today:


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