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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Sunday Special: November 3rd

Welcome to The Sunday Special, November 3rd.

25 years ago 813

( Source : The Sun Chronicle ran this ad for paper routes 25 years ago 

With Thanksgiving coming up,  ( In the USA ) I thought a few vintage memories and articles might be fun for the November edition of Sunday Special.

“By the time the 22-pound turkey shown above was done roasting at my grandmother’s house, all of us eager grandchildren had done our part to help fix the feast. (I’m the hungry lad in back, third from left.) My dad, Vin, captured our family’s typical Thanksgiving celebration in this 1963 photo (above).

We grandchildren had the “privilege” of polishing the pans, mashing the turnips and potatoes, and making sugar cookies out of the extra homemade piecrust. I assure you Grandma’s pie was made with rhubarb from her garden and had the flakiest crust. She would never use a boxed crust mix or canned fruit. Grandma always lamented, “You just can’t get a good loaf of bread today.”

Hours before this photo was taken, it’s safe to say we were all glued to the TV set to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

After dinner, our Thanksgiving tradition had everyone piling into their family’s station wagon to drive to downtown Bridgeport for the traditional first lighting of the Christmas lights,” writes Mike Simko of Bridgeport, Connecticut. ” FROM REMINISCE.COM


Thanksgiving Memories:100 years of a family’s Thanksgivings (1851-1951)

“1952 was the first time in 100 years that the Howard/Cook families did not gather for Thanksgiving dinner at Maplewood, the old homestead near Lawrence. The tradition was started by Hosea Howard when he finished building the house, and it had become instilled in each succeeding generation over the years. By the time I can remember it, in the 1930s, my two great aunts living on the farm were hosting the celebration.

On that day we were always met with lots of hugs and excitement. Before us were two long tables spread with white tablecloths and set with place settings. The women would be busy in the kitchen mashing potatoes, warming hominy and making gravy, through a jumble of voices. Dinner was announced by taking the roasted turkey around for everyone to admire. Then we all — about 60 of us — found places around the tables. We had the usual Thanksgiving fare, and we all pronounced ourselves stuffed and happy. ”  FROM MY FOOD HISTORY

Thanksgiving weather is always unpredictable : Back in 1950 there was what was called “The Storm of the Century” in Pittsburgh, according to the post at The Duquesne Hunky HERE  ( I have just posted a few of the pictures…there are several very interesting articles and memories at that blog of this storm. )

Let’s hope that this Thanksgiving will be storm-free for all of us!

Here is this month’s round-up of Frugal Tips & Tricks from around the Web.

  • See how frugal family of four lives comfortably on $14K a year ”   I love these kind of stories ; I find them fascinating.
  • Urban Naturale has 10 DIY natural skin care remedies HERE  
  • My Lamp is Full has instructions for using essential oils and blends HERE
  • Feeding Big has 15 ( yes 15! ) uses for old toothbrushes. I know they come in handy for cleaning around faucets but never thought of most of this…a fun post.  HERE
  • Manuela at A Cultivated Nest has a list of her favorite top 10 Frugal Living sites. HERE 


Photography :

There are so many beautiful photos that bloggers post. It is hard to pick a favorite. But Jen over at Muddy Boot Dreams had a series of photos recently that were just exquisite. Click HERE to see a favorite and then if you are not a regular reader you might want to read that post as well as it is quite interesting and beautifully written. ( Enjoy the photos / stick around for the post if you want to get ‘roped in’ to the is great, trust me :)


Sometimes a blogger will pull something from deep within and from that will come a piece that you can’t forget.  Brenda at Cozy Little House does that often but this one stuck with me for a long time; read The Flag Pole, if you have not done so yet,  and you’ll understand why.

Homes :

This picture, were it in a magazine, would most likely influence me to purchase the magazine to see and read about the rest of the room and the house.  It makes me just want to Be There.  If you love vintage style you will love this post HERE over at Across the Way.  There is so much more to this room and wouldn’t it be wonderful to have an old-fashioned Thanksgiving in a place like Dewena’s ! 


AFTER Thanksgiving dinner, it is always good to have some recipes to work with the leftovers. I always get soup started from the turkey carcass, and then another easy ( YES EASY ) recipe is here at Homespun.  I have worked through many a pot pie recipe over the years, and this is a keeper :)  If you have your own recipe that is fine / if you’ve been looking for one that will work and not take a lot of time, this is it.

The Comics Section: Thanksgiving: 

Much more can be found at THIS SOURCE 

Amazing Needlecraft: 

Visit Decor to Adore HERE  to view the entire project of creating a complete 18th century ensemble. Fascinating!

18th Century Ensemble Decor To Adore 128-001



Do you have a hard time settling down to pray, meditate, or just quiet yourself …do your thoughts run around amok and do the lists in your head threaten to take over the one thing that you want to think about or concentrate on ? There is a wonderful ( and often quite humorous ) post about this over at A Writer’s Reverie called”Arranging my Thoughts

How did she KNOW all of the things that spin around in my head ? :)  You’ll see if you visit there. An amazing post. Helpful whether one wants to pray, or just compose oneself and sit and contemplate blessings to be thankful for on Thanksgiving 2013.

Classifieds :

Life Savers vintage ad, 1950Source 

Life Savers vintage ad, 1951Source 

A few SWEET Specials for November :

A great gift idea  ( and  I plan to order a few for the children shortly ) is a jigsaw puzzle made from your own photos.  I am going to order the 48 piece puzzles, for only 15.95  HERE at Jigsaw2Order .  I think the kids will love putting together a puzzle of themselves ! :) I know my grandson will ; he loves puzzles.

York Photo always has a good sale going on: 5X7 Custom Cover Photo Book – Only $1 – Save $9.99!     Use Code: BOOKGIFT. S&H Not Included. Quantity Limit 1. Cannot Combine Coupon Codes. 1 Use. New Customers Only. Exp. 11-30-2013.Visit YORK PHOTO HERE   / Would make a great Christmas gift.

You can’t beat FREE and Craftsy always has free classes ( they offer classes online for everything from sewing to painting to cooking and more ) Visit HERE to see what free classes might be going on now. ( I had signed up for one a week or so ago, just to review some applique techniques and I cannot recommend them highly enough! :)


You might also enjoy :  Sunday Specials October or September  or August

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