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

  1. great post full of memories and I too am mind boggled at the idea of 4 x 20′ trees in one room inside a home! :D

  2. What a lovely post! My mom had a tinsel tree in the basement with pink balls! So unlike her! Of course the live tree in the living room, but that was it! No stockings were ever hung, she didn’t want tack holes in the mantel, lol!
    Four huge trees sound amazing, those people must have been very wealthy.
    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, I enjoyed my visit here!

  3. Sherry says:

    Loved this post! Julee Rosso was the Silver Palate girl. Would love to see that cookbook will look it up! Thanks for mentioning it!

  4. Grandma Kc says:

    When I was a teenager my mother bought one of those aluminum Christmas trees. It had a spot light that shone on it with a filter in front of it that changed to 4 different colors. We had that tree forever. She loved that thing! Great post Debra!

  5. I have that book! Bought it years ago when it first came out and read it cover to cover every year. It is falling apart now but still one of my most favorite books. And yes, I could not imagine having four 20-ft. trees in a living room! Fabulous! I don’t think there is a boring chapter in the whole book, each one is interesting.

    Going back to read this Sunday’s post again. I love to read about the Christmas memories that people have.

  6. Debbie says:

    Oh my gosh! The disaster that was called tinsel. Thank heavens we don’t do that anymore!!!! No more clogged vacuums!!

  7. Carol Covin says:

    My mother bought a silver tree after we all moved out. I didn’t understand why. Now, I do. Looking back in time, there was the year I was five and, a month before Christmas, burned up my entire bedroom before the fire fighters were able to put it out. Now, if Santa Claus lives at the North Pole, a fire in my house shouldn’t make any difference at Christmas. Right?

  8. Oh, this was delightful, as always! The Christmas Doll, the old photo of the tinsel tree, the string of popcorn for your tree- all wonderful memories of Christmases past. :)

    Love, Joy

  9. My mother-in-law had a silver tree. As a child, we decorated with tinsel, popcorn, cranberries, and buttons because my mom worked in a factory. And, I remember taking each piece of tinsel back off the tree – hated that stuff.

  10. Joyce says:

    I love these nostalgic trips back in time. Other bloggers take a stab at them, but you always do yours best, Debra!
    My mom told me about trees with real candles and her dad standing at attention with a bucket of water. I remember that yucky tinsel too. But the aluminum tree with the multi-color filter – omg I almost died when I saw that my new mother-in-law had one – yikes! But now I wish I had it, just for “old time’s sake” I guess!

  11. That story about the doll was so sweet, glad she kept it all those years. Yes, I’ve made the popcorn garland but not for a long time. I’ve never seen an aluminum tree in real life, sadly :( Thanks for sharing at my “Olde” party :) -Dawn @ We Call It

  12. Such sweet memories of Christmas from our childhood. Yes, my mom had one of those tensil trees and she loved it. Now the pictures give me a chuckle. I loved the story of the doll, so precious. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  13. Donna Wilkes says:

    My father was very particular when it came to tinsel. One piece at a time with no clumps! I have never seen snow on Christmas except on TV :>(

  14. What a fun post! I always wanted one of those silver trees! I love the vintage memories so much. Thanks for sharing with us at TTF!

  15. We had an aluminum tree and so did my grandparents. I didn’t like that we couldn’t have lights with them. Thanks for sharing your vintage post with us at my party!

  16. Sherry says:

    Our church had one of the tinsel trees. Great memories.

  17. Kathy says:

    Wow, this looks wonderful! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  18. Kathi says:

    We had an aluminum tree also. We had an electric “color wheel” that lit the tree yellow, blue, green and red as it turned, so we didn’t miss the lights. When mom bought a lifelike faux tree years later, my grandmother took the silver tree and I loved seeing it in her house at Christmas too.

    Thank you for sharing this at the HomeAcre Hop; I hope you’ll join us again this Thursdays.

  19. Mike Ritter says:

    Ms. Pugh,

    Can you tell me where you got this particular photograph of the New England town in the snow? I’m planning to paint a picture of it and this is the best color reproduction I’ve seen.

    Thank you.

    • debralynnpugh says:

      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…( I’ll email you as well :)

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