I’m often asked why I use so many old ornaments and decorations in my holiday decor. I prefer the term vintage as opposed to old, but hey, I’m not the one doing the asking.
Shiny Brite ornaments, kitschy plastic deer, raggedy little putz houses. They all have a special place in my home. And in my heart.
I think I like them so much for the tradition aspect of them. The tying together of generations with a strand of tinsel. A strand of tinsel that’s knotted and tangled and maybe a bit discolored, but still amazingly strong and in one piece.
You see, most of my vintage ornaments hung on my grandmother’s tree when my mother was just a child. She would chew on the celluloid Santa’s boots. And, just like any toddler, stand in front of the tree mesmerized by the lights bouncing off the shiny ornaments.
When my mom grew up and got married, the ornaments were passed on to her and hung on the trees of my childhood. No chewing on ornaments for me though. I preferred candy canes.
Fast forward many many years and the ornaments have come home to my house where they now hang on my own tree for my son to see.
And hands down, my very most favorite part of the holiday season is the trimming of the tree with those old ornaments. It brings back memories of my mom trimming the tree when I was little.
The pulling out of the boxes. The unwrapping of the delicate ornaments. The oohing and aahing over each ornament. The ever important placement of each ornament in exactly the right spot.
My mom did it back then and I do it now. I treasure those memories and I try to decorate my tree with the same excitement, reflection, and tradition.
I hope I’m doing as good of a job of instilling a sense of holiday tradition in my son as my mom did with me.
BTW, I do find a lot of vintage ornaments at thrift stores and yard sales, but those are always packed away in separate boxes from my cherished family ornaments. Don’t want to be mixing up my childhood memories with Maggie Sullivan’s childhood memories!