Back in the 1940's and 1950's many homes had Lionel trains circling the tree at Christmas. It was a much more common thing than it is today.
There were no ipads, video games and Netflix to occupy a kid's time, so seeing an electric train under your tree on Christmas morning was a HUGE deal.
It might rank right up there with a getting a Red Ryder BB Gun from Santa!
And you won't shoot your eye out.
So for me being a teeny tiny bit nostalgic and ever so slightly into vintage things (understatement?), I asked Santa to bring my son a Lionel train for Christmas one year.
It was a big hit that year and we've used it around the Christmas tree ever since.
Sure, we used to put the train set up at other times of the year and at one point even had it up semi-permanently, but since my son is 20 years old now, it's now sadly just a Christmas event.
Santa picked the New York Central line for my son that year because my husband is from New York, but there are many different lines and styles available.
This one came with a iconic red caboose, which was sort of important to me, since it reminds me of the trains that would drive through my hometown as a kid.
Sadly, I don't think many "real" trains have cabooses now. Modern technology made them sort of obsolete.
If you wonder where a girl gets interested in Lionel Trains, it is because my Father had a HUGE model train collection.
It had an operational turntable and a roundhouse (garage) for the trains.
The display took up approximately ¼ of our basement. Occasionally my Dad would set up a train around the Christmas tree, but it was sort of a moot point since we had the massive collection in the basement.
So if you have any little boys (or girls) on your Christmas list, think about buying a Lionel Train set for them for Christmas.
It's the most wonderful day in a boy's life (or at least that's what the ad says)!
Where To Buy Lionel Trains:
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Other Post You May Enjoy:
5 Iconic Vintage Christmas Decor Items
Christmas Home Tour: Thrift Store Decor Style (Vintage)
Retro Handmade Christmas Diorama Ornaments
I love this post! Hubby loves putting a train under the tree. That was always his job every Christmas when he was growing up. A few years back we purchased our own set but sadly this year we didn't set it up due to a few little hands that wouldn't leave it alone. Hopefully in a few years we can dig it out again and enjoy it.
Gail @ Faithfulness Farm
I remember the year my younger brother got a Lionel train from our grandparents for Christmas. Wish I had that sucker now 🙂
Tricia - A Rosy Note
I love all those little trees you have in that train car...gosh that's cute. We have a nice train set...I'm not sure what kind it is though, but it looks similar to yours. I would like to get it out, but I feel like my daughter would mess around with it too much.
How fun! I'll bet your son loves it~ a special tradition!
Love the train~ What a wonderful set up your father had!
We have a train around our tree, too! It's not a Lionel, it's a Christmas train with four cars that we've used for ten years. Sadly, this year the train seems to have died, but we still enjoy the way it looks around the tree.
The round house reminds me of the Polar Express....which is FINALLY going to be on Tuesday night.
Look at that train. I have always loved trains and think it is fabulous you have one under your tree. Your dad's collection was enormous. Do you know where it is now?
My husband had a Lionel train set when he was a kid in the 60's. The engine, cars etc were huge. His Mom got "rid" of it decades ago, probably at a garage sale or gave it away, nobody remembers. He has fond memories of that train set and mentions it often.
Your Dad had an impressive set up. There is a train shop in a town near us that sets up a huge outdoor display every summer. It's pretty impressive too.