Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Christmas Problem

I am one of those troubling women who hoards Christmas decorations in massive quantities. Worse, I keep an eye open for them, year-round, in dusty back corners of thrift stores.

A couple of weeks ago it was a wicker basket under a table at a church 'Fall Fair' garage sale.

Thrill to my pink tablecloth with grease spots. These ornaments (except the one on the far right, which is probably homemade - bless) are 'Shiny Brite' ornaments, which I have just finished reading about here. Manufactured in the U.S.A, it says so right on the, uh, lid? So the guess is that they're from no later than 1962, because they're all made from that delightful thin glass that likes to go boom when the cat gets too close.

I especially like these weird tree ones:

They're kind of battered, and that frosty stuff is turning a bit icky, but there is no denying the appeal of those seasonally nontraditional colours. The blue and yellow in particular. I find the vintage approach to be comforting, at Christmas; new and perfect things only serve to remind me that I, myself, am not perfect or at all new (and neither is the family as a whole, woof, amirite?). Instead I choose to embrace the slightly soiled loveliness of somebody else's castoffs.

These 'double reflector' numbers are heavily reminiscent of the ornaments on the tree at my grandparents' farm, many years ago. Although I believe those were plastic, as was the tree. That carelessly globbed-on orange paint is just pure pathos, isn't it? Pure pathos for, like, a dollar? You can get these all over the online auction sites, but that sort of takes the fun out of it; if you find it yourself in a thrift shop and give it a polish with a soft rag, it's like you adopted it, whereas there is far too much choice, sometimes, online, and then you just end up unhappy no matter what. Me and the thrift store, we find mutual satisfaction.

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