Sunday, December 13, 2009

Childhood Treasures

Miniature Handpainted Bell

Another Vintage Christmas Monday, and this one takes us back to the 1940s-1950s. This little bell hangs on our Christmas tree each year. The tiny 1" porcelian bell is handpainted and simply marked with the words "Japan" on the inside. It was tied to a Christmas present that my husband received as a young child. My mother-in-law had kept it and hung it on the family tree each year. She gave it to us for our tree the first year we were married. It has the sweetest little sound, but more than that it holds the sweetest of memories. It is obviously a small trinket but my mother-in-law valued this little bell enough to keep it safe all these years so that her son could have it for his family Christmas trees years later.

Plaster of Paris Santa Dated 1940

This little Santa figure is another Christmas piece from my husband's childhood. The paint is chippy and flaking off here and there, but then it does have 1940 imprinted on the back rim of the base. So at close to 70 years of age, I think this Santa looks pretty good! This little guy was one of a pair that was among my mother-in-law's Christmas decorations. One of my sisters-in-law has the other. The Santa figures are made of plaster of Paris or gypsum plaster. Curious as to why this is called plaster of Paris, I googled and found the answer in Wikipedia. "A large gypsum depoist in Montmarte in Paris is the source of the name." I have many Santa figures that have found their way into our home through the years, but this one and the one featured below are very dear to my heart.

Plastic Santa Light Cover, c 1950

The jolly red Santa above is from my childhood Christmas trees. When I was a child the Christmas lights that we placed on our trees were large colored blubs. They would get hot and were both dangerous to touch and a fire hazard. I much prefer the tiny white lights of today. Not only are they much safer, but I prefer the tiny sparkle of the white lights as they glisten through out the branches of the tree. You can see in the photo below that this Santa was meant to attach to one of the large bulbs as a type of shade. When the lights were on, Santa would glow from within as he hung on the Christmas tree. I recall other such shades in various forms on our tree, but this one was always my favorite. My mom gave it to me after I married. You can see that he, too, is a bit worn. I always have him out during the holidays. The two little mice figures by his side are a bit newer. They were given to me in 1973 by the aunt who made my pink Christmas stocking that I shared here last week.

Back of Santa Light Cover, c 1950

In this photo you can see where this little guy could be attached to a light bulb on the string of Christmas lights. Such a simple piece of plastic that reflects the joys of childhood Christmas trees.

Thank you for joining me today for Vintage Christmas Monday. Please leave a comment and tell me about something that hung on your childhood Christmas tree. Then click here to join Joan @ Anything Goes Here to see more vintage Christmas treasures.