Thursday, November 8, 2012

Vintage Christmas Ornaments... and the Gift of Time...

As I have been sorting my vintage Christmas ornaments this week, getting ready to decorate, I thought back to last year at this time... sometimes the holidays can be sooo hectic and  full of the hustle and bustle getting ready for them, we don't always take the time to really...  I mean really... appreciate the Season...  so, last year  my sister and I decided that rather than spend alot of money  on each other for Christmas, we would give each other the "gift of time"...  we both tend to go waayyy overboard buying for each other...  'cause, well...  that's what sisters do...  and since neither one of us really needed one thing, we thought it would be fun to spend an entire day together...  just me and Jill... taking our time... time just for "us"...  no hurries... I tell you, it was one of the best Christmases I can ever remember...  as I gingerly unwrap each precious vintage ornament,  and thinking about the gift of time...  my thoughts always drift away and I wonder about the Christmases past these beautiful treasures were a part of... I conjure up stories and pictures in my mind of Christmases long ago...  and I am filled with a warm feeling that those of you who love these treasures from the past like I do  must certainly are just a few...  I literally have hundreds of  vintage ornaments that go on our tree...  this year, I may do several smaller trees instead of the one huge one... I still have boxes and boxes to sort...  I always say I am not going to do it each year...  but then... well... you know me...  I always do... here are some of the first ones sorted...

I have collected my treasures over my lifetime... some from estate sales, some from thrift shops...  some from tag sales... and  many were mine when I was a little girl...  like the little blue cardboard angel pictured above...  her little head made out of spun cotton...  one wing is broken...  tears start to run down my face  each time I bring her out... and I am always reminded of the beautiful Martina McBride song "And With A Broken Wing"...

It takes me so long to sort them all and decorate... but I don't mind doing it...  it is a "gift of time" of sorts just for me... happy memories from my own Christmases past fill my mind as well...  and I take my time filling our home with the love of Christmas from days~gone~by...  I am such a sentimental lady...  just in case you didn't know...

The old indents are from Poland...they are one of my favorites...  but then, I say that about all of them...  the mica covered pinecones are from Occupied Japan...  the long teardrops are from West Germany...  many date back prior to WWII...

The umbrella ornament is listed in one of my Christmas collectibles book as having a value of over $100 ten years ago...  YIKES!...  I hope I never drop it!... it is from Czechoslovakia...  I paid a song for most of these...  and no, the money value is not what is important to me...  I would never sell a single one of them... how do you put a price on precious memories that once belonged to someone else and now are a part of me... I hope whoever once owned these treasures still carries their memories with them as well...  I am sure most of the previous owners have all passed on by now...

Right now, I am sorting my ornaments by colors... and these are just a few of my silver and blue mercury glass ones... love my beautiful old birds from Germany with their spun~glass tails (photo above)...

My mercury glass peacock is my oldest and most precious one to me...  she is from the 1930's...

Don't you just love her gold crown...  surely she must be the Queen of my vintage ornaments... I left the old, old string around her neck that she has been hung up on the trees with for decades now...

Last year for our special day together, I made my sister Jill and I each a beautiful pendant... something to keep forever to remember our "gift of time" to each other... in my box of jewelry I inherited from my mama, there were a number of her old watches with broken bands...  I took off the bands, and made these little pendants for Jill and I... I just added some vintage~style rhinestones to the bottom of them, put mine on a gold chain I already had and bought a new sterling chain to put Jill's on...  I gave Jill hers before our day together so we could each wear them...  we both cried when she unwrapped hers...  but happy tears...  and each wore our mama's watches on our day together...  and thought about mama too...  I'm sure she was right there with us... first that day, a week or so before Christmas, we went to our favorite antiques mall in Salt Lake City and leisurely strolled around the entire place...  we both bought each other several small, inexpensive items, also to remember this day by... then we  went to the Beehive Tea Room in Salt Lake City for afternoon tea, which was delightful...  the tearoom is all decorated in antiques and just lovely... we relaxed and took our time... (outside the tea room in the photo below, Jill on the left, me on the right)...

 We plan on giving "the gift of time" again this year...  and I hope it becomes our new tradition... for now, I am off to sort more ornaments...  and uncover more memories...  wishing you all a beautiful day... I hope you too will think about giving yourself and your loved ones "the gift of time"...  it is priceless... xoxo...  Julie Marie  Linking this post to Vintage Inspiration Friday with Debra at Common Ground... and What's It Wednesdays at Ivy and Elephants...


  1. This is a beautiful post, Julie Marie. The gift of time is so have it in all of your special ornaments that bring you such joy and the tradition you have started with your sister. I love what you did with the watches and I so envy the wonderful day you spend together during the holiday season! You are both lovely ladies (and look so much alike!).

    I'd love to see you do a few trees to showcase those vintage keepsakes!


  2. You truly do have the most amazing array of beautiful ornaments . . I remember last year and your 'gift of time' and thinking it is what I would love if I were blessed with a sister. Oh! and don't you and she look so alike too! Enjoy your time decorating and treasuring each precious ornament as you carefully place them in their seasonal spaces! DebC♥

  3. Such a lovely post and beautiful vintage ornaments. Your gift of time is a wonderful idea. If only everyone would slow down to savor the moment...
    Farmhouse hugs,

  4. Your vintage ornaments are beautiful but your loving devotion to them is even better. I love how you love your sister.

  5. Lovely post and photos ! The gift of time together is so special , I like to make things for family and friends at Christmas time as well . Have a good day !

  6. Hi Julie Marie,
    Loved every moment of this post! Vintage ornaments steal my heart. I remember my mama had bird ornaments just like that on our tree growing up. Mom gave my sister, Julie lots of her glass ornaments when she was a newly wed and couldn't afford any. One year her tree tipped over and shattered many of them. What a sad day that was. I love your little angel and swan. However the umbrella stole my heart. What a precious thing. My heritage is from Czechoslovakia. So it's now wonder I love it. Can't wait to see your decorated trees. Love the pic of you and sis and what a precious gift to give one another, indeed!

  7. Your both so beautiful inside and out...I just love the watch pendants and also seeing all your collections.
    Thanks for always sharing sweetie

  8. Thanks for visiting Jann... did you mean my peacock?... I don't have a swan... how fun to learn your heritage is from Czechoslovakia!... xoxo Julie Marie

  9. Oh- those are such precious and beautiful ornaments, Julie Marie. What a blessing to have all of those. I love what you made for you and your sister. You can sure tell you beautiful gals are look a lot alike.

    As you know, I am sorting my ornaments, too. The ones I am keeping are German and came with Gramma Clara's German feather tree. I am giving the kids my Hallmark ornaments and Santa for a few very special ones.

    Enjoy the sorting-it is part of the Christmas process for me- xo Diana

  10. You two beautiful girls will have just as wonderful time this year as you did last year...I just know it!
    I don't think there is anything better than time spent with sisters.
    I love all of your vintage ornaments. I love the colors and the fact that they remind me of the ones from my own childhood. I sure wish I had them but I was the forth of six and so my older sibling have them now : )
    Are you ready for the snow? I think it's coming soon. Usually we get it about the same time, so I will be thinking of you.

  11. What gorgeous ornaments with priceless memories. I love your gift of time necklaces that you presented to your sister. My sisters and I do a gift of time, normally spending an evening scrapbooking. Wishing you a great week.

  12. Let me begin by saying, stunning ornaments!
    I love your holiday gift of time that you and your sister shared with each other. More family members should do more of just that. I don't think there are many of us that need a darn thing, except the children of course... After all the holiday season is about being with loved ones and not the money spent.
    Thanks for sharing.

  13. Hi Julie,
    I love seeing your ornaments every year and the stories that go with them. What a wonderful blessing to enjoy the gift of time. I remember last year and how you and Jill had such a precious time with the gift of time. I remember your gorgeous pendants that you created and I love them. I have several old watches of my mothers and perhaps I should make one for myself in honor of the time my mom and I spent together before she left this world for her eternal home.

    Love the pic of you and your dear sister. I know your ornaments will be displayed proudly once again this year as you enjoy the season.

    Thank you for sharing.
    Much Love, Celestina Marie