A VINTAGE CHRISTMAS

I have always loved Christmas and decorating our home for Christmas each year! When we moved into this home several years ago, the fact that it was a country home influenced the way I decorated it that first Christmas, and I have continued to use a similar theme each Christmas thereafter.

Blue Willow Home & Farm

So this year I decided to try to stay as true as possible to the year the house was built which was 1933. That meant lots of cedar, magnolia leaves and red berries from the yard, as well as lots of my vintage treasures. We did purchase a real Christmas tree and it is filled with a combination of vintage ornaments from the timeframe of the house as well as ornaments collected over many years that have sentimental value to our family. I did think about putting the tree up with only white lights on it because I do love that look but I just couldn’t leave those ornaments that have so many memories attached to them packed away.

For many years I have collected vintage used Christmas cards. I love to read the messages written in them and wonder about the people that sent and received them! They fascinate me! I love to fill bowls and platters and boxes with them and to also to hang them on garland and strings through out the house.

Like I said, I also use lots of my old treasures to decorate with also! This year I have used an old metal dollhouse, a baby bathtub, old baby dolls and even a vintage doll bed. There are also lots of old felt Christmas stockings, Santas, snowmen, books and even a pair of old ice skates. We made candle holders for the mantle from beautiful, old “chippy” spindles and Mr. Blue painted two beautiful signs for me from salvaged wood that I will use for many years to come!! So, instead of trying to describe it all to you, I've decided to let the photos do it for me and I hope you enjoy them!

What I have also decided is to share my favorite Christmas memory with you and hopefully you in turn will share yours with me in the comments section. I would love to read them! Thank you!!

My favorite Christmas memory was when I was 6 or 7 years old. We had moved to Birmingham, AL but most of our family still lived in Montgomery. A few weeks before Christmas we made a trip back to Montgomery to see my grandparents and family for the weekend. It was something we did often so I didn’t think anything about it. When we got to my grandparents house they surprised me by telling me the Christmas parade was that weekend and that my grandfather and I were going to be in it!! My grandfather worked for a car dealership and he was going to be driving a convertible for a beauty queen in the parade and I was going to ride with him! I’m not sure if I was more excited about the parade, the convertible or being with my grandfather. I do remember that I was not too excited about the beauty queen.

So the morning of the parade came and of course there was lots to do to get ready. My hair had to be rolled on pink sponge curlers of course and we had to be sure my shoes were polished and everything was just so!  My mother had packed suitable parade clothes for me and although I don’t remember the dress I wore, I do remember the coat. It was a yellow wool coat with a yellow velvet collar and it was beautiful! If that wasn't enough, I had white fur earmuffs and a white fur muff to keep my hands warm. By late afternoon my grandfather and I were all set to go and the word excited can’t begin to describe how I felt. I remember going to the area where the parade was lining up and finding the car we were going to be riding in. It was a long, blue car with the top down. The beauty queen was sitting in the back on top of the seat and two handsome young men were sitting in the seats on either side of her. My grandfather, of course, was driving and I was sitting beside him where I was supposed to stay.

So it was time for the parade to begin, we started down Dexter Avenue and I never gave that beauty queen or the two handsome young men another thought. All I could hear were the bands playing, the bass drums beating and all the people screaming and I was just sure it was all for me!  Now let me stop here to explain a few things before I go any further. I loved my grandparents dearly and I loved spending time with them but I didn't pick their grandparent names! I don't know who did.  We called my grandfather by his first name, which was Doug. My grandmother's first name was Louise but I didn't know that until I was probably 11 or 12 years old because all of her grandchildren called her Coot. Yes, I said Coot.  Ok so having told you that, let’s get back to the parade! As we were moving down Dexter Avenue in the long, blue convertible, with the beauty queen in the back and the two handsome young men on either side of her, I spotted my grandmother, Coot, standing on the sidewalk near the curb. Well there was only one thing to do!! I jumped up in the seat and started yelling at the top of my lungs “Hey Coot, Hey Coot.” I didn’t see a problem with doing it but I guess my grandfather did. I did not know that the name her grandchildren affectionately called her was not know by her friends and acquaintances and I guess she preferred to keep it that way. Anyway, my grandfather pulled me back down in the seat and told me to HUSH!!! I wasn't really sure why but I did as I was told! Montgomery was still a fairly small town then and I guess lots of her friends were there within easy earshot of my voice. The rest of the parade was pretty uneventful, just more bands playing and people screaming but to one little girl in a beautiful yellow coat with white fur accessories and a beauty queen sitting behind her, it was the most magical, memorable night of her life and she won't ever, ever forget it!  Thank you Coot and Doug for giving me such a special Christmas memory!  P.S. I don’t know what happened to the yellow wool coat, but I still have the white fur accessories!

Below are some old family photos I found as I was writing this post.

Comments(3)

  1. REPLY
    Holly Sheehan says

    Beautiful memory of a special time with our beloved Coot and Doug. Also love the pictures you posted.

  2. REPLY
    Becky Allen Cox says

    Chrys asked me to share my favorite Christmas Memory from my childhood and honestly I do not have a favorite. All my Christmas memories growing up were all wonderful and when I think of past Christmases they just kind of run together as one big Wonderful Christmas Memory. I grew up in a small Town and was raised by my Aunt and Uncle who were older like my Grandparents. They me at the age of 2 after my mother died. I was born in Montgomery and lived there with my mother and father and 2 older brothers until my mother died. My brothers were 5 and 9 and my father took care of them but it was my mother’s wish that I live with my Aunt and Uncle whomwe called Pal and Papa and they lived in Tuskegee, Alabama. Tuskegee was a beautiful little Town at Christmas! Pal and Papa made my childhood so special all the time, but especially at Christmas! Pal was very creative and loved to decorate, wrap presents, bake and sew for Christmas. We always had a real tree (Douglas Fir) that was usually ordered from Mr. Taylor at Taylor’s Grocery. She would also go into the woods in the back of our house and cut branches of cedar and gather magnolia leaves from our yard to decorate with. Oooh the wonderful smells of Christmas!!! She would also decorate with oranges and apples and candy canes that just added even more to the wonderful smells. Pal would spend weeks decorating, buying gifts for Christmas and baking cookies and cakes and special treats for gifts for Christmas. As I mentioned before the little Town of Tuskegee would also get all dressed up for Christmas. There were decorations on all the City Light Poles and the Town Square would have a Tree and Santa of course would be in a special chair seated in the middle waiting for the children to visit him. My best friend (Debbie) lived 2 doors down from me, her parents owned the Drug Store Downtown and I can remember us going to a Town late in the afternoons during Christmas Time waiting for the Christmas lights to be turned on. We would just be in Aw and so excited!? I can remember thinking it was just the most beautiful sight I had ever seen! We were also members of The First Baptist Church and would always have Christmas Pageants or Programs that we would participate in. Also one of my special memories is that our Pastor would always come to our house on Christmas morning to see what Santa Clause had left. All of this always made Christmas so very Special for me! I have included a picture of Debbie and I in the Town Square with Santa!

  3. REPLY
    Becky Allen Cox says

    Chrys asked me to share my favorite Christmas Memory from my childhood and honestly I do not have a favorite. All of my Christmas memories growing up were all wonderful and when I think of past Christmases they just kind of run together as one big Wonderful Christmas Memory. I grew up in a small Town and was raised by my Aunt and Uncle who were older like my Grandparents. They took me at the age of 2 after my mother died. I was born in Montgomery and lived there with my Mother, Father and 2 older brothers until my Mother died. My brothers were 5 and 9 and my Father took care of them but it was my Mother’s wish that I live with my Aunt and Uncle whom we called Pal and Papa and they lived in Tuskegee, Alabama. Tuskegee was a beautiful little Town at Christmas! Pal and Papa made my childhood so special all of the time, but especially at Christmas. Pal was very creative and loved to decorate, wrap presents, bake and sew for Christmas. We always had a real tree (Douglas Fir) that was usually ordered from Mr. Taylor at Taylor’s Grocery. She would also go into the woods in the back of our house and cut branches of Cedar and gather Magnolia leaves from our yard to decorate with. Ooooh the wonderful smells of Christmas! She would also decorate with oranges and apples and candy canes that just added even more to the wonderful smells. Pal would spend weeks decorating, buying gifts for Christmas and baking cookies and cakes and special treats for gifts at Christmas. As I mentioned before the little Town of Tuskegee would also get all dressed up for Christmas. There were decorations on all the City Light Poles and the Town Square would have a tree and Santa of course would be in a special chair seated in the Middle waiting for the children to visit him. My best friend (Debbie) lived 2 doors down from me, her parents owned the Drug Store Downtown and I can remember us going to Town late in the afternoons during Christmas Time and waiting for the Christmas lights to be turned on. We would just be in Aww and so excited! I can remember thinking it was just the most beautiful sight I had ever seen! We were also members of The First Baptist Church and would always have Christmas Pageants or Programs that we would all participate in. Also one of my special memories is that our Pastor would always come to our house on Christmas morning to see what Santa Clause had left. All of this always made Christmas so very Special for me! I have included a picture of Debbie and I in the Town Square with Santa!

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