We love the splendor of Christmas....it really is the most wonderful time of the year. And we think homemade cookies and candy are dandy, and gifts are grand.
But most of all, we cherish the traditions and memorable moments the season brings. Let's start with vintage and antique ornaments - how to identify them, how to display them, and how to store them.
True antique blown glass ornaments are a thing of beauty, and can be very valuable. But to be honest, we adore the less-expensive "Shiny Brites" and other vintage ornaments that are still fairly easy to find - you may have some in your attic or basement. Whether they're in pristine, like-new condition or if time has mellowed them, they are equally captivating.
Manufacturers recognize our penchant for vintage ornaments, and the market is full of new ornaments that look old. If you're hunting vintage ornaments at an estate sale or online, it pays to know what to look for, especially if you're paying a pretty penny for your baubles.
Do some research before you pay more than a few dollars for a vintage or antique ornament, and know what to look for in the ornament's cap, the thickness of the glass, and the overall condition of the ornament.
Otherwise, we say mix and match what you love and treasure with your new/old ornaments - some day you'll hand those down to another generation of Christmas tree decorators who will cherish them because you loved them. That's what traditions are made of!
Right now, most of us are digging the totes, boxes and bins of ornaments out of storage and preparing to hang them on our tree branches.
Which leads us to a word to the wise: when you tuck them away at the end of this season, take a little extra time and caution with the truly vintage ornaments in your collection. Extreme temperatures and damp conditions can ruin ornaments. If you don't have their original boxes, wrap each one in acid-free tissue paper (widely available online) and place them a plastic drink cup to cradle each one, then place them in single layer in a sturdy box or bin. If you're stacking them in a deeper box or tote, make sure your partitions and the cardboard between each layer is sturdy enough to not be crushed by the weight of the layers above it. Store your ornaments in a dry place, and preferably cool. An interior closet is best, or under a bed.
But for now, enjoy putting them on your tree. Want to know how many baubles your tree needs? Here's a quick calculator to help you estimate your interior illumination and bauble needs.
Note: All photos are courtesy of Pinterest. This article was originally shared with our friends at the Busy Bee Trader in their December 2019 issue. We are proud to create articles and advertise in this long-running guide to antiques and boutique stores in the mid-south.
WHO WRITES THIS STUFF?
I'm Terry Lea, owner of Re-Invintage Home, a vintage home goods shop just south of Nashville in Murfreesboro, TN. A lifelong passion for vintage picking led me to open a shop with my picking pal, Sherri in 2017. Come see us!