Updated: May 10
Probably whilst most of you were catching the last few rays of summer back in September, I was busy trailing the internet and charity shops looking for Christmas decorations (sad, I know)
I’d got it into my head that this year I needed a retro Christmas tree. I wanted to recreate that nostalgic feeling of when we were kids and got all excited about bringing out those beautiful mercury glass baubles down from the loft.
I’d think anyone over the age of 30 will remember the ones I’m talking about, even if they were at your Grandparent’s.
Concave fronts, silk threads and most of them hand painted (not to mention extremely fragile) when you actually stop and take the time to look at these old baubles, there’s something very special about them.
As bad luck would have it, only a couple of weeks before I started my search my Mum had just sold all my Grandma’s old decorations, thinking that no one would want them…gutted!
So the search began and let me tell you, it wasn’t as easy (or as cheap) as you might think. My main port of call thankfully though, was the good old eBay.
I managed to get hold of quite a few “job lot” auctions, most likely from house clearances, however I was shocked at how expensive some of these retro baubles were going for.
My Mother bless her, had taken it upon herself to trawl the charity shops in her local area and also managed to find a good selection for me too.
Much to her annoyance, she had a little incident with around ten of them when she decided to give them a slight wash. Unfortunately for her, she found out that in those days, whatever paint they used, just came off with water.
To try and rectify this, she decided to blow dry them to stop the paint from running. She plugged in the hair dryer, only to find out that it was already switch on and it blew all of them onto the floor where they ultimately smashed (I said they were fragile didn’t I?)
Nevertheless I managed to get a good number of decorations ranging from the 1950’s to 1980’s, combined with some new baubles in a vintage style by Christopher Radko from Macy’s in New York.
Finally yesterday, when the beginning of December was here upon us, it was time to get the Christmas tree and see if my vision would come to life.
I got a major bargain on a real 7ft Nordman fir Christmas tree from Aldi for £25, which by the way, can surprisingly fit into an Audi TT with ease.
Once home, I managed to get the tree up the two flights of stairs to my apartment and I started to decorate it and you know what, memories actually started to flood back.
Who knows whether it’s just my age now, but I did get very nostalgic about the past and Christmas’ I’d had with my family growing up.
For me there is something special about Christmas and it’s not about the presents. The bit I love the most and I do every year, is the feeling of remembering that magic you felt as a kid.
To this day, my favourite part of Christmas is decorating the tree, it reminds me of helping my Mum and Dad put up our family tree as a child.
Dad would always play Christmas songs on the Hi-Fi whilst he sorted out the tree and the lights, meanwhile my Mum and I would sort out the baubles and decorations (my older Brother on the other hand just used to lay on the sofa with no interest whatsoever, but he always made sure he was there with us)
This year however, it was me putting up the decorations as a so-called “adult” by myself. I popped on some Christmas tunes just like my Dad always did when I was younger and I unwrapped all these vintage baubles thinking god knows what stories these tiny glass ornaments hold.
It sounds cheesy, but it did really start to make me feel quite emotional. Maybe it’s because this year my family has gotten even smaller or maybe it was just me wishing I could go back to younger (and simpler) years, but I was shocked how these seemingly simple ornaments could evoke such feelings.
Around three hours later and with probably a thousand pine needles on my floor, the tree was finished. Teamed with 1000 ‘warm white’ fairy lights, the vintage baubles shined as bright as they did decades ago.
Some people may think of it as only a tree, but for me it’s always been more than that. This year more than ever, I’m glad that my love of vintage design as helped bring loving memories flooding back.
Surprisingly too, I only had one casualty to the dreading ‘bauble drop’ which, let’s face it, it wouldn’t of been Christmas without at least one breakage now would it?!