My husband will be starting his “quest” soon. That’s what he calls Christmas shopping for me. As he’s described it on more than one occasion: “the gifts have to be unusual because you’re an unusual person.”
Yeah, I admit I’m an odd one, but I’m a relatively easy person to give gifts to because I appreciate history and love little old things–things like Cracker Jack prizes, Heinz pickle pins, Oscar Meyer wiener whistles, bottle stoppers, and assorted bits like that. You just can’t go wrong with little things from yesteryear. That antiques lived lives before they came into mine is one of the things I love best about them. You can almost feel the history on some pieces. That’s why I write.
I was a collector of small antiques and collectibles long before I met my husband. My interest in old things began at age 5 when I received a birthday package with a wind-up tin duck from 1930 and a Civil War era hand-carved wood decoy with crazy offset hobnail eyes. (I was into ducks back then, imprinting like a duckling on a Chicago TV show that had a weekly visit from a duck named Chelveston ) These gifts came from a great uncle in California who owned an antique store that supplied Hollywood movie sets.
Every once in a while my uncle would send some little this or that he thought I might like. The little things he sent were often broken. That sounds so strange to say. Why would an uncle send a kid broken things? But he and I were cut from the same cloth. Just because he couldn’t sell that Victorian bronze cherub broken off its inkwell base didn’t mean the artistry of the cherub was any less. He sent it to me because he knew I’d see that too. And I did. My husband understands this about me too. In fact, he’s been the largest contributor to my collection of small things —38 years worth. He calls them little bits of junk. I think of them as little bits of love. I offer proof:
On one quest, my husband found an antique rubber crow decoy. It sits atop my living room curtains. I couldn’t begin explain why, but I put little hats on it as whimsy strikes me. Thinking my crow’s wardrobe selection too small, my daughter made an assortment of styles for every season and then some. My favorites are the viking helmet and sombrero. Sometimes the crow wears a derby and a mustache.
lol I guess I am unusual.
On a keepsake theme, there was a time when cards and letters exclusively told friends and family you cared. Vintage holiday postcards and greeting cards are often beautifully done things and I think the fact so many were kept as keepsakes says it all. From now until January, I’ll put a vintage holiday postcard up for you to enjoy.
I just love the spats the girls are wearing.
Scroll down to see previous vintage postcards and read how postcards became popular greetings to send and what is cost to send them, and about the changes made to the images after WWI. Subscribe to get them in your inbox!
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