Everything Old

Discover Vintage America - DECEMBER 2020

Christmas items conjure up holiday memories

by Corbin Crable

Merry Christmas to all of our loyal readers, advertisers, and supporters! I hope you’re all gearing up to enjoy a joyous holiday filled with good food, family and friends, and items that remind you of the spirit of the season.

This hand-made Christmas stocking has been a fixture in my own holiday celebrations for decades. I always love visiting my parents’ home and seeing it displayed by the fireplace. (photo courtesy of Corbin Crable)

Whether they’re ornaments, ugly sweaters, or cherished recipe cards, everyone has an item or two that reminds them of Christmases past. This, perhaps more than any other, is a holiday chock full of memorable traditions and nostalgia galore. After the year we’ve had, we can find so much comfort in these things, in the memory of those who have passed, and the people who still surround us as we give thanks for the blessings of the season.

For me, the item that will always have a special place in my heart is the Christmas stocking that has adorned my parents’ fireplace mantle for the past 42 years. Made with loving care by my mother, it is a true testament to the solid craftsmanship that seems to be present in so many handmade, mid-century items we encounter, either in our own home or at our local antique store. The stocking has been carefully stored and preserved for decades, and when I visit my parents’ home this time of year, I know it’s Christmastime when I see that stocking hanging above a roaring fire.

Certainly, this piece isn’t something you might find in a store – not today, anyway. The stitching is in good repair; in an adorable homage to Frosty the Snowman, the fabric sewn into the stocking itself shows a grinning (albeit slightly melting) snowman, a black top hat perched atop his round head. Sequins sewn into the fabric throughout the stocking give it a special sparkle when the early winter sunlight hits them just right. I use the word “cute” far too liberally, but there is no better adjective to describe it.

I can feel the thickness of the fabric in my hands as I hoist the stocking down from the mantle; I can smell the scents of Christmases gone by as I lift it to my nose. The nostalgia of Christmas is so very strong in pieces like this. These special items – whatever they might be for you -- spring all of our body’s senses to life with a rush of memories that envelope us like the safety of a heavy blanket. We feel the warmth and coziness of Christmas and the spirits of those who make the holiday special and meaningful for us, whether they are with us or they have passed on.

Whatever special things or people make your season especially bright this year, I hope you take time to appreciate and savor them in quiet, reflective moments or in celebrations with loved ones. May your Christmas observances keep alive those traditions and things that you hold dear.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night from Discover Vintage America!


Corbion Crable can be contacted at editor@discoverypub.com.

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