Below is a photo of our second Christmas tree - the Green Room Tree - that is now standing tall and proud in our front room. This is the tree you see from the street and the one that is full of white lights and vintage ornaments. Otherwise known (at least around here) as Nat's 'fancy tree'. Over the weekend, I shared a photo of our Family Room tree . This one is smaller, less girth-y and is 18" or so shorter. But, just like the one in the family room has a lovely shape and, similarly, came from Wisconsin. I've been tracking these trees on the blog over the years. This is the 17th tree that I've documented and is the second one of this season (2021). Here's our 2021 Green Room Tree . Just like in years past: a little smaller than Family Room. But just about perfect-looking. Here's our 2021 Family Room Tree - between 8' and 9' tall and picture-perfect shape. Here's our 2020 Green Room tree - about 6' tall in total and perfect
Showing posts with the label christmas decor
On Monday, I posted a photo of our family room Christmas tree . That was the larger of our two trees from Evergreen Acres in Wisconsin. I said at the time that the tree was the 13th Christmas tree that I've posted about over the years here on the blog and the fourth Family Room tree in our house in Downers - that we moved into in the Summer of 2017. But, that was wrong. I forgot to include our Green Room Tree in 2019 to my list. So, technically, Monday's tree was the 14th. And this tree makes 15. For our new house, we've been here for four Christmas seasons: 2017, 2018, 2019 and now 2020. In each of those three previous years - and again this year - we have a second tree in our house - a smaller tree in the front room. Or, Green room. Or, Library. Depends on who describes it. This year - like previous - we cut down a smaller Fraser Fir and Nat decorated it with vintage ornaments in our front window. Here it is below: White globe lights, vintage ball ornaments
Earlier this year, I posted about the new (to us) Christmas Tree Farm up in Wisconsin called Evergreen Acres and how we cut down a handsome pair of trees and brought them home. One of those trees has gone in our front green room (more on that in a separate post) and the other one ended up in our Krinner XXL tree stand in our family room. Here it is below: The tree is about two feet shy of our ceiling, so let's call it eight feet tall. It is a lovely tree that is also drinking a TON of water - all the way up until now (mid-December). Here's some of our previous Christmas trees from over the years. Here's our 2019 Family Room tree that we bought from Wannemakers . Was taller than 2020's tree. Here's our 2019 (small) Green Room Tree . Here's our 2018 Family Room Tree . Here's v1 of our 2017 tree - our first in Downers Grove. Here's v2 of our 2017 tree - the one in our family room . Here's our 2016 tree - our last one in Elmhurst . Here's o
Early October means....Christmas time! At least, that's how the fine folks at Menards view it. And, I'm happy to admit this: My name is Jake. And I'm ok with Christmas Creep! I've covered Menards Enchanted Forest Christmas setup for a number of years now. In 2018 (last year), I posted on September 24th showing off the Enchanted Forest . In 2017, I posted on September 28th . In 2016, I posted on September 26th . In 2015, I posted on October 6th . And, back in 2011, I posted on September 17th . So, October 1st is *late* in terms of when I get around to posting things. I was at the Bolingbrook store over the weekend, so I suppose this could have, technically, been a September post. But, I didn't get around to posting the photos until this am. I love walking through all the Christmas stuff - and the kids love it even more. Also, the one thing that I've learned about holiday decorations at Big Box Stores is that they don't restock stuff
Back in September, Nat and I celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary. 10 years. Holy cow. I find it so hard to believe how lucky I've been. Although I failed at *some* of years in terms of delivering to her the 'traditional' anniversary gifts, I've tried to stick to the plan. For instance...nine years is pottery. So, I got her both a flower pot and a glazed tile. Ten years? The traditional anniversary gift is tin or aluminum . That one had me scratching my head. I try to buy something vintage for these gifts and all my searches turned up housewares (platters or toasters or serving utensils) and I knew those wouldn't work. But then I found this Merry Christmas banner. It is tin. Or maybe aluminum. Not sure. But it *is* metal and super thin and foldable/bendable/creaseable. It was broken at the time - cut into four segments. But the price was right - $5 - and I figured I could use some brads and a hole puncher to reassemble it back together
We have a room in our #newoldfarmhouse that goes by a bunch of names: the front room, library, green room, quiet room. It is your normal formal(ish) living room. But...Whatever we call it, it also is home to our more 'formal' Christmas tree. And is a nice little tree to experience. I posted a photo of our Family Room tree yesterday. That tree is big, gangly, colorful and full of ornaments of various shape and kind. This tree? It is understated. Short (like seven feet tall), white lights, nicely-shaped and has all of our vintage Christmas ornaments on it. It fits perfectly into our Green Room. Like last year, it is a Fraser Fir and glows from the front window . I've posted about our Christmas trees since 2010 including yesterday's tree. Here's our family room tree from this year (2018) that I posted yesterday . Here's v1 of our 2017 tree - our first in Downers Grove. Here's v2 of our 2017 tree - the one in our family room . Here's
Oh Christmas Tree. Oh Fraser Fir Tree. This year, we went back to the Fraser Fir for our family room tree. Or at least we *think* it is a Fraser Fir. This tree is just about ten feet tall and just barely clears our ceiling. Here (below) is a photo of me installing the tree into the stand (the Krinner XXL stand ) to give you a sense for the scale of the height of this tree. Just like last year , our Christmas tree sits in our Family Room - in a corner near our patio doors. Also like last year, we have two trees this year again, but I'll get to the other tree in a separate post. I've posted about our Christmas trees since 2010. Here's v1 of our 2017 tree - our first in Downers Grove. Here's v2 of our 2017 tree - the one in our family room . Here's our 2016 tree - our last one in Elmhurst . Here's our tiny tree from 2015 at Equation Boy/Man and Vic's house . Here's the tree in 2014 at our old house . Here's the post of our 2013 Tr
Up at the Lake Geneva Antique Mall (which...is Trump Country, FYI. MAGA and all that what-have-yous are involved. Also, I think it means that Nat might not let us go back. Also, the fact that the guy asked us to leave because the King of the Ball Tossers was touching toys. Imagine that! Toys!), I came across this pair of Poinsettia candle stick holders. They're marked Napco 1957 on the bottom and have what I assume is a "Made in Japan" sticker that has been smudged pretty harshly. You can see the marks in the photo below. One note: this did NOT come home with us. I didn't particularly love them. And we have just gone through a Christmas season where most of our vintage Christmas collection was relegated to an upper shelf in our green room up front where nobody - including me - could see them. They brought me little joy - and were a pain to unwrap/re-wrap after the season had passed. Not to mention that Nat had purged about half of the pieces - that
Last week, I posted a photo of one of Christmas trees that we had up in our green room . As I mentioned in that post, this year we had two inside Christmas trees. Both bought from the Tammen Treeberry Farm down in Braidwood . This tree wasn't a great looking tree, but it survived remarkably well in terms of staying green and alive. You can kind of tell it is a bit off center and maybe not super symmetrical, but that's because we couldn't settle on a tree out in the tree farm. We've historically preferred Fraser Firs - and that's what we had in the Green Room this year - but we've also had Douglas Firs in the past too. In 2015, our first Christmas not in our own house, we had a Douglas . This tree, is a Douglas. And it was not a great tree for lights and ornaments. The needles were consolidated towards the very extremities. That made it tricky and also made the tree look sparse at times. We ended up with a Douglas because everyone else in our p
There I was: sitting in my office one evening doing some work and mindlessly watching one of my favorite shows 'American Pickers' on the TV. I looked up from my laptop and notice that Frank Fritz has picked up a Santa. I know I've seen it before. I pause and rewind and sure enough.....I *know* that Santa that Frank has in his hands! It is one that Nat picked up at an antique sale somewhere over the past few years. He's now proudly displayed in the front entryway of our #newoldfarmhouse. Check him out below. He's awfully cute taking a nap in his big chair: This piece survived and is proudly displayed. But....with our new house and fresh slate in terms of decorations, we've gone through some growing pains with our vintage Christmas collection. Nat has, wisely, parsed some of 'finds' and has decided that we can't keep all of them ourselves. Of all the pieces that she decided weren't a fit, some of them have been re-hous
A few days ago, I posted a photo of some vintage window Christmas candle lights with these sweet orange bulbs that I came across at a church sale in Westmont . I passed on the candles . Right next to them (you can actually *see* one of the candles in the photo above) was this sweet flocked Christmas Tree that is adorned with fake poinsettias and this very jolly Santa Claus. I took this photo and picked up the tree. Thinking that I really only wanted Santa himself. Then... I remembered my collecting mantra . And set it back down on the table. Hoping another owner came along and put this thing in it's proper place and saving this treasure from the dumpster.
It was just a few days ago that I posted about a vintage plastic Menorah that I came across at an Estate Sale in Elmhurst. But, today, I'm sharing a photo of another ' one that got away '. This time, it was at a Church Sale on 55th Street where I found an entire box of these three-candle vintage holiday lights. With those pretty awesome red/orange flame bulbs. There must have been ten sets of these in the box and it was a 'name your own price' sale. But, I leaned on my collecting mantra and passed on them. Feels like we need to go through a Christmas season before we add more decor for our new place. These things would look awesome perched in the windows of an old house, wouldn't they? I bet they'd cost a fortune to operate in energy costs, but it would be worth it for a few months, right? Oh, and we have SO.MUCH.STUFF. We (I) have to stop buying things. The garage is loaded. The basement...it is LOADED. Once we sort things, I think we
Walking down State Street this week, you'll see that they've gone 'dark' with their windows in preparation for the release of their annual windows featuring Christmas scenes. I covered the same 'coming soon' situation back in 2014 and the day they opened last year here on the blog . We still take our kids down to the Walnut Room every year just as I did when I was a kid with my mom and sister(s). (I actually only remember going with Vic, but I'm guessing that Sharon and Linda were there, too?? I dunno.) Thus, I have a really soft spot in my heart for Marshall Field's at Christmastime and specifically for peering into these windows. Let's hope that the fine folks at Macy's have learned their lesson and won't give us New York City's "hand me downs" like they did last year . Shame on them for that one.
Last year, it was the kaleidoscope effects inside the inflatables. This year, there's something new: fuzzy material like on this inflatable Teddy Bear that they're selling at Menards inside of the Enchanted Forest that they've set up for Christmas. This one is retailing for $99.99, but is the only one that has this fuzz on it. I really liked it and the Bird was all over this one. She kept saying "he's so cuuuuute!" Have to wonder how this will stand up to the elements? We seem to be able to get about four to five years out of our inflatables, depending on their size. Between the motors running out (we sometimes use times, but a lot of time, we just keep them up all day and night long!) or the sun's UV rays fading the colors right out, we seem to be able to amortize the cost across four seasons at a minimum. Looking at it that way, this one costs about $25/season. The first year of inflatables like this never seem to last long in stock, so
The calendar may read September, but the folks at Menards already have Christmas on their mind. Seriously. They have their Christmas stuff up already! Well...most of it. The "Enchanted Forest" isn't up yet because the Halloween inflatables are still up. But, all the lights and lawn items for Christmas - as you can see - are on the shelves. And think we were excited? Just look at the Bird running up and down the aisles celebrating Christmas coming soon. Last year, the Menards in Melrose Park put up their Christmas stuff in early October , so they're a bit ahead of where they were last year. But, this isn't the earliest sighting of Christmas stuff at Menards on record. Here, back in 2011, I posted a photo of the Babe with holiday blow molds on September 17th . Alas, we didn't buy anything from the Christmas section, but we *did* buy a few Halloween items that they still have displayed. Christmas creep is real and I, for one, welcome it.
We spent a few days up in Twin Lakes Wisconsin and besides the beautiful views and lovely screened in porch, I was glad to see that just like in Coloma, there's a pretty active garage sale circuit that one can run on the weekends. Maybe it is a 'lake house town' thing? I found time to stop at one and picked up a few items including this angel above. She's old, but not *that* old because her head is squeeze-y rubber. But she's in impeccable shape. Super bright white. No dirt or marks on her. I also bought a plastic blowmold Santa that takes a light in his back. It is the same one that Nat's parents have on their counter during Christmastime and I *think* it dates back to her Dad's childhood. Which...means it is from the 1950's - 60's? But this one that I bought, just like the angel above, was in just about perfect shape, too! We left the Santa up in Twin Lakes for Grammy and Granddad and who knows? Maybe he'll get a shot at the bi
A few weeks back, I picked up this ornament case and these 14 vintage Christmas ornaments at an Estate Sale in Elmhurst. It was the same sale where I picked up this hobnail milkglass pitcher and this vintage White Sox book . Quite the haul... The ornament case was found where most Christmas stuff ends up - buried either on the floor under a table or in the basement. When I opened the case, it was totally full, but I pulled out the ornaments that I didn't want that were newer and the seller at the sale was glad to keep them to try to sell to someone else. We see these type of ornaments all the time at sales and most of the time they want anywhere between $2 and $4 a piece for each of them. Sometimes they're not even really that old, but just look old. And each time, I usually pass. Both, because glass ornaments like these aren't destined to last super long on our tree with the three savages roaming around and shaking the tree, but also because we have a tree ful
If you look closely at the mark on the bottom of this sled, you'll see the words "Made in Occupied Japan" and that's the very reason why I couldn't pass this Santa and reindeer by at a garage sale in Elmhurst a few weeks back. I've posted many a time about the vintage Christmas stuff we've collected at garage sales, estate sales and antique stores here on the blog , and MOST of them have a little sticker on the back of the figures that reads 'Japan'. But, this is the FIRST piece we've ever bought that says "Occupied Japan". This story says that items marked this way were made in between 1945 and 1952 when the Allies 'occupied' Japan and to encourage the growth of the economy, we imported items during those years as long as they were marked thusly. This is, I think, called celluloid and it is pretty delicate, but it still works. When you roll this forward, the wheels under Santa move and ding a bell every time they rol
That above is a cabinet of little vintage Christmas items that is located in a booth in the Great Lakes Antique Mall in Coloma, Michigan. I've documented this very cabinet for the past few years. I don't appear to have taken a photo of the cabinet in January of this year, so this one is about six months later than normal. Here's a post showing what the cabinet looked like in January of 2015 . Here's the photo from our 2014 trip . And... here's a photo of the case from 2013 trip . I've looked back and forth between today's image and the one from January of 2015 and I see VERY little difference. Wonder if the stuff isn't moving? The shelf in the middle looks a bit more crowded, but I can't confirm that there are indeed, more or less. Can you?
I mentioned in the post from earlier this week featuring a vintage angel Christmas ornament that we were out garage sale'ing this weekend and that there were other treasures that came home with us on Saturday. Above is one said treasure. This pair of carolers were on the table amongst other Christmas stuff, but they were the only things that jumped out to me. They, too, have the same eyelashes as the angel and reindeer , but they also have this on the bottom: Made in Japan? Priced right at under a buck? Sold! I brought them home and snuck them into one of the tubs that are remaining in our garage that are still full of Christmas stuff. We've hauled off most of the stuff to our storage unit, but there are still a few that are on a rack awaiting for me to rent ANOTHER storage unit because the other three are jammed full.