Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Flashback: Christmas Decorations and Christmas Day, 2016

In mid-September, 2016, we took a break from blogging but not from adventuring together! We resumed our blogging in March, 2017 and, in between current posts, we have been attempting to recapture the memories of those weeks through "flashback" posts. Thus far, we have caught up on the remainder of September, 2016 and all of October and November, 2016. We are almost caught up on December, 2016, as well. This "flashback" posts covers the period between the third weekend of December and the last weekend of that month.

There were no sales between the third weekend of the month and the weekend that closed out the year. That was no surprise. There hardly ever is. We did finish our Christmas decorating during the third weekend of the month and we were happy just to sit back and enjoy them!


 We decorate most of the house and the downstairs is no exception. It takes us a week to pack everything away that is there during the rest of the year. Only after that is done can we start the Christmas decorating (all vintage). Not everything gets put away. Much of the furniture (tables, etc) is covered with Christmas tablecloths. The cats, in the background, are not put away either. We simply include them.


Elves, snowmen and stockings all find a place downstairs.

Our downstairs shadow box is filled with Christmas.

Large creepy Santas and a creepy snowman.

This shelve unit is filled with as many things as possible.

Ceramic Santas

Lots of elves

More elves

Reindeer and a couple of stockings

More reindeer. We only put out about 25% of the vintage reindeer that we have.

Small blow molds

A blow mold Santa and two blow mold deer.

Our mannequin, Sharon, gets in the Christmas spirit and she has some creepy Santas to keep her company.

Blow mold Santas line to stairs that bring up upstairs.

We love decorating our living room. The shadow box is filled, the lamp provides a great vantage point for some old Santas and most of our walls are covered with Christmas.

We try to leave no space un-Christmased!

As we said, we try to make use of whatever space we can find.

More Christmas. You can see the top of one of our silver trees on the right. We have four aluminum trees but never put out more than two per year. This year, we only put out one aluminum tree (and one green tree).

Our stockings were hung by the fake fireplace with care.

We select a few records to display in a tension pole record holder.

Plastic Santas!

More plastic Santas and some plastic angels and choir members.

A few more plastic Santas.

Plastic snowmen! 

We have a 1950's metal cabinet in our kitchen that we fill with Christmas things.

The bottom two shelves of the metal cabinet.

The top and top shelf of the metal cabinet.

Some of our Christmas salt and pepper shakers.

We even do a little decorating in the bathroom. The pink octopus toilet paper caddy gets a Christmas hat and we bring out all of the Christmas rubber ducks.

We were glad that the decorating was all done. Next year, we promised each other that we would find a way to get it done sooner! 

Christmas Eve always begins with dinner at Monica's sister's house. This was their beautiful tree. 

The kids get to open some of their presents.

Later, we go to Monica's dad's house where we await Santa's visit each year. He has been coming to Monica's childhood house since she was a little girl.

Dad and Santa! 

Christmas Eve family photo - 2016 version! 

Santa driving away until we see him again next year! 

Our Christmas card for 2016.

We hope you had as great a holiday season as we did. Although it is now September, we hope this gets you all in the holiday spirit a little early this year! 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Flashback: The Second And Third Weekends In December, 2016

We are back with another "flashback" post. In the middle of September, 2016, we took a break from blogging but not from adventuring together. We ended that break in March, 2017, and have been attempting to share the missing weeks. To date, we have recaptured the remainder of September, the entire months of October and November and the first week in December, 2016. We still have several more "flashback" posts to go but we are getting ever closer to filling in the gap. This post covers the second and third weekends in December, 2016.

December brings a big slowdown to estate sales as people just don't to be bothered running sales during a very busy month. Many of the tag sale companies take a break during this month as well. Of course, it is the primary season for church holiday sales but they have declined in value greatly in the last few years. We hoped to find a couple of worthwhile sales each weekend. On the second Saturday in December, we found three of them. It was a great break from the workweek and a change in pace for what seemed like the never ending Christmas decorating! With a list in hand and hope in our hearts, off we went!


Our first sale was in our town. It was described as "contents of home". There were no pictures in the ad but Christmas stuff and a twin hospital bed was listed amongst the items there. We are not in the market for a twin hospital bed but that is usually an indication that the things here might be older. That is what we want. 

The house was a converted garage and there weren't many places to search but that doesn't mean that we came away empty-handed! We left with two old Christmas items and a 1970's New York Mets button.

Our second sale was run by a tag sale company and even though there wasn't that much of interest in the pictures, it made our list. There were some baseball cards here and the ones that Rob saw were from the 1960's. Rob loves old baseball cards. Unfortunately, when we drove up to the sale, the line was way too long for us to consider waiting. On to sale #3.


Our final sale was about thirty minutes away and was described as an elderly woman's estate. That was all. Nothing more. No pictures. It still intrigued us.


It had a basement bar which was no longer used for that purpose but it probably had some great stories it could tell!


The basement also had this mounted pencil sharpener and that is usually a good sign. There wasn't all that much to see here but it was a worthwhile trip as we did manage to bring home a record and two old boxes of birthday candles.

After finishing the saling day early, we stopped at Monica's childhood house to visit her dad and then went home to continue the Christmas decorating, a process that continued on Sunday. We did take breaks to relax and to look at the few things we found. This is what we saw:


A Lawrence Welk St. Patrick's Day record.

A 1970's New York Mets button (our second since Rob still has his from the early 1970's) and two old boxes of birthday candles.

A knee hugger elf (marked Japan) and an old blow mold Santa.

We got this, too, but not at a sale. Monica's dad found it in a box and gave it to us knowing how much we would appreciate this old bank promotional item.

The following weekend, the third weekend in December, once again had a very limited selection of sales and the only one we found the entire weekend was on Friday. It was a three-day weekend for us and we began it by going to this sale.


The sale was described as "Grandma's house" with "vintage collectibles and Christmas". The sale was run by one of the busiest tag sale companies in our area but whose sales we frequent a bit less than most simply because the number of vintage sales they hold are fewer than most.


The first room we entered was very bright and very colorful. It clearly had some old things and that gave us hope.


The second room we entered was just as colorful and just as bright. 

The upstairs was where the best things were and we definitely had some digging to do. This room was the music room. The wallpaper was a big giveaway.

Here's a close-up of that cool wallpaper. It was pretty crowded in the rooms we dug through and we did not get any pictures of those rooms. It wound up being a good sale! 

The garage had this great 1966 Ford Cortina! 

Another view of the Cortina.

The front of the Corina. It did not come home with us but look what did come home with us:

Cookbooks

Books

More books

Christmas records

A small, old Mets patch

A vintage record rack

Another view of the record rack

St. Patrick's Day figurines. All marked Japan.

An old Christmas door chime in its box

More Christmas things

Even more Christmas things

Two early 1960's blow mold soldiers in their boxes

We weren't done for the day. After our Friday sale, we made our way to Hicks Nurseries. When we were kids, we would always go every December with our families to visit the Christmas magic of Hicks Nurseries. It has become our tradition now.

Hicks Nurseries...since 1853! 

A couple of Santa's reindeer are here every Christmastime. This year, it was Donner and Blitzen.

One of the reindeer posing for a picture.

Donner and Blitzen.

Christmas blow molds everywhere! 

Nothing says "Christmas" quite like a Darth Vader balloon with a candy cane!

More Christmas blow molds!

Look at that goofy one in the back! Oops...that's Monica! 

There's always a small Christmas village at Hick's. This year's was a little smaller than in the past. There is a Dairy Queen and an old-fashioned Chinese restaurant called Panda Palace.

The Griswolds are represented in the Christmas village. 

The Fisher-Price Fun Factory was in the Christmas village.

Every year, there is an animatronic Christmas story. It is different every year.

This year's animatronic Christmas display wasn't as good as those in year's past but it did have Winter Warlock which definitely gave it extra points!

This giant elf was pretty cool and we did not realize that it was for sale.

That giant Christmas elf can be yours for just $599.00 plus tax.

Our friend, Coco, was there as he is every year! 

This is always the most important reason to go to Hicks every year! We get to see Santa! 

On Saturday, we had our first snowfall of the year. It may not have been much but it sure was beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

We finished our decorating that weekend and our next flashback entry will feature some of those decorations. We'll be back soon!