Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Merry Mid-century Christmas

I've always loved the 50's, but somewhere along the line, I became obsessed with mid-century design and decoration.  My love of aluminum Christmas trees goes back to my childhood when we would set up my family's old artificial tree ,which had been replaced with a newer "natural" looking tree, in my bedroom.  It had a rotating base and color wheel.  I still have that tree and accessories and set it up each year in my basement.  But I found this tree at a garage sale a couple years ago and couldn't pass up the $4 price tag.  It's a little worse for wear, but not too bad.  I don't have a color wheel to go with this one -- I wonder how hard it would be to build one... 

I kind of like the way the picture turned out.  Aside from the skirt and tv, it almost looks monochromatic.  Anyway, my wife wanted to set this up in our bedroom this year which is currently hosting my 1952 Admiral television set which was moved from our living room in order to accomadate Thanksgiving this year.  I picked up the tv at a garage sale as well for $25 about 5 years ago.  To finish off the tree, I have a skirt I bought at some point from a garage sale.  I had a completely forgotten about it.  After seeing it, I had a vague memory of getting it -- unusual as I generally remember everything I buy at garage sales.  I love the non-standard Santa on it.

On our Danish-modern end table (thanks, Frank, for classifying those!), we have the foil tree I bought for a $1 at a sale I stopped at in Affton on my way in to work.  It was the first day of school, so I was coming in around 9 a.m., an opportune time for Wednesday garage sales.  The end table (actually plural, we have another plus a coffee table), were bought at a friend's garage sale.  Quite a steal at $20 for the 3.

The light up snowman and Santa were antique store finds as well as the bulk of the nativity, although I did find supplementary characters at a garage sale this summer.  The pieces are plaster or chalkware, not sure which.  These probably date a little earlier than the 50's, but certainly not out of place.


About 8 years ago (I know this because it was just a few days after I almost burned my house down at Halloween, but that's another story!), I hit a sale of a former antique mall booth operator.  He was selling some good stuff at fairly deep discount.  One of the items I bought was this plastic Santa and reindeer:

I bought the cardboard Santa standing behind them at the same sale.  These elves were purchased at an estate sale.  They had been broken and glued together, but they called to me.  The little tree was bought at another sale for $1.  It's made in Japan and the red ornaments light up with the help of a couple batteries in the base.

This porcelain Santa and tree were bought at separate sales, each $1.

This Christmas girl, like the elves above, had an abusive past.  Her head has been broken off and glued back on.  Probably not worth more than the $1 I paid, but I liked her and the old lady who sold her to me seemed sincerely sad to see her go.

Ten cents bought the stencils for making these which is less than their original discounted price of 29 cents:

This last decoration certainly isn't mid-century, but isn't Santa Claus timeless?  He was bought for $5 along with a bunch of other blown plastic Christmas decorations I bought a few years back.  I've always wanted to decorate the front window as a department store window.  This is the closest I've come.  Some day...

Incidentally, the candelabra in the window is also a garage sale find from this past summer.  I bought 4 of those plus a load of C9 lightbulbs for the Christmas lights I hang from the house each year.

1 comment:

  1. that tree skirt is fantastic! who could be grumpy around that santa??

    you're welcome about the mid-century modern thing, too. i love that stuff, and your pieces are drool-worthy.


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