V I N T A G E  C H R I S T M A S - About

How did I decide to do a venture, where I go 'hog wild' over Vintage Christmas?

Well, I have been collecting vintage items and antiques slowly over the last 30 years. Sometimes I'd go years without buying a thing. No crazy collections of any kind, well, except for regular Christmas, every year I'd just buy retail during the holiday season, plus hit the after Christmas sales. So in reality the largest thing I've ever collected has always been Christmas items. This might be the same for you, too.

I've been exposed to Vintage Christmas many times over the years and it never rang my bell. I always helped my MIL decorate her tree from the early 80's to 90's, and most of her ornaments were from the 40's, 50's and 60's. When I was young, I didn't care for them at all, thought they were too old fashioned and/or kitschy and I wanted new stuff. (I was twenty-one and she was fifty-nine when my husband and I got engaged.) Elvis

1950's Jewelry TreeFast forward thirty years. In 2009, I turned fifty, and I decided to have a 1950's themed Cookie Exchange party. I'd already owned some cool 50's items, like the light up jewelry tree in a picture fame, a 1950's black telephone, some 50's Christmas jewelry and some ads from old magazines, which is one thing I've always collected. I went online and bought a bunch of new, colorful cat glasses for party props, as well as red lipsticks and scarves for everyone. I also bought a life sized, talking, gold lamed Elvis cut-out to greet my guests.

There was only one thing missing, the Christmas ornaments. I was telling my friend Leslie, who was visiting me about a week before the party that I needed 50's Christmas ornaments and she immediately jumped on eBay. We looked at auctions that were ending that night. It was late, around 1:00am when we finished. I woke up the next day and had won ALL the ornaments I bid on! A few days later I was the proud owner of about 120 vintage Christmas 50's ornaments, mostly colorful stencils and Polish indenteds. Ooo la la!

After Christmas, as I was putting the ornaments away, I was silently lamenting to myself how sad it was to put such beautiful ornaments away and never see them again, because I had a bad habit of decorating my trees with different themes each year. I decided then and there that I would raffle off (to loan) my 50's Christmas items through my Newsletter Subscriber list at Cookie-Exchange.com. I'd let another cookie exchange hostess use them to decorate her party.

The raffle took place at my first book signing of The Cookie Party Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to Hosting a Cookie Exchange. It was video-taped and the winner was Gail H. from Pennsylvania. I sent Gail several large boxes, she used all the goodies to style her 50's cookie party, then she sent back the boxes after Christmas. Everything in tact, nothing missing or broken AND she added some games to box. That's when the light bulb went off over my head. "I can do this."

The 'busy season' for my self-inflicted job as "The Cookie Exchange Queen" (as named by the media) ends on Christmas Eve, until the following September. On December 26th, 2010, after two years of writing my book and four months of non-stop book promotion, I launched head long into my next passion.... which was to get my hands on as much Vintage Christmas as I possibly could, with the intention of sharing it with as many people as possible. It won't be for everybody, but the people who it will be for, will be forever changed by it.

Falling in love with Vintage Christmas items has put me on a track of learning and discovery, of history and tradition. I've also met some really interesting and very nice people because of it. It's a great community to fall into.

So that's the long and the short of the existence of this website. Contemplate whether you'd like to fall into a new world, a wonderland of Christmas past. And if you chose not to, just enjoy the pretty pictures.

Robin Olson
October 10, 2011