Monday, December 28, 2009

Giant Elf Invades Home!

Each Christmas a Giant Elf invades our home and passes out the presents from under our Christmas tree. It's been many years since we first took a picture of this Giant Elf. The first photo was taken with a Polaroid camera! Polaroids do not hold up well and the picture, which hangs year round on our bulletin board, has scratches and fading.

This Christmas we had the opportunity to grab a new picture of the Giant Elf with our nifty digital camera. Who knew that a Giant Elf would become even more giant! Here is what he looks like now.

I also notice that my Santa collection was not very big when the Giant Elf was first photographed.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Santa Is At My House .. Better Be Good!

I thought I would give you a look at some of my Santa collection. What you see above is how our fireplace basically looks every Christmas. I have so many Santas that I cannot put them all on display every Christmas. It's not that I don't want to, I just hate packing them back up. Years ago I had Santas and Christmas trees in every room in my house. I still have all of them, but laziness...ugh ....has taken over.

So every year I get my favorites down and put them in our den where they would be seen the most. It makes me happy to see them every year and they bring back wonderful memories. Included in my favorites recently are my Mr. Bingles, even though they are not Santas, they are Santa helpers! Below you can see my 3 Mr. Bingles are keeping company with my (year round) Buddah in his Santa hat, 2 Coca Cola Santas (neither has a Coke), a chalkware Santa (on right between the Coke Santa and Charlie Brown), and various smaller stuffed and animated Santas. OH, and I cannot forget my husband's favorites! He has 2 Sugar Bear (stuffed) ornaments which you can see hanging on the handles to the firescreen doors, in the company of a sock monkey Santa ornament and a crazy felt triangle Santa ornament made years ago by my favorite "crafty" Aunt Vera in North Carolina.

Here is our tree. By the way, I have a small Mr. Bingle on the tree too. My favorite ornaments are vintage translucent red plastic bells and various colored vintage mercury glass pine cone ornaments. We also have a couple of vintage mercury glass UFO shaped ornaments that are fun. I don't care how old or scratched vintage ornaments become, they are much better than bright, shiny new ones.

See that large stuffed Santa on the left under the tree?? That was made over 30 years ago for our then infant son.

Here are some vintage Santas on a bookcase in the hallway. The large gold one is a favorite. Not sure what it is made of, but the face appears to be painted paper mache or something of that sort. He is very old, I would guess from the 50s. The white Santa on the left and the red one at far right have "bags" that are planters. The small red Santa kicking his leg up is a musical Santa with a red top hat and cane, which was given to me many years ago by my parents.

And, below, is one of our favorite decorations...our LEON....well, to anyone else it would be NOEL, but every year in our house it is LEON!

Finally, here is a picture of a very special little plastic Santa (blowing his yellow horn) that has gone through MANY years with me. I have had him since sometime in the 1950's. So long ago that I don't remember NOT having him.

Hope you enjoyed seeing some of my Santa decorations. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry 1960's Christmas - Our Visit to ATOM

"ATOM is the acronym for the Aluminum Tree and Aesthetically Challenged Seasonal Ornament Museum & Research Center. Established in Brevard, North Carolina in 1997, ATOM is the world's only Museum dedicated to the preservation and public display of vintage aluminum trees. "

The above is a direct quote from the website for the ATOM museum.
I have heard about this museum before, but almost forgot about it, until I ran across something on the internet recently. The museum has 2 locations, one in Nashville, TN and the one in Brevard. Since Brevard is not far from our SC home, my husband and I decided a visit to the museum would be a perfect day trip. We own 4 aluminum trees: a 2 foot hanging wall tree, a 4 foot, 6 foot and 7 foot tree. Space is limited in our house and we have not set them up in several years. We like them though, they take us back to the days of our youth...uh, well....many years ago.

So off we went last Wednesday and here is a taste of what we saw...

Above are the Dolly Parton theme tree and the Elvis theme tree.

The tree above that is veiled in nylon net is the Tammy Faye Bakker theme tree. Decorations on this tree include false eyelashes, various makeup, pointy toe high heel shoes, a wig with hair curlers and putty knives which the sign at the tree states are to be used to apply the makeup!
I also found a short video to give a better idea of the museum contents.

Although the museum was small, the visit was fun and we both enjoyed seeing all the trees in their various heights, colors, and decorations.

Merry 60's Christmas!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jingle, Jangle, Jingle....I found Mr. Bingle !

'Tis the season.....for Mr. Bingle, Santa's little snowman helper. More on that in a minute.

Today we went to Walhalla, SC, for "business" and pleasure. One part of the pleasure was eating at the Steakhouse Cafeteria, where they don't serve steak. Well, maybe country fried steak. We have heard that they only have steak ONCE a year....Christmas Eve, I think. But if you ever go and have their fried chicken, then you are hooked on it! Today they had my favorite dessert, Apple Dumpling.

We missed the Christmas parade this year in Walhalla. We like to attend every year. Their parade is not so "citified" and commercial. They have tractors! Lots of them. My favorite is an old red Farmall. And horses every year after Santa! This years best theme float winner was Sons of Confederate Veterans, Rebels in Gray. Wonder if they fired their rifles this year? One year they did and it was deafening.

After our visit in Walhalla, we came back by way of Seneca and Easley, stopping at several thrift stores along the way. At one store in Seneca, I looked at the Christmas decorations, remembering a couple of years ago when I found a Mr. Bingle at a Goodwill in Greenville, and said to my husband, "Wish I could find another Mr. Bingle." One last Goodwill on our way home was in Easley. I looked at the clothes while my husband looked at other stuff. I wandered over his way and there, sitting right on the top of a pile of stuffed toys was.....MR. BINGLE!! Waiting there just for me!! I have never had a wish granted so quickly! I grabbed him up and hugged him to my chest and off we went to the register to make Mr. Bingle mine. He rode home on my lap. Now, here is my new Mr. Bingle. He is from 1996 and is in very good condition.

For those who don't know, Mr. Bingle is a New Orleans institution! He was created and designed by Emile Alline, an employee of Maison Blanche department store, in 1947. Mr. Bingle shares his initials "MB" with the store.

Here is a video to show you how Mr. Bingle became Santa's little helper.

If you want to know more about Mr. Bingle you can go here:

Mr. Bingle

or here:

Mr. Bingle Fans
Now I have to get my Christmas decorations down so my other two Mr. Bingle's can join my new one. Here is a picture from a couple of Christmases ago. That is me with my 1987 Mr. Bingle (the Goodwill find) on the left and my 2007 Mr. Bingle which I purchased at Dillard's on our trip to NOLA that year.

Jingle, jangle, jingle
Here comes Mr. Bingle
With another message from Kris Kringle
Time to launch your Christmas season
Maison Blanche makes Christmas pleasin'
Gifts galore for you to see
Each a gem from MB!