The Christmas Bounty!

I received so many amazing gifts this year, and loads of vintage Christmas things (I think my loved ones must know me well) I won’t be able to fit everything I got into a post, but wanted to give you a glimpse. I’ll have some more photos over on Flickr too. Up first is the awesome Santa set from 1960. I wish I knew more on the history of these iconic santa head mugs, since I always see them all over. This set was from Thomas, and includes a Santa head pitcher (something I have never seen!) Each piece is signed Evelyn and dated Dec 1960 on the bottom. So I wish I knew more about that. Was there a paint your own pottery place you could go to back then? If so is this the same reason I find those awesome ceramic cupcakes in thrift shops? Either way, I love them!

Next up, also from Tom is a set of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer baking pans with box from Bake King. The box is so beautiful, and makes me laugh because if you cooked and frosted the cake, no one is ever going to know there was reindeer on the top. It came with a note saying it was made in 1939, the same year Rudolph was introduced for use by the Montgomery Ward company.

He also gave me the Santa Head salt and pepper shakers which were made in Japan. :)

And…on to the books! I’ve got a bunch, From Tom, Heather, My In-Laws, and Sean + Amanda.
Tipping the Velvet
We saw the mini series by the BBC which came out on dvd in 2004 and really loved it. Some of the reviews say things like “Pride & Prejudice with naughty bits” and “Beautiful and provocative”. I want to re-watch the mini series once I finish the book.

Adam & Eve-by Sena Jeter Naslund, she wrote the book Ahab’s Wife: Or, The Star-gazer which I really loved. I’ve read a few of her other books and liked them, but I really loved Ahab’s Wife.

An Object of Beauty-Which is Steve Martin’s (yep the actor) new book. Again I liked all his other novels, most especially The Pleasure of My Company

St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves I have been trying to get this book from the library, but still nothing in the Franklin county systems, so I was excited to get a copy for Christmas!

The Replacement My sister got me this book, which I had never heard of…but am intrigued to read! The cover says “Edward Scissorhands meets The Catcher in the Rye” So it sounds good to me. We both some times like those creepy books. I got her a copy of There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales for Christmas, so you see where we are going with this ;)

A Great and Terrible Beauty Also from my sister…I don’t know a lot about it, but someone else recommended it so it has been on my Goodreads to-read list.

The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook Tom’s parents got this for me, and I am so excited to use it! Pumpkin pasties, treacle tart! My youngest son was excited about this one too. I’ll be sure and post once we make some of the goodies. We are having some friends over soon who are also Harry Potter fans so I think we need to cook up a few things.

The I Love Trader Joe’s Cookbook-also from Tom’s parents…I love Trader Joes so I was really excited for this, however after a flip through it looks like a lot of meat recipes. I still need to sit down and check it out fully though before I make any real judgement :)

Doughnuts Tom’s parents got me this tasty cookbook along with mini and regular sized donut pans, and a couple of donut mixes.

-a Pinocchio from Sean + Amanda for my collection, with this illustration for the cover. :)

All these new books prompted me to clean all the bookshelves yesterday and organize them. Now all my vintage kid’s books are more in one place, and the Alice books have a bit more space.

Here are some more Christmas goodies! The tiny wooden ornaments to the right were from my sister. Every year she collects cute little ornaments and tapes them to the front of my gifts. It is like getting a gift on top of another gift! The rolly polly Santa’s in the back are from Sean + Amanda. I love that they make me think of Humpty Dumpty disguised as Santa Claus. The matchbox Santa and silver Christmas cone were gifts from Katie. She also gave me the cutest labels and seals which I could never ever use! I’ll have to post those over on Flickr too.

Tom tricked me this year by not filling my normal stocking, but pulling out this beautiful blue one filled with goodies instead. it had the eggnog soap, a little vintage Santa (not pictured) and a bunch of other goodies inside. The homemade jam in from my sister, the little clay gingerbread man walking his pet snake was from my youngest son (which he wrapped himself in tin foil and slipped secretly into my regular stocking) and the playmobile (for my collection) and vintage gnomes were from Tom.

My Mom made me this cute owl pin cushion, isn’t it sweet? She also sent me some kitchen goodies, and a Annalee Elf ornament. My Mom used to work for the Annalee company when we lived in New Hampshire, so I am always on the look out for the dolls in thrift shops and stuff. Sadly now all the dolls are made in China instead of New Hampshire, but it makes the hunt for the old ones a bit more of a challenge. I recently missed out on two of the stockings with mice heads peeking out of the bottom (and they were the NH ones) that a lady at the thrift shop found right before me. We chatted a little in line about the company, and she was really sweet so I am glad they found a good home.

The pillowcases are from my sister, and she got me the matryoshka shower curtain and rug! All of which I had secretly been wanting to buy for myself, but didn’t tell anyone! So what an amazing surprise to open them on Christmas.

Angels! The one of the left was from Heather, again was tied to the top of a present (see a gift on top of a gift!!) and the other was from Tom…I have never seen one quite like her :) Now I’ve got 6 angels, one sits on top of the white tree because she lights up and has a light in each hand.

Since this blog entry is gonna be insanley long as is, I’ll put the other photos with descriptions over on Flickr. You can also see a few of the things I bought for people this year, I don’t really have any photos of the stuff I made….
Some of the things I made included..
(2) bacon scarves using this pattern which was super easy and worked up pretty quickly, a purse and zippered bag using this fabric for some horse lovers I know, a laptop sleeve for a brand new laptop using this fabric, The Harry Potter dolls which included Harry, Hermione, Ron, Malfoy, and Hagrid, a Totoro Pillow, (2) Totoro ornaments, a peach doll based off my nephew’s drawing for his animation company Happy Peach Productions, a simple pumpkin colored knit scarf, and a mustard colored purse that I think was a bit of a fail, but the receiver was sweet and pretended it was great haha. I think that is all the handmade gifts I managed this year. I really had grand plans for handmade gifts galore, but you know the time just flies by and suddenly it is Christmas Day. Next year I need to start those handmade gifts in the Summer.

We also gave out the Ramen flavored Komforte Chockolate bars to almost everyone. I love that they are the creation of Blair’s (wisecraft) husband Peter and his partners Frank and Robert, and made in the USA. I may have even slipped a bar into my stocking ;) I figured the teenagers we know who love ramen would especially find the idea of ramen chocolate a fun one.

There were also Etsy buys, legos (oh my there are ALWAYS the legos!) and other random things like a pixelated tie (just wish it wasn’t a clip on ugh), a custom made bag (I love the folks at reload! They made the process of ordering a special bag easy and it arrived in plenty of time for Christmas), a thrifted stack of Weird Al cds (for $1 each!!!), 1 giant tub of banana flavored laffy taffy (for one of my mother in law’s gifts, and honestly she was so happy! We got her one of these last year too and she said it was long gone. Personally I can’t stand anything with “banana flavoring” because it reminds me of getting car sick on a long road trip where my sisters were gobbling down circus peanuts. Yuck.), a couple Canon Len coffee mugs (have you seen these things? they are so funny, and pretty great gifts for camera lovers), and books….books are my go-to gift :)
This sock monkey book was great for a monkey fan we know, and check out the whole Etsy shop. I love those sock monkey pins!

I know all these ideas might have been a help before Christmas, right? But I didn’t want to spill any of the beans. So maybe you can get a jump start on ideas for next year, or something for that special Valentine? Goodness I don’t want to think about February yet!

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12 Responses to The Christmas Bounty!

  1. hodzer says:

    OMG. I want a bacon scarf!!! They’re fantastic. All of your gifts/ideas are so great. All I got was a well-deserved lump of coal (according to Barry!). I had a stocking very similar (in red) to the blue one growing up that we would put on our cardboard fireplace.

  2. “Paint your own pottery” used to be called “doing ceramics.” :)

  3. Tiffany says:

    I gave that Harry Potter cookbook as a gift this year! It had a lot of great reviews.

  4. Amanda says:

    I used to go to a paint-your-own ceramics place with my grandmother in the early 80’s. They had shelves and shelves of projects and supplied the paints. When you finished your work, they’d fire them and you could return to pick them up. My grandmother “specialized” in doll heads and hands, but there were all sorts of projects available. Not sure if that’s where your Santa set came from, but it’s certainly possible.

  5. Maggie says:

    St. Lucy’s is one of my favorite books! The short story by the same name is the best short story I’ve ever read. I have read it and re-read it. I also love A Great and Terrible Beauty.

  6. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Sarah Waters, and I got one of her books for Christmas, too (Affinity)!

  7. sue says:

    I love that your Mom used to work for Annalee! I live in New England and my Mom and I would make the pilgrimage to Meredith, NH. They would always have a great sale on the side porch of the main store at the end of the summer. I always look for the old ones too. The NH ones were so much better.

  8. Debbie says:

    My mom had a set of those santa mugs and a pitcher — she did indeed “make” them at a paint-it-yourself ceramics type place. Sadly my mom was not a sentimentalist (I don’t think Navy wives really can be, too much) and they did not survive. Hopefully she did give them to a thrift store and somebody is enjoying them still. (Though I wonder about the lead content …)

  9. Wanett says:

    Thanks for all of those book links!! I have added a lot to my goodreads list!

  10. Lisa says:

    Hi I am Lisa the librarian and I comment here from time to time and I just wanted to say that Great and Terrible Beauty and it’s two successors are fantastic books, but that you also must must must! read Libba Bray’s Going Bovine. It is the surreal story of a gnome, a dwarf, a road trip and mad cow disease! I think you will love it.

  11. Federica says:

    How WONDERFUL gifts

  12. Susanne says:

    About your Santa mug set: my mom has a set that includes a cookie jar from the same era. My great aunts actually made them in their basement. They owned the Santa molds for them along with molds for many other holidays and had their own oven. Buying ceramics molds and painting yourself used to be a very popular hobby. My favorite thing I have from them is the most amazing Halloween witch. Another fav from them is huge light up ceramic Christmas trees!