The old ones are the best, so the saying goes. Decorating the Christmas tree with these oldies every year I agree. They don’t make them quite like this any more!
These hand-painted baubles are probably more than 60 years old. They hung around on the tree at my auntie and uncle’s house when I was a child and when they passed away and the house was sold, I brought them home to adorn my family’s tree.
They were probably from Woolworth’s. In the 1950s it was a wonderful bazaar of all manner of interesting, diverse things to buy. The more modern Woolworth’s wasn’t a patch on the old style with dark wooden boarded floors, wooden counters and assistants working behind them serving customers with anything from sweets, jewellery, and clothes to homewares, paint and shovels.Christmas decorations were on sale in December and baubles like these – made of some kind of fragile glass-like material – were exciting to look at. There wasn’t an excess of them on display, just enough. No wonder my eyes glaze over when I see the glittery snowy grottoes of lights and displays of decorations in my local garden centre. There’s too much dazzling stuff to choose from so I switch off and happily, comfortably, return to my inherited vintage treasures.
These baubles come with a history and with meaning. My favourite, as a child, was the red toadstool with silvery-white spots. It’s still my favourite and it goes near the top of the tree. My adult children may have had a few gentle digs about the old decorations in the past, but they now want the tree, “traditional style”, to look the same as it did when they were growing up.
The magic remains.