Sunday, December 26, 2010

26 December “Happy Christmas”

D 53 I have not posted for a few days. It has been a flurry of activity around here and literally did not have my usual afternoon spot of computer time. In some ways, being away from the computer for a few days in a row can be very addictive. I shall not, however, make it a habit in the coming year and will endeavor to post daily.
How funny that here, at the end of 1956, I should be embracing more the vintage things rather than longing for the modern. I love my computer, don’t get me wrong. It allows me to post and write and also more and more do art and create. Yet, as a tool it is fine, but as an eater of time it can be immense. So, when I found myself a few days without it, I did not miss it. But, I would miss all of you and what the blog has come to mean to me.
I wanted to share some photos of gifts today, but our camera has gone missing. I shall then do that tomorrow. But, these past busy days were fun and well, busy. On Thursday, I went to my nieces and helped her prepare for our family Christmas eve party. It is here turn to host, so I was there to help. We have a theme each year and it has spanned from 1950’s to Dickens Victorian. One year we did a black and white ball and all had to dress in black and white (easy for the boys in tux of course). This year the theme was a pajama party! It was fun. We served up breakfast foods, had stockings on the mantle and Christmas parlor games. What fun!
For food there was crab and dill quiche, vegetable quiche, Quiche Lorraine, French toast bake, home fries, and lashings and lashings of bacon and sausage! And, of course, mimosa’s poured heavily and were much imbibed.
And yesterday, Christmas day, we had our family Christmas of hubby and Gussie and I. Then around 4 off to my MIL for dinner and more presents and a fire and relaxing.
So, here I am the day after the holiday and unable to locate my camera. I will today and then post my gifts, and other photos. I am finding it more and more difficult to remind myself to document my life with pictures. When I started, back in 1955, it was more about the project. My life was focused on the minutiae of the day, what to wear, how to cook, what to serve, what I would have watched. This year has lead more to my growth  in these areas and also an increased practice of, oddly enough, computer skills in my little endeavors to make a site and forum.
Now, however, I find those things most likely worth documenting so normal and part of my life I don’t think of them as unique. Then I find myself thinking, “Oh, the guys and gals on the site would have liked to have seen that.”
To me a girdle hanging to drip dry, the fastening of stockings, laying the breakfast table with vintage dishes and a big spread of food, hat, gloves, and heels. All of these things have become such a normal part of my life, I just have sort of moved on as far as thinking them unique. And, in so doing, in many ways this blog has become more about my day than the uniqueness of the 1950’s. Yet, in my daily normalcy, it is very 1950’s so it is still, in many ways a vintage blog. One can get rather mixed up in time when one becomes a time traveler.
I realized yesterday morning how it was all so normal, yet how unique we were truly living. Hubby, in his vintage Pajamas and dressing gown reading his copy of a 1956 book Gussie had found for him. I, reading my 1956 December McCall's from my stocking, also from Gussie and she in her pajama’s trying on the nice vintage kid gloves  and hat I bought for her. I began discussing the articles I was reading in my magazine, admiring my new coffee urn that matches my Temporama dishes and thought, ‘If someone were to suddenly drop down in our home at this moment they might (if they didn’t look out the window at any modern cars) think they were truly in 1956. Our house is old, much older than 1956, vintage clothes, magazines, dishes. Even our topic of conversation was casually about the article I was reading about the the little prince and princess of England Charles and Anne. Yet, we still are very modern in many ways. It seems, without my conscience effort any longer, we have seamlessly meshed the past and present.
It leaves me realizing how the coming year will still find me reporting from the past (most likely 1957) yet still just living my ‘normal’ life and sharing that with you. And normal for me is rather a mix of the old and new. But, in many ways, I have always been rather comfortable with the past. There was a time when I mostly read books:history, novels, philosphy, etc from the 19th century and earlier. If it was published after 1930 I had little interest in it. I felt a kinship for the old, a look back and what was. Of course college in the 1990’s was hardly an inspiring decade. A sea of torn jeans and flannel shirts, grunge was des rigueur. Even the art world was rather bland, the expressionism and pop art having faded to a bland or shocking move towards performance and process. So, in many ways, my life was probably always on a course towards the past, yet for me in some ways I have come more into the future. The 1950’s were really a new modern world. Of course, prior to my trip to 1955, I had sort of taken on the malaise of the modern urban dweller. Jeans and Uggs. Shopping and materialism. Yet, in my own art, I always found myself portraying or considering the 19th century. As if my true life was simply waiting to be born after being cocooned in the modern for a decade or so.
Now, with  the approaching year I do find myself wanting to look more specifically to art. To the expression in pictures and words. In many ways I consider the past two years almost as a performance piece as well as my life. Now, with 1950’s being such a normal aspect to me, I feel like I can actually express something I should care about in an ‘artful’ way.
Now, of course you all know I consider the art of the Home to be, in fact, an Art form. Running and planning a home, the preparation of meals and the making of clothes, even cleaning all are true art forms. Ones in which I still am a student, yet consider it is a lifetime classroom. But, I have of late come to want to express myself artfully in a more specific representational way. In pictures and words. A children’s book, paintings, drawings these sorts of things. And I think they shall play a major role in my coming year.
My site, a year long attempt that, right now, I am rather disappointed in, needs to be simplified and streamlined so that I might focus more on my creating and then simply sharing with you. More time to discuss the art world and also the art forms of the home as well. I think a good homemaker can talk Rembrandt and Redecorating and Cleaning, don’t you?
So, here comes the new year and I hope all are getting ready to face it with new challenges and new excitement in improvement and joy in the Home and family. Happy Homemaking.
I will close with this song, “He’ll be coming down the chimney” which was the official Christmas seal song of this year, 1956, sung by Rosemary Clooney. rosemaryclooneyxmasI could not find her version of it, so here is Guy Lombardo’s version.
And here is a  wonderful Home Movie from 1956 Christmas. From my Vintage Heart to all of you, Happy Christmas and A Wonderful Holiday!


  1. Merry Christmas 50`s gal :)

    Love the ladies dress in the You Tube 56 father didn`t have electricity on his parent`s farm house till 1953, and remembers Christmas complete with a real trees and actual candles on the tree.

    My grandparents on the farm always had a simplified Christmas but those are the ones my brother and I remember the most, I wish my kids could experience that but unfortunately one can only recreate the genuine article only so much.

    Your holiday sounds absolutely wonderful and I wish you and your family all the best......

    Mom in Canada

  2. Love Rosemary Clooney, too bad we could not hear her version of the song. Glad to hear of your lovely Holiday. We had xmas eve with the family at our home and called Santa's government tracking site on the phone for his location before the young grandchildren went to bed. Now we are at our daughters and with more grandchildren. This is what makes the warmest hoidays. Blessings to you and yours always. Thank you for your blogs and all the hard work you do for us. Peace

  3. Merry Christmas, Donna!
    The home video was very sweet.

    Greetings from the snow-covered Netherlands.

  4. i know what you mean about documentation! I had my camera the whole night an didn't take it out of my bag to take even one picture!!
    It was a fun night, though, and I am always sore in the abs, from all of our laughing and silliness!!

  5. Merry Christmas!

    I know exactly what you mean about being away from the computer. We did not have internet for about two weeks in October. I haven't been as absorbed into it as I was since. Before, I could waste hours checking blogs, chatting on facebook, playing games, etc. Now, I check my facebook maybe once a day, check the blogs I follow about once every third day (if I remember to), and find I get REALLY bored with the computer if I am on here for any amount of time.

    My only exception is watching videos on youtube. I could watch vintage videos, Hercule Poirot mysteries, or hairstyling videos for hours. I limit those for my own sake of sanity, haha.

    And I forgot to get any pictures of Christmas, myself. Got far too busy in the moment to recall the camera. oops.

    We did get to spend Christmas Eve making paper chains, cutting out snowflakes, baking cookies, and decorating our first ever gingerbread house (which is pathetic, but was alot of fun). A wonderful day all around.

    I hope you have Happy New Year, whatever you choose to do with it. And thanks for sharing the previous two with all of us.

  6. Happy Christmas to you too. :)
    What a lovely picture you just painted of the three of you celebrating a cozy Christmas in 1956. I wish I were there too.

  7. I love what you say about meshing past & present. That perfectly describes my life.:)

    I can't remove myself from the modern as much as you are able to, since I need to work at present, but even there, I listen to vintage (online) radio stations, and dress in a mostly vintage way. At home, I do all my own baking, and sew as often as possible. I try to make it an oasis for us.
    You are a tremendous inspiration to me, and I'm sure to others as well.

    I'm looking forward to the coming year with you!

  8. Merry Christmas! I'm glad that you'll be continuing on with the blog into 1957. I've gotten so much from your writings of your experience with this.

  9. I look forward to following you in 1957.

  10. I meant to ask you... who is Gussie? I started reading your blog about 6 months ago and must have missed her intro!

  11. Oh, Gussie WAS our 'live in maid' (a relative who lives with us) but that was only for the first few months of our experiment in 1955. Now we have moved and she still lives with us, but in a little cottage on our small property. But she shares Things with us as she is my niece. I am also her Godmother, so in many ways she is our pseudo child, though she is only 12 years my junior.

  12. Cool, '50sGal! I have a niece who is seven years younger than me; I adore her and think of her as my sister.


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