Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Few of Our Favorite Things: Wooden Christmas Ornaments

And not just any wooden Christmas ornaments, but an old-fashioned set turned into playthings long ago -- no doubt my grandmother having purchased them from a catalog or department store lot, then rethinking her Christmas tree in later years. We made up elaborate stories about those ornaments: the boy with the blue jacket and orange ball was a prince, the little girl in pink angel costume his younger sister. The green-painted woman with her fierce little stare and gold star was the witch; the funny upright cow the comic relief of the party.

Over the years, they wore out and disappeared, prompting me to look for a similar set online -- and discover just how wildly collectible these little guys had become. Inspired by wooden ornaments of German make, they ranged from sophisiticated, brightly-colored artisan pieces to dime-store miniatures like the ones I remembered best. Lot after lot on Ebay vanished for high prices; and even after I acquired a set, a few extras needed "made over" to resemble the originals from my childhood.

A little paint, a little glue, and a little TLC for long years in storage transformed them into an impressive collection of wee wooden folk for a vintage-style tree.

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