I’m not really that old. But do I remember our local five and dime store.
Shopping for Christmas presents was my second favorite part of the holidays. (After decorating the Christmas tree, of course)
At some point every mid-December, my Mother would drop me off at M.E Moses with 10$ in my pocket and an hour to shop all by myself.
My little brothers were always the easiest to shop for. Josh liked cars and trucks. Ben was still a baby; he liked anything he could put in his mouth.
A waxed box of chocolate covered cherries for my Dad. Not because they were his favorite……..but maybe because they seemed so exotic to me. Like something adult business men gave to each other as gifts.
For my Mother, I would find the prettiest, most glamorous things I could find………in the 2-3 dollars range. I remember one year selecting a pressed-glass punch bowl set with a dozen minuscule cups, and little plastic S-hooks to hold them on the edge of the bowl. I’m pretty sure that it was 5 dollars. She gushed about how much she liked it when she opened it, but I don’t remember her ever using it.
Usually though, something shiny would catch my eye. Something that fancy ladies wore. It seemed like my mother always rushing out the door in heels and pearls leaving a cloud of Yves Saint Lauren fragrance behind in her wake.
Sometimes I would find her a Christmas pin. You know the ones, shaped like a Christmas tree, or a snowflake, or even a wreath.
A few years ago, my Mother gave me back one of those 5 and dime broaches that I had given her. She knew that because I’m such a
hoarder sentimantalist, that I would truly appreciate it.
I re-discovered it the other day in my dresser drawer – where it’s been living – and pinned it on a tweed sportcoat. I know, I know…….that’s something that fancy boys would do; like Noel Coward or Oscar Wilde.
It wasn’t nearly as jewel-encrusted as I remember it being when I was a kid…..just one lonely “ruby?”.
But it’s worth the world to me.
I love it. I wish I had all of the beautiful brooches I gave my grandmother over the years. Big, gaudy, stone encrusted behemoths. It wasn’t until I was a grownup that I realized she never wore jewelry besides her wedding band. She was a little country woman and in no way flashy! But she kept them all!
I think it looks fabulous! By the way, you really should be getting paid for the things you write. You have such a talent. I always love reading your posts.
Awww shucks Tracie!!!!!! Until someone starts writing me checks I’ll have to keep doing it for free. …….and I love you reading my posts!!!!
FAB!!! Looks great!
I so remember those Christmas pins — takes me back to the old Famous-Barr department store in downtown St. Louis. I can still hear the creaking of the ancient escalators (were they wood?!) TY for the trip down memory lane! I love your outfit, BTW!
Thanks Kay!!!! I remember Famous-Barr, not sure where from though!!! Didn’t Macy’s buy them out?
I LOVE it! I am pretty sentimental myself, which may surprise some who know me!!! I just posted on my blog about keeping holiday traditions, while making new ones! Great minds! Happiest of Holidays to you both!!
Happiest of Holidays to you too!!!!!!
It’s beautiful and i imagine precious to her. I love the vintage Christmas pins. I’m fortunate to have some of my grandmother’s and I’m always on the look out for them at estate sales and vintage shops. I like to think of all the celebration and holiday cheer they’ve been a part of. It looks very dapper on your jacket. I hope you bestow it with many more years of happiness and holiday cheer.
Thanks Allison! I’ve started collecting rhinestone American flag pins…….not sure what to do with them yet….yet! Holiday Cheer to you and yours as well!!!!!
I rarely comment on blogs. Lazy, i guess. I have been a regular follower of your wonderful corner of the blogosphere for a bit of time. I enjoy every post. This one made me tear up . My Mom always had those lovely Christmas pins. She loved Christmas, loved it. When she passed I gave all of her very best friends a Christmas brooch from her jewelry box. She was a social gal and very few of her “Christmas jewels”were left. Oh, how I wish I had one now!
When my eldest was in Kindergarden he went to the “store” at school. Some PTA sponsored shop with cheaply made gift items children could purchase and wrap themselves. He purchased a tray for me, tin with some awful looking country scene on it. He was busting with pride that Christmas morning as I unwrapped his gift. It was carefully taped with about 100 tiny pieces of tape and about 5 yards of wrapping paper. It is a moment I will treasure all of my days. I still have the tray, I have never used it. I cannot bear to do so. Not because it was unattractive and cheap. But because I wanted to keep it always, pure and sweet like the little 6 year old boy who gifted me with it. See… I am weeping still. Thank you for your post and the chance to revisit some memories I have tucked carefully away all of these years.
Barb? Now you have me tearing up as well! How sweet!!! My mother trlls me that she still has all the gifts her little boys have given her over the years…….(i have to get my hoarding tendencies from somewhere) …..Happy Holidays!!!
Thank you for bringing back some wonderful memories!, and I love the Christmas pin! Take care.
Thanks Kim!!!!! Happy holidays to you!!!
What a great post! My brother and I would buy our mother Christmas cocktail stirrers every year. We didn’t know what they were, and my mother never drank cocktails, but we thought they were so beautiful. I love that your mother held onto the Christmas pin all these years. Beautiful!
How sweet!!!! Ill bet she had a drawerfull of those festive stirrers!!!!!
My Mother In Law always gave me Christmas Pins. As a young married woman I didn’t really think they were very cool, too old fashioned. She passed away unexpectedly about 10 years ago. I was so happy that Christmas after her death to open one of my many boxes of Christmas Decorations and find one of her Christmas Pins still in the paper wrapping where she had written my name. It is a great memory of her and now that I am a Vintage Enthusiast, quite a “cool” treasure.
Thanks for your article.
Thank you, for that sweet story…….
1950’s memories of shopping at F.W. Woolworth’s, wish I could travel back in time. The time when five and ten stuff was not cheaply made junk.
Love your outfit, very dashing.
Awwww thanks Jean. I wore that outfit again today and have had a beavy of questions about that wreath pin. I had to tell the story to a small group of Starbucks employees a few moments ago!
Your post brought tears! I have a few things that belonged to my Mother. One is a crystal butterfly. She wore it pinned to a chic black coat, and that pin really had sparkle! I remember Christmas shopping at Woolworth in Wilmington Delaware; our budget was also 10.00, for 4 gifts! The table with the Christmas corsages was a sight to behold! Oh how I miss my Mother, and those lovely simple Christmases! Merry Christmas to both of you, good health and much happiness is wished for you!
Sounds like your mother was stylish. I have a picture of my mother opening Christmas gifts wearing a mink coat over her nightgown! I know that she chrrished those 5&dime gifts from her boys just as much as that mink coat from my father. Merry Christmas to you as well Debbie!
I totally get it….It’s not Christmas until I wear a Xmas pin I was given as a child – – a snowman, which nowadays looks like Casper the friendly ghost on skis. It still makes me smile. Merry Christmas!!
Val, you made me smile just reading about the little guy.
Great memories were made at Woolworth’s 5 and 10. My gift for my Mother one Christmas, was a bottle of “Evening In Paris” in the pretty navy blue bottle. I don’t recall if she ever did wear the “perfume” but the bottle was always kept on her dresser, with her REAL perfume. Wish I had that little bottle now, to keep on my dresser tray with my “real” perfumes…Memories, brought back each and every Christmas.
Bonnie, i loved Woolworths!!! And how sweet that your mother kept that bottle out to always remind her of her sweet little girl!
Such a great story! Thanks for sharing it with us all. Happy Holidays!!
Happy holidays back at ya, Elise!!!!!
James, we were separated at birth; I could have written this post (Christmas hoarder – um “afficionado” that I am). LOVE your broach, I wear a Santa Hat all season (no more bad hair days for me – at least none that anyone else can see)
Re: chocolate covered cherries.
When I made my very first present purchases under my own steam (also at the dime store), I found, what seemed to my *very* young eyes, a HUGE box of chocolate covered cherries for only 50 cents. WOW! My father made SUCH a fuss over “his favorite!” as he carefully unwrapped the box – followed by the popping of cherries in the mouths of each of his 5 kids and our mother.
In one little moment his Christmas gift fate was sealed for the rest of his life.
As each of my younger sibs reached the age where they were ready to make their first present purchases, I pointed them straight to the cherries as their gift to Dad. We all looked forward to his unwrapping that particular “I wonder what THIS is?” distinctively shaped present – and to the generous sharing of the candy!
None of us ever noticed that he never ate even ONE of them himself! Only when I was a senior in college did my Dad finally admit he had always hated chocolate covered cherries.
So OF COURSE someone always made sure those cherries were under the tree “To Dad” forevermore (sometimes disguised in a larger box – or several in succession, which was even more fun).
One of my fondest Christmas tradition memories – especially now that my father is no longer with us. Thanks for the reminder.
(Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
– ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
“It takes a village to transform a world!”
We were seperated. My dad never liked them either. But every year, without fail, I made sure he had them……it’s possible that I enjoyed them, just possible.
Apparently SO – saw all your “follows” on my Pinterest Boards, so it seems we like similar visual inspiration too
(still going thru yours, btw – soooo behind!)
Although my trees are always fake, I spent almost 12 solid hours Sunday on a live Christmas tree locate-lug-and-light favor for a friend (anything to avoid the reality that my own digs look like the warehouse of a Christmas factory – BEFORE the Professional organizers worked their magic!)
THEN TODAY, my “Black Friday” Xmas cyber-purchases arrived, adding still more boxes to the decor. It is DEEP in here – so I am behind schedule on everything (i-net tasks included).
I was wise enough to set up a few December auto-posts in November, so I’m relieved to say that my article with the back-link to your Crampus article posted as scheduled on Monday, and is now live. Go take a look when YOU get a breather: “Happy Belated Sinterklaas! December 5” (llnks to latest 35 posts always about 1/2 way down right-side skinny column.)
Happy/Merry Everything! xx, mgh
Hello! Just found your site! How wonderful!
My grandmother had the most beautiful Christmas pins; how pretty I thought they were,.and how perfect they always looked on her winter coat! A few years back I decided to wear one of her pins each Christmas…and be proud to do so! So when ever anyone compliments my ‘vintag’ pin, I can tell them about my grandmother. I lost mom to cancer last year….and inherited even more pins! Last week was our quilt clubs Christmas party….I had to wear 2 pins! Thanks for the wonderful post! Season’s Greetings to the 3 of you!
Hello! Just found your site! How wonderful!
My grandmother had the most beautiful Christmas pins; how pretty I thought they were,.and how perfect they always looked on her winter coat! A few years back I decided to wear one of her pins each Christmas…and be proud to do so! So when ever anyone compliments my ‘vintage’ pin, I can tell them about my grandmother. I lost mom to cancer last year….and inherited even more pins! Last week was our quilt club’s Christmas party….I had to wear 2 pins! Thanks for the wonderful post! Season’s Greetings to you!
It’s those little things that bring back the strongest memories. I told people all day about buying that pin for my mom when I was just a little boy. Every time I told the story, it made me smile.
Season’s Greetings back at ya.