If y’all are anything like us, and I’m willing to bet that you are, you’ll spend the days between Christmas and the New Year cruising local neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights.
We get lots of inspiration this way.
In fact, Jamie’s been on a vintage blow mold collecting kick the past couple years, I think he has about 9.
Now Wayne Smith, on Southwestern Blvd in University Park, has a few more than that.(142 Santas, 22 toy soldiers, and 67 snowmen……plus a couple hundred more figures. At his last count) In fact his electric bill skyrockets every December when Wayne brings them all into his front yard, and along his roof line, for the neighborhood to enjoy along with him. He scours flea markets all year-long to add to the assortment. The crowning jewel? Well that would have to be the severed head of Big Tex, our State Fair of Texas mascot, that he scored at an auction in 1992. It rests directly over his front door in a custom Santa hat.
We stopped by the other night, like we do every year, to gawk at Wayne’s massive collection….
How great is this shot through Jamie’s crystal ball?
And that electric bill? Wayne says that it’s worth it to see everyone, especially the kids, sharing in his joy.
Ya gotta admit, the joy is kinda infectious.
Found this guy recently at a junk shop and knew immediately that he needed to come home with me.
He’s kinda the perfect Halloween-y compliment to the vintage match strikes and child’s chest x-ray on our mantle.
Most Americans will recognize these types of mid-century decor from the holidays of our childhood. Every December, my grandparents had 3 foot soldiers guarding their front porch. And our neighbors had Santa in a sleigh and a half-dozen reindeer running across their roof line. At Halloween, it was those candy buckets shaped like Jack-o-lanterns that we just had to have for trick-or-treating – because a standard pillow case was the only other option.
In case y’all didn’t know, plastic blow mold decor (made from the same plastic as Elmer’s glue bottles) like my ghost, has been around since the 1940s. There were ducks, Disney characters, nativity scenes and carolers, penguins, and even Snoopy available at most five and dime stores across the country. Some even included a build-in lamp to enhance the festive-ness.
It was the creation of Don Featherstone’s plastic lawn flamingo for Union Products in 1957 that set the trend on fire. Other companies, like Empire Plastic Corporation, had been making blow mold flamingos for over a decade, but it’s Featherstone’s flamingo design that is still the most sought after.
Sure, blow mold decor pieces are easy to find at junk shops and yard sales, but you can still buy new ones at stores like Wal-Mart and Amazon because the trend has never really faded.
And why should it?
These things are charming for days…..
So proudly display your kitsch.
I said that you could.