A Retro Christmas

As of this writing, Christmas is just six months away, so now is the time to start a batch of homemade vanilla extract for gift giving. It can be made for approximately .90¢ per ounce and you'll get 8 four-ounce bottles of extract from this recipe, with some to spare.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

The process is simple, requiring just two ingredients:

  • 1 liter of a neutral flavored 70 to 80 proof alcohol (like vodka)
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    Chances are, you're here because you love the look of vintage Christmas decorations. But let's face it, not everyone embraces the idea of buying pre-owned Christmas items. So we sent our elves out to find some brand new decorations that have all the charm and appeal of their vintage counterparts.

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    Your journey through Christmases past begins here!

    Decorated Retro Christmas TreeVisit our photo gallery for more great pictures from the past!

    Families gathered around fireplaces decorated with toy-filled stockings, Christmas trees with large colorful bulbs drenched in angel hair or shiny aluminum trees lit by color wheels; whether these are the fond memories of your youth, or you’ve been visiting the past through the magic of cinema, you know that the holidays are a time for tradition and nostalgia.

    Colorful bubble lights, twinkler ornaments, garland, tinsel, cardboard houses, felt stockings; these are the things that Christmas memories are made of!

    A retro Christmas theme is easy to create and compliments today's contemporary decor. Whether you prefer a monochromatic look, or the bejeweled look of multicolored lights and ornaments... simply start with the tree and build your theme around it.

    We've gathered all of the vintage Christmas decorations you'll need to create a unique and magical holiday wonderland that will warm the hearts of your family and friends. You'll find plenty of affordable Christmas decorations from the 40's, 50's and 60's... from ornaments to table linens... that will become the memories of generations to come.

    It will soon be time for families across the nation to set out in search of the perfect Christmas tree. All across the country tree lots will fill with evergreen forests fragrant as the north woods. They'll arrive by the truckload; short ones, tall ones, skinny ones, fat ones. You'll envision each one gleaming with tinsel, jeweled with lights and crowned with a star.

    It's customary to follow certain prescribed rituals while choosing the perfect tree; be sure to ask the attendant if the tree you've chosen is a good one. Quite likely they'll know no more about it than you do, but eager to close the sale, they'll answer "That's the nicest one we've got!" Now shake the tree a couple of times to make sure all the branches really are attached. They always are, but you're expected to check anyway, or you'll look like a novice.

    Grasp the tree firmly and wobble blindly back to your car, making every effort not to knock over anyone who crosses your path. Brush the pine needles from your eyebrows and pull the stray twigs from your hair. Contemplate your hands, sticky with sap and smelling of fir. You will inevitably become cemented to the steering wheel on the way home, but it's all part of the ritual.

    Tie the tree securely to the roof of your car. If you can still see where you're going, drive it home. If not, make adjustments and try again.

    Once home, set it up in the living room, then stand back and smile. Because, for a little while, the doldrums of every day life are forgotten... replaced by the magic of Christmas.

    This short video is chock full of Christmas in the 50's; a time when TV's were big, trees glistened with tinsel and cowboys (and cowgirls) ruled.