It’s never too early to think Christmas!

It happens every fall.  Just as the leaves start turning and falling off the trees, and the landscape begins to look a little more sparse, I start thinking about Christmas.

I will freely admit that fall and winter are my favorite seasons.  Fall I love for the cooler weather and beautiful colors, and winter I love for the excuse to stay cozy inside and being able to enjoy the occasional snow day.  True enough, after Christmas hits, winter tends to grow old very, very quickly.  I suppose I love winter partially for the rush of being able to decorate another tree and capture that homey Christmas spirit once again.

Each year my tree gets a little more retro.  I haven’t yet gone the way of the aluminum or flocked tree, but it seems that each year my vision pushes me to go with more retro color schemes.  Last year it was blue lights and silver and white ornaments, which would have looked superb on a flocked tree, but still looked cool nonetheless.

And then a few months ago I discovered Bronner’s.  Oh my . . . talk about a gigantic playground for Christmas decorating enthusiasts!  I become even more hooked when I started noticing some of their awesome retro ornaments.

Case in point:

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Silvery goodness with a classic starburst design.  It also comes in green, gold, and blue.  Get it here!

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Oh my, how I love this thing. It’s called a pine star ornament, and it’s about as retro as they get.  it also comes in gold:

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They’re shatterproof, too, which is even better news for those of us with small, hyper, and sometimes violent boys who think that Christmas ornaments make good baseballs.  Or weapons.

Here’s a true starburst ornament, hence its name:

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I am in love.  Truly, madly in love.  Is it taboo to feel love for a shatterproof ornament that sort of resembles a sea urchin?

I am not kidding when I say that these ornaments are just a tiny sampling of what this store has to offer.  There are ornaments for every hobby, every era, every nationality, and every quirk.    They also carry lights (amazing how many different types they have!), outdoor decor, stockings, hats, and pretty much every other item that has a direct or vague association with Christmas.  Go there.  Get lost.  You won’t be sorry.

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I spy some retro design!

Still swamped with the beginning of school madness.  Haven’t yet adjusted to the pile of papers covering both my desks in two separate buildings.  Someday they’ll be clean.  Like in June.

In the meantime, however, I just had to share a lovely little glimmer of hope in the world of really boring product packaging.  I’d love to kiss whoever thought of this one:

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And yes, I will confess: I bought this bag of candy mostly for the packaging.  I’m a sick, sick woman.

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Antique store score!

A friend and I visited an antique store in a neighboring town, partly to scour for cool finds, partly to just get OUT of the house.   The antique store in our own town is open sporadically, and it’s always closed when we actually get a chance to shop, so we had to go on a mini road trip.  We complained a lot about that, y’know?  Gee, do I have to leave the house for several hours for a trip with no children?  Oh, twist my arm, then!

A saw several things I “had” to have, but the mature side of me won out and I pared down my “had to haves” to a couple things.  Price won out in the end, as it usually does!

Score #1:  A plug-in clock for my kitchen:

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We had always had a plug in above one wall of cabinets, and I knew it probably provided electricity to a trusty old kitchen clock at one time.  Imagine my reaction when I saw this kitchen clock for $10 piled behind some other stuff in the store.  What’s more — it works.  Accurately.  What’s more retro than this color scheme?  Off white, copper, and turquoise.  Yummy!

This next purchase was sitting on the sidewalk when we walked in, and I noticed the price right off the bat:  $22.

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A child’s desk!  The rolltop is long gone, and that’s OK, because my kids would have ruined that in about 2.4 seconds flat.  It’s a little wobbly, but an easy fix.  My favorite part, however, is the decals that decorate the top and the sides:

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A birdie . . .

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De plane!  De plane!

and . . .

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A Lassie dog!

Although I would not put it past me to pay $22 for the decals alone, I really bought it for my youngest son, who has turned into a drawing maniac.  The drawers aren’t wide enough to put a pad of paper in, but they’re plenty big to hold a pencil box, scissors, and whatever else strikes his fancy.  I’m hoping to modify the desk to put a drawer in the front, attached to the existing trim, so he has a place to store paper.

Once repaired, I think the desk will be a wonderful place for my little (I mean, BIG) guy to create some fantastic stuff.  Don’t you?

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