Page 50 - The Hunt Magazine - Winter 2019
P. 50

TW ree
Memories on a
Story by Roger Morris | Photographs by Jim Graham
 Collecting vintage holiday decorations helps unite generations at Yuletide.
hen it comes to vintage and antique decorations—especially family heirlooms that connect us with our
past—the spirit of Christmas, Hanukkah and other winter holidays always burns brightly from generation to generation. But it usually burns brightest after we become adults in our 30s with children.
     Jennifer Rowland holds an ornament at her stall in the Pennsbury- Chadds Ford Antiques Mall.
“What do people look for?” asks antiques dealer Jennifer Rowland. “At Christmas, they shop for things they remember from Grandma’s house.”
Rowland runs the Pennsbury-Chadds Ford Antique Mall on Route 1. Her stall, J.R.’s Eclectics, displays special Christmas items all year long, though she brings these memories out in volume as the season approaches.
Most of us like to have a few special “old things” around us year-round, whether they’re accessories for our living rooms or desktop items for a study and office. Our holiday treasures are different—stored away for months before being dusted off to become the center of attraction yet again when the weather is crisp. One Christmas when my wife was very young, her father, know- ing her love of reading, gave her a pop-up book with five fold-out scenes of Christmas Eve and morning. It’s always placed on our living room table to be picked up and gone through yet another time. We also have a handful of primitive-looking glass ornaments displayed among the newer ones, even though their provenance has been lost through the years.
Robert Brenner, a Wisconsin-based collector who’s written five books about Christmas antiques and collectibles, has seen an uptick in interest when it comes to holiday mementos. He says it’s partly due to the popularity of tracing our origins through DNA testing, touching off an interest in heirlooms and recreating our pasts.

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