By Melissa Wynn
Christmas is possibly the most nostalgic time of year. We spend tremendous time, energy and money ensuring that our loved ones experience the same kind of Christmas magic that we enjoyed throughout our family histories.
It’s those deeply engraved memories of sitting in a pile of wrapping paper building a new train set with Dad that inspire us to sift through the local antique shops looking for that same train set to build with our children. A favorite toy from days gone by can be as touching a gift for an adult as it is for a child. It could really take Mom back to get an original Raggedy Ann doll from her own childhood and certainly Dad would cherish reliving his favorite Christmas morning building a cabin out of Lincoln Logs or collecting a Matchbox copy of his favorite hot rod.
Perhaps for you it was that glass star that topped your grandmother’s tree, reflecting the lights that means Christmas. There is a treasure trove of antique ornaments hidden throughout the Mom & Pop shops all across Northern California just waiting to be that memory for your grandchildren.
Themed trees are an ever evolving tradition in many households, ironically making trees of Christmas past the wave of the future. Aged strings of beads replace mass produced foil garland and antique bulbs, lights, birds and snow babies are meticulously collected, one at a time, as those fans of this genre comb through the consignment shops, boutiques and co-op style antique malls that dot the Mountain Valley Living map.
Maybe a nativity set from a bygone era is the perfect focal point of this year’s holiday home decor. From miniature hand carved sets for the mantle to life size creations in a variety of mediums for the yard, scenes of the nativity symbolize the true meaning of Christmas. Scour the antique shops for a set that matches your own as the perfect gift for your grown children incorporating their Christmas past into their own home and their Christmas future.
No matter what your favorite Christmas memory is from Christmas past you can relive it vicariously this Christmas by rediscovering the items that inspired it in the local shops of your NoCal community. You are sure to create new treasured memories shopping with friends and family this holiday season as you collect each memento that will build a foundation for your families Christmas future.