I love the change of seasons from month-to-month in Minnesota. Winter, spring, summer, or fall – there are always unique and interesting things to do that capture the spirit of the season. Over the last few years of early retirement, November has become ‘hunting season’ for me – hunting through antique shops for vintage, Shiny Brite ornaments from the 1940s – 1950s.
These vintage treasures were launched in 1937 and became extraordinarily popular after World War II. With richly painted colors, unique shapes, and their distinctive ‘crinkled tops’ (stamped with the words “Shiny Brite” and “Made in U.S.A.”), these glass ornaments were a part of many Baby Boomer / Gen X Christmas memories. We had several dozen Shiny Brites on our family tree when I was growing up.
While most Shiny Brite ornaments are simple balls, especially desirable are the unique ‘Atomic Age’ UFO shapes, Christmas bells, indentations, Christmas trees, and ‘Chinese Lanterns’. This year, I’ve found quite a few of them – almost a dozen – in great shape and used them to trim a silver tinsel tree in my ‘mid-century modern’ home office .
Collecting these holiday antiques is a fun way to begin getting in the spirit of Christmas each November and an activity that I wouldn’t have had time for when I was working at MegaCorp and our son was still at home. This year, my Mom has joined me in the hunt and we’ve made a nice day of it to small towns together.
I guess in some ways, it’s another ‘second childhood’ pastime that fits with my early retirement experience of ‘Kidulthood’.
Anyone else collect antiques or any vintage holiday treasures?
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