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Have Yourself a Very Vintage Christmas – Susan Waggoner

What they say:

Susan Waggoner, author of STC’s successful “It’s a Wonderful Christmas”, “Under the Tree”, and “Christmas Memories” is back again with another instalment of nostalgic art and engaging text about the wonders of the Christmas season in years gone by. “Have Yourself a Very Vintage Christmas” is a natural follow-on and will appeal to buyers of the previous books as it is loaded with advice and how to information designed to help readers get the look for every decade from the 1920s through to the 1960s. Waggoner takes this book one step further by combining decorating ideas and inspiration with delightful nostalgia and the crafts projects readers have been craving. The book will include decorating ideas and projects from vintage magazines, crafts projects and step-by-step instructions to re-create some of the most popular items from each decade, recipes for homemade treats like walnut fudge, divinity, and butter mints, and of course the popular first person recollections of the way Christmas really looked from the 20s to the 60s.

What I say:

I waited with baited breathe for the arrival of this book.  As a lover of all things vintage and all things Christmas, this seemed like the perfect book for me.

Upon arrival I was pleased to see grainy images of familiarly garish decorations from my 80’s childhood; despite the 1920’s to 1960’s basis of the book.  I was however disappointed to discover that all of the historical references though surely accurate are American.  Were I American, this would be perfect but I am not.  It seemed strange to read a chapter about Christmas in the 1940’s without any reference to rationing, the war or the ‘make do and made’ attitude of the era.  Although I found the information interesting, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of disconnection.

The book contains useful tips on achieving an authentic vintage look.  I actually found these to be most interesting – imagine, people used to cut the tops off their trees!!  Also included are images to photocopy and used in crafting; again, I found these to be really sweet and great for conjuring up old memories.

Whether I will make anything from the craft sections is another matter entirely.  Though I love it when handmade items have a subtle naivety to their finish, the projects in the book are just too juvenile for my tastes.

The book ends with a collection of old fashioned recipes for sweets!!  All of them look amazing and fairly simple to make.  I will definitely be trying them out.

All in all, this is a nice book.  Though more suited for an American reader, it will still appeal to anyone who likes to think of Christmas the way it used to be.




Vintage Folly

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