Friday, December 31, 2021

Swanky Swigs

 Ever heard of Swanky Swigs?  Apparently, we may own a set!  These are vintage beverage glasses that once were produced as a way to get Depression-era housewives to purchase more of Kraft's cheese products.  The processed cheese products came in glass containers that could be washed and then reused as drinking glasses.  Double the value!  You can read more about the history of Swanky Swigs here: Shiloh Museum of Ozark History.

When we cleaned out the old homestead, we had found a dusty old set of 6 Christmas glasses featuring a black stagecoach drawn by black horses, green fir boughs around the top edge, and thin red ribbons around the lower part.  I didn't really want to keep them; I didn't think they were all that attractive, and they were an impractical size -- midway between a juice glass and a tumbler.  But Mr. T wanted to keep them, so we cleaned them up and have been using them this Christmas season.

The other day, I got the notion to do a little online search and see what I could learn about these unusual glasses.  And that's when I learned about Swanky Swigs.  Now, our glasses may or may not be the actual Swanky Swigs -- apparently those were only made for Kraft by the Hazel Atlas Glass company.  But other food manufacturers made similar promotional glassware.  Products like cottage cheese, sour cream, jelly, and peanut butter also came packed in reusable glasses with a hand-painted look.  

I will need to do more research to determine what was originally packaged in our Christmas glasses.  But I am so glad I didn't just send them to the thrift store.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

A thoughtful surprise!


Earlier in December, I had a lovely little surprise.  I usually attend a ladies' Bible study every month at a friend's home.  I wasn't able to make the December meeting due to inclement weather, and felt badly to miss it.

Imagine my surprise the next day when one of the other ladies appeared at church with a cardboard box and proceeded to hand out sweet Christmas floral arrangements to those of us who had missed the meeting.  Our thoughtful Bible study leader, Amanda, had made one of these for every lady.  I suspect  her little boys may have had a hand in these as well, since she often recruits their help in projects.

The day before, puttering around my home with a bit of Christmas decorating, I had placed on our dining table a pretty hand-quilted Christmas table topper that someone had made for my mother.  When I saw how beautifully Amanda's floral arrangement coordinated with that table topper, I was stunned.  It just could not go more perfectly!  The deep rich colors, the touches of metallic gold and of white -- they were all just perfect together.  Immediately I removed the little decoration I had placed there earlier and put this sweet arrangement in its place.


Christmas surprises are so much fun, don't you agree?

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Gorgeous card featuring an entire cabinet of Christmas treats!


Here is a really fun vintage Christmas card that is just so appropriate to feature in my Christmas Kitchen!   I'm guessing that this is from sometime in the 1970s.  Cards then, approaching or around the time of our country's bicentennial in 1976, often had a handmade, antique type vibe.

This shows Christmas goodies within a cupboard, presumably with glass doors through which one can see just what is on the shelves of this handmade, hand-painted cabinet.

Inside, with the doors open, one can more easily see the contents.  Looks like a different plum pudding on both top and bottom shelf.  Jars and other containers filled with Christmas cookies and candy!  Lots of crisp red apples.  There's a jar of candy canes on the center shelf and some of the gorgeous, fun fruit slice candies.  Pretty sweet!

Hope you've enjoyed seeing this fun and fanciful vintage Christmas card!

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

A smidgen more outdoor decorating


 Just posted some of our outdoor lighting over at my Kitchen Table blog, so now I'm adding just a bit more.  We didn't have a lot, but more than usual.  The trees that I posted about on my other blog are new this year, so you may wish to go over and read more about them, where they are located and how we chose to decorate them.

The flag at the top of this post is one we have on a flagpole mounted on a tree out by the end of our driveway.  We have it illuminated with a small solar light all year round, but Mr. T hadn't thought to get a  nighttime photo of it until he was outside snapping photos of our other lights.  It looks a bit Christmasy since it's on an evergreen tree.

Now the lights below are some that we light up every year.  These are the strings of colored lights with the large bulbs.  We've had them up there for years, tucked just inside the roof line of our garage.  We just have to replace a bulb or two from time to time.  Sometimes we place a lighted star (white lights) centered just below these.

The photo below pictures neither lights nor decorations, but our stacks of cookie tins that are keeping frozen on the front porch.  They are a little bit decorative, I guess -- and people do light up when they see a plate full of Christmas cookies!

Monday, December 27, 2021

A fun vintage Christmas card


 For a very quick post this evening, I'll just share a fun vintage card I found recently and listed in my shop.  "A Christmas Note" is a play on words as this card has a musical theme.  Even the letters spelling out the words have some music notation attached to them.

The large treble clef appears to be formed out of white-frosted greenery and red berries.  A pretty cluster of holly and berries decorates the treble clef.

This would have been a very appropriate card to send to one's music teacher back in the day.  Hope my readers have enjoyed seeing this vintage find!

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Sunday Scripture


Here is our fourth, and last, Sunday Scripture for December.  Remember, I am writing these posts from an Advent study that I did with Good Morning Girls in 2013.  The study, Keeping Our Hearts Focused on Jesus, is still available as a free download, so if you are interested head on over there and get it.  Scroll down and click on the book-like image similar to the illustration above, and the pdf should open right up.  More than just a Bible study, this is an ebook that includes recipes, Advent activities, and more.  I think it will be a blessing to you.

I've mentioned before that I like to use the SOAP method of Bible study, and the studies from GMG use a very similar one.  I find this method a real blessing whether I am studying shorter passages or longer ones, so I hope you'll give it a try if you haven't ever done so. Just a reminder that the S is for Scripture -- just write it out -- and the O is for Observation, the A is for Application and the P is for prayer -- concerning how you'll apply this verse or passage,  or praise for what it means to you.

Each week of this Advent study focuses on a theme: Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace.  This last week's verses are focused on Peace

Today's Scripture is Zephaniah 3:14-15.  In the actual study, this one was from December 24 -- just in case you downloaded the study and are following along with it.

S=  "Sing, O daughter of Zion, shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.
"The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, He hast cast out thy enemy: the King of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more."  (Zephaniah 3:14-15)

O=  These verses are clearly prophetic.  As C.I. Scofield says, "That this, and all like passages in the prophets, cannot refer to anything which occurred at the first coming of Christ is clear from the context.  The precise reverse is true."  In the Scofield Reference Bible, this scholar has titled this section of Zephaniah "Israel's restoration and blessing: the King in the Kingdom."

So when verse 15 states, "the King of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee",  it is not really referring directly to the Baby in the manger, but pointing forward to a time when He will reign in the millennial kingdom.  In that day, it may be said that God's people will not "see evil any more".

Still, Christ's presence on earth as a Baby was a cause of great rejoicing: "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people" (Luke 2:10).  Think too of the rejoicing of both Simeon and Anna as these elderly believers came into the temple at just the right moment to see the infant Jesus and the realization of God's promise to send a Savior (Luke 2:25-38).

A=  I can be glad and rejoice with all my heart, as I recall and celebrate the coming of the Savior.  I can rejoice that He is my Savior.  He has "taken away [my] judgments" in that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:1).  He has cast out my enemy -- Satan, and he is a defeated foe.  

The Lord is in the midst of me in that He dwells within me in the Person of the Holy Spirit.  I have much to be joyful about!

P=  "Lord, as much as I have tried this season to focus on You, in many ways I have failed miserably.  I have allowed busyness and stress in preparing to celebrate to crowd out my joy -- not completely, but to a much greater degree than it should.  

"I thank and praise You for the snatches of celebratory joy that I found this season -- the scent of balsam fir; the beauty of bright red winterberries; a lovely piano offertory; the sweet voices of children lifted in a carol; the generous gifts and meaningful cards from loving friends and family, and so on -- but I feel rebuked that my entire season could have been (and should have been) much more joyful, in view of our reason to celebrate.

"Help me in this day and during this week, to show my joy in Christ's coming to a needy, needy world.  In Jesus' name, Amen."

And there is our final Sunday Scripture for December!  I hope that this little series has been a blessing to you.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas!


Gorgeous image is from Gooseberry Patch

Mr. T and I would like to wish all of our friends a very Merry Christmas!  

 Our day started off with our usual quiet times and then a very simple breakfast of cheesy scrambled eggs and wonderful rye bread from our neighbor Walter (his traditional gift to us) and clementines.  This is a simpler Christmas breakfast than we ordinarily enjoy, but Mr. T wanted to get to his usual Saturday morning flag wave.  

I have a couple more small gifts to wrap and then need to put together a salad and a cookie and fudge tray to take to our daughter's where we will be for dinner and the afternoon.  During that time we will likely Skype or FaceTime with our Nevada daughter and her family.

I can't think of a nicer way to extend our Christmas wish to all of you than to share this beautiful poem by the beloved writer Edgar Guest:

God bless you all
This Christmas Day;
May Bethlehem's star
Still light the way,
And guide thee to
The perfect peace
When every fear
And doubt shall cease,
And may thy home
Such glory know
As did the stable
Long ago.

Edgar A. Guest

I pray that each of us may find that place of "perfect peace when every fear and doubt shall cease".  We can find it by committing ourselves to the Lord Jesus and by staying our minds upon who He is and the truths of His Word.  Isaiah 26:3 and Philippians 4:6-7 tell us more about God's perfect peace that surpasses all human understanding.  Perhaps you might like to look those Scriptures up sometime today.

 May you enjoy a blessed Christmas day and week and a very happy, healthy 2022!

Friday, December 24, 2021

A fun little gift from my faraway daughter


Yes, my lovely and dear daughter Joanna, far away in Nevada, surprised me with the sweetest little gift.  She had sent our wrapped Christmas gifts to our local daughter Carrie, to be opened there on Christmas Day.  But she left a few things unwrapped for both Carrie and me, so that we could have the fun of using them before Christmas.

The above mini ornaments are part of what she sent to me.  Look how cute: little tiny embroidery hoops!  Each is made to look as if it has a little embroidered design in the hoop.  It's hard to tell from the scan, but the background in each design actually looks like cloth, although of course it is not.  Aren't these the sweetest?  Now I want to enlarge that house design and stitch a larger version of it!

Thank you, JoJo!  You made my day!

Thursday, December 23, 2021

The many vintage faces of Santa


 I don't mention Santa a whole lot here in my Christmas kitchen.  Growing up, we always pretty much knew that our gifts from Santa and our stocking stuffers were really from my parents.  My mother could recall vividly how betrayed her much younger brother felt when he realized how his older siblings had "lied" to him about Santa.  I suppose that's why she encouraged us to think of Santa Claus as a nice fairy tale -- but the tags on the "Santa gifts" always bore my mom's neat printing.

We did the same with our own kids -- Santa was a fun fairy tale to read about -- the book Jolly Old Santa Claus, with its gorgeous illustrations (see one of them below), was a favorite -- but he didn't really bring any gifts, couldn't grant any wishes, and he definitely wasn't all-seeing or all-knowing.

Still, vintage Christmas cards featuring Santa Claus abound, and it's fun to see his various faces and activities, so I'm going to share a few of my finds here.  All have been in my Etsy shop; some have sold and others have yet to sell.  But they are popular!

Looks like he is holding onto his hat with green-mittened hands.

This sign-painting Santa is rotund!

Leaning on a candy cane

Playing a tambourine

Classic chimney entrance

The windblown look

Cruising city streets in a green jalopy

With sweet baby deer

Leaning on a candy cane

Listening to a child.  Classic Marjorie Cooper.

Swinging on a candy cane

Getting the reindeer ready

Hopping aboard the Christmas train!

A skating Santa!

This Santa adorns a cocktail-size paper napkin

A winking Santa
And a merry music box Santa!

Hope this has been fun for all you lovers of Christmas vintage!

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Christmas cards for special people


Nowadays it doesn't seem as common -- but back in the day, there were Christmas cards for various people in one's life -- relatives especially, but also neighbors, friends -- and even people who had Christmas birthdays!  I thought it might be fun today to feature a few of those special cards, some of which have sold and others which are currently listed in my Etsy shop.  At the top of the post you see a lovely card for an aunt.

You could send your nephew a Santa's pack full of dimes!

For a Christmas birthday!

For a wonderful teacher.

For a swell boy

For nice neighbors ...

For a nice family ....

For Mother

Oh, the cards for little girls!  I believe the artist on these two may have been the inimitable Marjorie Cooper.

There's even a card for someone nice!

And two more for little girls.
I'm sure I have more, but here are just a few examples.  Hope you've enjoyed this look at some of the sweet and thoughtful Christmas cards from yesteryear!

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

On my computer desktop right now


 Most of my readers know that I simply love Gooseberry Patch art work.  I also love that they make some of this beautiful work available as free desktop wallpapers.  If you would like to check out more of the Christmas ones (including this one), go here: Christmas Wallpapers.

I've mentioned the availability of these wallpapers before, but I'm loving this particular one that's on my desktop this season.  The snowflakes on the green background are so jolly.  And the Christmas cookies on a little plate with a Christmas napkin and two steaming mugs of hot cocoa, one with a candy cane -- well, I just love it all.  The mountains and fir trees in the background -- it's obviously snowing in the higher elevations.  And the house all decked out for the holiday -- and even the sweet little evergreen and pine cone garland that surrounds the scene.  Every detail is just perfect.  If you too would like a little instant Christmas spirit, by all means check out this link.