Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Retro Monday: Christmas Villages from Japan
Following World War II and right up into the 1950s, Japan produced cardboard Christmas village houses such as these. They had cellophane windows and a hole in the back for a Christmas light so a light string could be used to illuminate each building from within. On the base these figures are simply marked "Japan" and one is accompanied by a 29 cent store sticker. By the 1960s, Japan sought to divest itself of the inexpensive item market and moved toward high tech instead.
Accompanying this cheery scene are chalkware figures painted with watercolors. These were popular during the years of the Great Depression in the United States. So today's retro scene covers several decades of Christmas celebrations past.
How many of you have such members of Christmas past among your decorations? One of our most interesting ornament boxes from the Shiny Brite ornament company shows Uncle Sam and Santa Claus shaking hands on the box front and harkens back to the World War II.
I don't know about you, but I grew up with decorations like this and greet their return each year like the return of old friends I'm glad to see again. There's a certain charm in these inexpensive decorations that were never intended to last from one year to the next, never mind one decade to the next. I'm always glad to see these survivors return for another round of Christmas cheer.
Wishing you a New Year filled with a certain retro flair ... and may the ornaments of Christmases past grace your future as well.
Oh, by the way, yes, I know it's Tuesday ... but I'm on vacation, so give me a break, okay?! I'll worry about being on time in the new year!