Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas To You All!


We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It has been an amazing year and we've seen our little business continue to grow throughout the months; which has meant it has also been a very busy year - so now is the perfect time to say a huge 'thank you' to everyone who has made a purchase from our shop, and to everyone who has spared their time to email or leave a comment here on the Vintage Home blog. We are currently working on many new ideas for the website which we will revealed early next year - and of course we will be adding lots and lots of ever more beautiful vintage treasures. In the meantime, we will be entertaining friends and family over the Christmas holidays; we have a full-house on Christmas day so I will be busy in the kitchen, but I am hoping to relax in the evening with a glass or two of something warming! The cottage is festively dressed for Christmas so I thought I would share the photos with you...

...logs stacked in the inglenook, the woodburner warming the room, and the pretty garland decorating the beam...

...lots of twinkling lights and greenery on the main beam...

...Much-loved decorations adding charm and prettiness...

...the tree in all its glory...

...all that's missing are the presents - yet to be wrapped!

As well as photos of our festive cottage, I'd like to share a tale of Christmas past...

Wartime Christmas

Amongst my collection of portrait paintings is this utterly charming oil painting of a young lady. Inscribed on the reverse is the date it was painted; Christmas Eve 1941 and every time I look at it, my mind conjures up a very special Christmas scene. I imagine a typical 1940s parlour with home-made decorations of paper chains, streamers and lanterns. A fire crackles in the hearth and a clock ticks softly on the mantelpiece above. A small table sits under the window, which is hung with heavy black-out curtains. The table is draped with an embroidered tablecloth and upon this sits a selection of small gifts, wrapped in brown paper and tied with coloured ribbons. The gifts are very unlike today's luxurious and glamorous trinkets, but each has been chosen or made lovingly for the person in mind. Perhaps some nuts, an orange, a knitted scarf or gloves. A wooden plane or boat for the young boy, a ragdoll for the little girl; all very simple by today's standards but so very special all those years ago in war-torn England.
By the gentle glow of the fire, a young lady sits patiently as her image is painted by the artist.

They may have sat there listening to the sound of enemy aircraft overhead and heard the distant wail of the air-raid warning rise up into the night sky. As the hours of Christmas Eve ticked by and the artist and his model exchanged laughter and soft words, her smiling image and a moment in time were captured on canvas. Who was that artist? Perhaps a sister or brother, creating a wonderful present for their parents. Perhaps a young beau, keeping the painting hidden until finished, and then unveiling it for his young lady on Christmas morning.
There is no way to know who painted this wonderful portrait, or the circumstances in which it was painted, but I can't help thinking that the young lady looks so happy and positive, looking towards a good future, despite the uncertain era she was living in.

That's what Christmas and New Year is about, it is a time to reflect on the past year and to look forward to the coming year with fresh hopes and aspirations.

Have a wonderful and Very Merry Christmas everyone! Clare & Mike xx