Mr. Peacock loved going to get his photo taken with Santa at the mall, not because of Santa, but because of the dreamy Winter Wonderland installation you had to walk through to get to Santa. The line for Santa meandered through this Winter Wonderland of little snow covered cottages, silvery trees with glittering birds, mechanical woodland creatures and tiny elves dressed in red velvet suits. A little white picket fence surrounded the entire display, to keep the children in line from touching this dreamy holiday diarama. My mom would scold me if she caught me trying to touch one of the glittery deers drinking water from the mirrored stream. When you finally got to the front of the line, Santa’s helper (usually a bored high school girl in a mini-skirted elf outfit) would escort you to Santa's throne. This was the part I hated, because “Santa” was usually some scary guy with really bad breath. No wonder so many kids start crying when they get on Santa's lap. Luckily, the photo session with Santa lasted less than 2 minutes. I think Santa was paid by the number of children he could get through the Winter Wonderland during his shift, because I noticed in my photograph that he has a counter in his left hand…hmmm.
Mr. Peacock found this silver tinsel tree at West Elm a few years ago. Of course, after Christmas, they went on sale for next to nothing. I wish I would have bought a gold one too. Tiny red and white twinkle lights give our tree a cotton candy pink glow.
We decorated the tree with glass bird ornaments with feather tails (both new and vintage) and a large assortment of hand-me-down vintage ornaments from my mom and grandmothers collections—and supplemented with some extras found at the flea market. I can still remember carefully putting some of these ornaments on the tree as a little kid.
Some of the ornaments look a bit rough around the edges, with the metallic paint cracking and fading a bit, but I think it gives the tree a lovely vintage aura.
Mr. Peacock was allergic to real trees as a child, so our tree was made out of finely shredded green paper with a light flocking of fake snow. I think my mom found it at a hotel that was selling all of their old holiday displays. The tree actually looked somewhat real, and was very soft to the touch. My mom liked the Christmas tree and decorations to be taken down and put away promptly before New Year’s day, but one year I pleaded with her to leave it up longer. She relented and allowed us to leave it up until "we get tired of it." Come the beginning of February, the tree was still up. It sort of became a stand-off between us, as to when the tree should come down. Friends would visit our house and ask why our Christmas tree was still up? I don't remember the exact date we took it down, but it felt like spring. It definitely cured my desire of wanting to leave the tree up after Christmas and the following year we took the tree down immediately after Christmas day. Now I sit on our sofa zoning-out looking at our Christmas tree and longing for that dreamy Winter Wonderland with silvery trees and glittering birds. I hope everyone has their own sparkly winter wonderland this week!