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Christmas Past: Luster Doesn't Fade from Vintage Ornaments

Mount Tabor woman collects Christmas kistch and other holiday antiques.

Judging from Kim Andersen's Lucky Strike poster, Santa  had quite a smoking habit 50 years ago.

"It shocks me to see that and that Santa was used to sell cigarettes, but back then it was perfectly normal,'' said Andersen, who's been collecting vintage Christmas decorations since the 1980s.

Along with the smoking Santa, she has a kitschy 60s' Claus made of sequins—created by a long-ago crafter—a glass tree ornament from the 19th century, and  a rare Victorian feather tree, which she pulled  from someone's garbage 20 years ago.

"It's made from feathers but it doesn't look like feathers because they wrap it around some wire to look like evergreens,'' explains Andersen, an occasional Patch contributor who lives in Mount Tabor.

For Andersen, the old ornaments are a fun variation on the usual Yuletide imagery—and a reminder of Christmases pasts, although, in most cases, she doesn't know who they belonged to.

"They come from a time when things were made more carefully,'' she said. "They lasted this long, and they were passed down through the years because someone obviously cared for them.  When you put something on the tree every year, it becomes part of your memories.''

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