Miniature Bibles On Greeting Cards

Did you know you can get a patent for a Bible? Not a copyright, but a patent? If so, why did it take until the 1940s? These were some of the questions I had when I discovered this vintage Christmas card with a miniature Bible on it.

christmasbiblecard

The small Bible, measuring 1 by 1 1/2 inches, is tied onto the card with a ribbon. Untie the ribbon, slide it out of the card, and you have a miniature Bible. According to press at the time, the miniature Bible contains 220 pages of the New Testament plus the 23d Psalm.

Made by the Sorin Bible & Card Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio, the back of the card carries the following information:

Copyright 1943 — Patent No. 136006
The use of a miniature Bible and Prayer book on a greeting card is prohibited unless by permission.

In performing searches, I’ve found various other greeting card themes with the little Bible, including this very patriotic one.

As far as I was able to ascertain, the patent lasted about three years… If anyone can add to the story, please share!

Schuster’s Billie The Brownie

Billie the Brownie was a character that Schuster’s Department Store introduced in 1927 to promote their annual Christmas Parade in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I spotted this large plastic version of Billie (likely used in a story display) at DJ’s Antiques (also on Facebook). He was there last week, but you’ll have to contact the shop to see if he’s still there. The number is (414) 282-0447. (And tell them Val & Dean’s daughter from Fargo sent ya!)

billie the brownie statue vintage

Displaying Vintage Cookie Cutters

Some collections are easy to display for the holidays — and don’t require any additional trimmings either. In our space at Exit 55 Antiques, I’ve put the vintage cookie cutters in the ceramic basin of an antique washstand. It would be an awesome way to greet guests at the door, especially if you added some old wooden baby blocks spelling out “Welcome” or “Merry XMas” along the back shelf!

antique washstand with cookie cutters

Besides cookie cutters, what would you display this way?

Vintage German Christmas Tree Candle Clips

Before electricity made its way into most homes, Christmas trees had the warm glow of candlelight. The candles were attached to the tree branches via little metal clips. Most often they were decorative clips made in Germany, like these shown here.  Since using candles to light your tree is neither practical, nor safe, we don’t recommend bringing back that tradition lightly. (No pun intended!) But that doesn’t mean you can’t safely use these charming bits of Christmas past this holiday. They make wonderful placeholders, with or without candles, at your holiday table.

antique german tree clips as placecard holders

More than that, these vintage and antique Christmas tree clips can be used to display your holiday greeting cards (collectible ephemera and the new ones you receive from family & friends this year), photographs, etc. (As always, I would recommend sliding old or collectible paper in clear sleeves to protect them from the elements.)

christmas tree candle clips display cards

This sort of display would work well on holiday trim around doorways, etc.,; not just on trees.

display vintage ephemera with vintage christmas tree candle clips

In fact, since the designs on these old tree clips vary widely, including non-holiday motifs, like pine-cones, you could use them year round. For example, instead of clothespins on those framed bits of chicken-wire and other rustic ways to show-off photographs.

While I obviously prefer “old” pieces, if you prefer something more industrial (or at least not so shabby chic), there are contemporary clips as well. Whether you opt for old or new, whether you want to light the candles or not, the fact that they still make these tree candle clips means they still make the right size candles too.

Christmas Decorating For Collectors Who Want To Show Off Their Collections

The holidays, with all their visitors, are the perfect time for showing off our collections. And what collector doesn’t want to show off their collection?! Instead of replacing your antique and vintage treasures with holiday pieces, why not deck your collections along with decking the halls? It can be as simple as mixing in some simple holiday trims.

Here’s a collection of vintage soda pop bottles topped with simple gold and silver ball ornaments. It would make a unique centerpiece on any holiday table.

festive vintage soda pop bottle collection display

Collect breweriana, not pop? Gold balls really make vintage beer glasses come alive!

festive holiday poker display

Here I used some sparking Christmas tree balls and strings of garland to decorate some vintage pottery pieces.

vintage collectibles dressed for the holidays

Even more rustic country displays can be given some holiday glitz this way. I added some silver balls and garland to this set of vintage blue Ball canning jars.

festive primitives glass canning jars

And here, that rustic autumn centerpiece gets a bit more glamorous for the holidays. Along with the ball ornaments, I added some glittery golden picks.

rustic holiday centerpiece

Antique and vintage ornaments are nice to use, of course. And the old glass ornaments are actually much cheaper than you think right now. The kitschy vintage pipecleaner and flocked plastic ornaments, like the shelf-elves, are becoming more popular now and well out-price the vintage glass pieces. In fact, the vintage glass balls and ornaments — even those painted, frosted or otherwise decorated — can be found in antique shops in my area for as little as one dollar! (Contact me at my store page if you want me to be your personal shopper and get some for you!)

However, if you don’t have any vintage ornaments left over once you’ve decorated the Christmas tree, or if you cannot find enough old ornaments to get a color theme for your grouping, you can get extra trimmings inexpensively at the dollar store. That’s where all of these balls, picks, and garland came from.

Use Vintage Sleds To Carry The Holiday Gifts

I just love the look of old wooden sleds holding the Christmas presents. Sometimes you have more presents than the sled can carry — but a few on the sled looks lovely next to the tree! This is a photo of our display at Exit 55 Antiques.

antique vintage sled holding holiday gifts

Sylvia Pope is a 70-year-old grandmother who loves Christmas

ornamentcollector

Her house in Morriston, Swansea, South Wales is home to her ever-growing collection of Christmas ornaments, which now numbers over 1800 pieces. The glittering holiday baubles come from all over the world and, because she has more than would fit on her Christmas tree, they hang from her living room ceiling for all to enjoy.

Deanna Dahlsad‘s insight:

More photos & info if you click 😉

See on fair-oaks-antiques.tumblr.com

Load Up Your Vintage Sleighs

We’ve all seen those cute vintage Santa and reindeer sleigh sets…

vintage santa reindeer and sleigh

And we’ve all seen enough of the old sleighs at thrift shops to know that eventually, like Santa’s sleigh Christmas morning, whatever goodies were originally in the sleigh have left — even Santa and his reindeer have departed leaving an empty and forlorn sleigh, just shadow of its former useful and joyful self.

But Wanda’s archive of Christmas decorating inspires me to rescue and adopt these old empty sleighs and fill them with other collectibles. (I do have quite a number of those just sitting around!) Here she shows some vintage plastic dolls of other nations taking a ride around the world in Santa’s sleigh.

vintage dolls in sleigh

And here, retro kitschy poodles pile on in! I just love that!

poodles in sleigh

A Dickens Of A Big Birthday Celebration: Charles Turns 200

The world is celebrating Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday this year, and one of the many events includes a world tour, retracing the historic steps that Charles Dickens made during his famous American tours, by Gerald Charles Dickens, great great grandson of the author himself. Two days of the historic tour will be celebrations involving Vaillancourt Folk Art, makers of fine chalkware collectibles. (I interviewed Luke M. Vaillancourt, the son of founder & artist Judi Vaillancourt, back in 2009.)

On Friday, September 21, 2012, Gerald Charles Dickens will honor his great great grandfather by doing as Charles Dickens himself did in 1868: performing A Christmas Carol at the Mechanics Hall in Worcester, MA. On on Saturday, September 22, 2012, there will be two performances at Vaillancourt Folk Art in Sutton, MA; at 2:00pm, The Republic of My Imagination and Oliver Twist, and at 7:00pm, A Child’s Journey with Dickens, and The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.

I know this is a bit early — but it’s a pretty big deal for Dicken’s fans! Get more details and tickets here. And watch for news on more Vaillancourt Dickens’ Christmas items too.

Pick & Grin Is This Our Last REAL Christmas Tree?

Pick: Did you ever notice that everyone is happy and smiling putting up the tree before the Christmas holiday, humming Christmas carols the whole time, but taking it down is another matter?

Grin: Whatever do you mean dear?

Pick: Well, here I stand on a ladder taking down the ornaments, while you yell out the NFL Playoff Game Schedule from your chair.

Grin: OK, OK, I’ll get to work with you.

Pick: Thanks, hon. By the way, do you think this should be our last year with a real tree? All of our friends have the artificial trees with lights and ornaments still on from last year. They simply pull it out of the attic, tweak the lights and add a few ornament that might have fallen off. And they are done! We, on the other hand, have box after box of ornaments and strings of lights that need to be taken out and arranged on the tree.

Grin: Well, then there is the shopping for the tree. We have come a long way toward doing a better job of that. When the girls were young, we’d go a week before Christmas in the cold, snow and windy weather. There was one year we all sat in the car and simply yelled to the tree attendant – Yes, that’s the one! And he loaded it onto the top of the car. Not until we got home did we notice how crooked it was and how one side was virtually bald! At least we now go earlier and try to choose a dry, not-so-cold day!

Pick: Ah, that does bring back memories of our ‘lesser trees.’ Remember the year we had to wire it to the window sill so it would not tip over. I think that was the year my brother teased us mercilessly about it!

Grin: I also remember your brother’s delight when we put the tree out front. Remember, it was actually just the trunk and four or five branches remaining from our wreath project. We set it out by the door with two ornaments on it – sort of like Charlie Brown’s little tree! He howled over that one!

Pick: Well, you must admit, this was the finest, fullest tree we’ve ever found. Everyone who viewed it exclaimed about it being so lovely and ’round.’

Grin: Are you sure they weren’t talking about me after all the holiday treats – ha!

Pick: Very funny. But back to the tree. It does smell good in the house. I recall a friend’s son in law running over to her artificial tree and exclaiming “Gee, it smells like dust!” I don’t think I want that experience.

Grin: I agree with the great pine scent, but that comes from the millions of needles! Check out the extra scent-makers on our floor. They will make a long trail out onto the porch, down the sidewalk, down the driveway and to the curb where it will rest for a week or so until the city picks it up. We’ll be vacuuming needles until at least Easter!

Pick: Well, both of our daughters still get the real thing. They are creating fun memories (and laughs) with their kids when they get a ‘loser tree.’

Grin: But think how nice it would be to just go up to the attic and drag the completed tree down, lights, ornaments and all. No boxes!

Pick: Well, that’s not true, I would still pack up the ‘special ornaments’, and tree-top angel (that’s my mother’s) just to keep them secure.

Grin: So let me get this straight. You still like the smell of the tree, we would not gain any room in the attic because a tree takes up a lot of space and there’d still be lots of boxfuls of ornaments, plus you like the memories of a real tree, right?

Pick: Well, once again you have convinced me that a real tree is the way to go. We don’t have to make a decision right now, we can wait until next year, about a week before Christmas.

Grin: Well, here we go again. Let’s get back to work, only 11 more boxes to pack up!

 

Pick & Grin – Christmas Memories – Time to Tear Down the Tree

Pick: I suppose it is time. Time to take down the tree, put all the ornaments in their boxes, until next year. We are the only ones in our ‘group’ who have a live tree. When the kids were small, we’d work on putting it up for a few days. You’d do the lights, the girls would put the ‘unbreakables’ near the bottom and I’d do the top part.

Grin: I remember a few of the early years when our trees were SO crooked that we’d have to wire them to the window hardware. Otherwise, they’d tip over. We got numerous comments , none of them good.

Pick: We have talked about getting an artificial tree, but then you mentioned the ‘limited space’ in our attic. And I truly love the smell of a real tree. A friend has an artificial one and her son-in-law always walks up to it, takes a good sniff and retorts “Ahh, the smell of dust!” I don’t want that from my son-in-laws. (Not that either would be so crass – ha!)

Grin: And then there is the concern of the ornaments. The ones from your grandmother, for example. If you left them on the tree, you would worry until next year if one would be broken when moved around. So, since we have to take it all down and wrap them, we’ll keep the live tree. But is there any way we can eliminate some of those ornaments?

Pick: Each time I pack and unpack I have fond memories. I remember putting that exact angel on our tree-top at home. She has withstood the test of time. And the bird with the tail-feathers, why, that was my grandmother’s and there is precious little from her.

Grin: That is understandable – you’ll always want to keep that one. But what about these poorly-painted ceramic ornaments.? They are a bit tacky on your classy tree. And we have so many to pack away.

Pick: But don’t you remember these? We made them with the kids when they were about 8 or 9 years old! They are very special to me.

Grin: OK then, but these plastic ones can go. They are out of date and very cheap too!

Pick: Now wait a minute – those are the bottom-of-the-tree ornaments. Nicholas, our youngest grandson can still come over and touch things. You know how I want to be a ‘fun grandma.’ And then if our Westie knocks one off when he strolls past, who cares? You need the lesser ones near the bottom.

Grin: Sounds like you have rationale for every one on this tree. But then, I am not surprised. It is the same with your year-round decorations. Everything has a special memory, or makes you smile to recall where you found it or who gave it to you. Someday, the house will just sink slowly into the ground.

Pick: You exaggerate – there is still room in the basement for a few things and the attic has a bit of room.

Grin: Dear, if you started collecting toothpicks, we’d be in trouble. But let’s get back to the tree.

Pick: It will look so darn empty in this room when it is gone. Can you put up an Easter Tree?

Pencil Crayons

People don’t always know what I mean when I talk about pencil crayons. I thought that was a pretty universal term for them. Someone assumed I was talking about regular crayons, wax crayons. But, pencil crayons are coloured pencils, not made out of wax.

I’ve had pencil crayons since I was a kid. We did arts and crafts and drawing and at times I illustrated my diary. (Not too often as I thought my drawings were pretty sad, even at the amateur level).

I always had a set of at least 12 colours which went to school with me. We made crafts for holidays at home and the pencil crayons would come out along with the scissors and glue, an arts and crafts staple, always in supply. I would keep mine in a pretty pencil case to keep them from being broken or having the points chipped. I also kept my handy pencil sharpener there cause you had to be ready for the odd broken tip. Sometimes I got especially creative and used the side of a pencil, so it needed extra sharpening to get it long to cover more space.

There are endless crafts and memories created with pencil crayons. I still have them around. I use them to make illustrations even now. I still don’t think highly of my drawing skills but I like trying, learning more as I go.

What do you remember about family and holidays, arts and crafts when you see a set of pencil crayons? When did you last use coloured pencils? Maybe you should treat yourself to a new set, explore some shapes, lines and colours and have fun like a kid again.

Merry Martha Sleeper Jewelry & Fashions

At first I was going to post this photo of Clara Bow posing by a Christmas tree because of the fabulous decorations and stuffed toys; but once I saw this photo of Martha Sleeper I was equally smitten!

Martha Sleeper was a silent film star in the 1920s and, in the 1940s, a Broadway actress. But collectors may know her best as a jewelry designer.

Her whimsical designs in Bakelite, wood and metal were mass-produced by the New England Novelty Company. (Decades later, in the 1970s, Andy Warhol would find and adore her creations, amassing one the largest collections and resurrecting the demand for vintage Bakelite jewelry in general.)

These are snippets on Sleeper’s jewelery from a beauty and fashion column published in the Mansfield News Journal on April 17, 1940:

An ad for Martha Sleeper’s jewelry found in the Racine Journal Times November 10, 1939 — only $1!

Another ad, with an image, of Sleeper jewelry designs; The Salt Lake Tribune, October 10, 1941:

In 1949, Sleeper and her husband sailed on a 40-foot schooner from from New York for a vacation in the Virgin Islands, but when she reached Puerto Rico she fell in love with the island — and stayed. By 1950, Sleeper had given up making jewlery (“too tedious”) for making fashions and had opened “Martha Sleeper Creates,” a boutique at 101 Fortaleza St. in Old San Juan.

The shop began “with two dozen hand-made skirts and three dozen blouses  and filled up the gaps in the place with plants. People thought I had a florist shop and for the first year, I couldn’t sell anything but greens .” (Quotes from Cumberland Evening Times, May 27, 1955; below.)

By 1955, her fashions, and accessories such as purses etc., were exported to other islands and the mainland.  Below is an article from Billings Gazette, July 1, 1964, on Martha Sleeper’s lace fashions:

By 1964, Sleeper is said to have also opened a shop in Palm Beach, Florida.

Image Credits:

Vintage Martha Sleeper birds on twig pin from Decotini.

Vintage Martha Sleeper matchsticks necklace and bracelet set via ModBag.

Pair of vintage Bakelite cat pins by Martha Sleeper via halsll.

Black Martha Sleeper Creates label via Vintage Fashion Guild Forums.

White Martha Sleeper Creates For You label from Bonnie & Clyde’s Treasure Trove Vintage.

Mortuary Blood Jars and Other Collectibles To Die For.

Pick & Grin from Antiquips brings you bizarre finds.

Part of the joy in collecting or selling antiques and collectibles is the people you meet. Sharing the stories of the hunt, the success in finding a super item at a great price or selling one for a king’s ransom. Mistakes are forgotten, and the next great find is only a matter of time.

“What do you collect?”, can start an hour of conversation.  So it is when we stop at a consignment shop called DJ’s Antique’s in Greenfield, Wisconsin and engage in a bit of chit-chat with Don the owner and Trisha, whose claim to fame is properly displaying the latest “must haves”. Her own passion in collecting is rather unusual, funeral or death related items. Now any old collector/seller has something in that category or at least Pick had some large ornate casket handles, a casket plate and some cabinet photos of funerals.

Pick: I purchased the handles in the last century to be used as a towel bar, but!!!

Grin: I know that “but”, I just never got around to getting them up.

Pick: That better be the only thing you don’t get up.

Grin: I know!!

Pick: I decided to offer that stuff to Trisha for her collection. That’s why your recent purchase of blood jars came as a surprise. I couldn’t tell if you were a serious bidder when the pair of red amber mortuary bleeding jars came up for auction at our last visit to Bailey’s Honor Auctions held in Wisconsin.

Grin: I had looked at them during preview when auctioneer Carol Miller was explaining that they came from an estate and were called “mortuary bleeding jars.” Their cone shape, and old rusty wire hangers drew my attention. I spotted the pair and considered the shape to be unusual even without the provenance. The color was also unique. They first appeared amber, but holding them up, the color looked redder. The only markings are on the rim and it reads “Klip Kup, Patn. Applied For.”  And on the flattened bottom end, it has the initials MP.

Pick: I can’t find one single item or any reference to these two glass containers on line or in books.

Grin: Nor can I. But when the bidding was still within reason and the other bidder dropped out I was the owner of two used blood bowls.

We had discussed our strategy before the auction trying to curb our enthusiasm for only the most unusual items to fill our antique mall case and on-line stores. Now what could be more interesting than mortuary jars?

Pick: The Jaguar Hearse used in the movie Harold & Maude.

Grin: You’ve got me there.

Christmas is in the Pink

Pink is in for Christmas the past couple of years. Did you know pink for Christmas isn’t a new idea? The first aluminum tree came out in 1958. Since then metallic trees had their time of being popular. I remember seeing them in shiny green, red, silver, white, blue and pink.

I think the new trend to have pink trees comes in part from the warmer weather we have been having at Christmas, also all the people who travel to warmer destinations over the winter, including the Canadian Snowbirds in Florida. They bring the ideas of summer into the Christmas season.

I’ve seen pink flamingos, orange and pink poinsettias and shiny neon pink snowflakes decorating the Christmas trees in stores here. They are very pretty, romantic looking, a change from the traditional red and green.

There are a few places selling the vintage aluminum trees:

Aluminum Christmas Trees

Retro Holiday

Traditions Year Round Holiday Store

Yuletide Expressions (New trees like the vintage silver trees).

Other Resources:

Flickr: Aluminum Christmas Trees

Suite101: Collectible Vintage Aluminum Christmas Trees

ATOM – Aluminum Tree and Ornament Museum

Wikipedia: Aluminum Christmas Tree

CBC Digital Archives: Aluminum Christmas Trees come to Canada (1960)

It’s A Pickle!

My mom found this old pickle cookie cutter and gave it to me for Christmas this year — though first, in the confusion of gift opening, my middle child got it, opened it, and was very confused. (I guess she was the pickle in the middle? lol)

My mom found the cookie cutter out antiquing and knew it would be the perfect gift for me. Not only I am crazy about cookie cutters (and old stuff in general), but it’s a pickle! Pickles are a pretty big thing in our family…

I suppose it starts with the German tradition of hiding a glass pickle ornament on the Christmas tree. It’s such a big deal, that when a young person moves out to live on their own (or at least not with their parents), they are given a glass pickle ornament to hang on their own tree, so that they may continue the tradition.

But then there was the year that my uncle made my sister open like half a dozen wrapped boxes (each empty but wrapped box nested inside the other, like those Russian dolls) just to get to the smallest, final box, open it and find a pickle with a bite taken out of it. Boy, was my six year old sister ticked! And boy did my uncle and I laugh! Ah, good times *sigh*

And then there’s the expression on every one of my kids’ faces the first time they had a pickle — especially when they had insisted they’d like it and struggled not to prove mom was right about the warnings *wink*

Anyway, the pickle is just good fun. So what’s not to love about an antique pickle cookie cutter?

I suspect this old tin cookie cutter to be German in origin — not just because it’s a pickle, but because the Germans have a long history of making cookie cutters. (So maybe my obsession with collecting cookie cutters is a genetic thing?) And I’m guessing it’s at least 100 years old.

Anyway, I love that this antique tin cookie cutter of a pickle has the fluted edge, which gives the pickle cookies authentic spines.

Now, the question is, when I make pickle cookies, should I salt the tops a bit? I’ve at least got to take a bite out of one, and wrap it up in all those boxes for my sister’s next birthday *wink*

Where is Your Christmas Tree Going?

This photo is from SmileyGeekGirl on Flickr.
This photo is from SmileyGeekGirl on Flickr.

One of my favourite Christmas things is the tree, all lit up and decorated. The ornaments are a blend of special treasures I bought over the years, vintage ornaments passed down in my family for a generation or three and the real prizes are those ornaments we made ourselves, mostly from some felt, lace and embroidery thread. When it’s in prime Christmas mode the tree is glorious.

That’s why seeing a Christmas tree discarded somewhere, left to become a weathered mess, is so sad. How could some poor tree be plucked from it’s roots, given a grand celebration and then thrown out – treated with less care than the wrapping paper which was once under it.

Why do people do this to the trees? In these days of living green and caring for the planet, when we recycle and reuse and refurbish… why toss out a whole tree this way?

These are photos you can see of abandoned trees in Flickr groups. Maybe between now and the end of the year you will see an abandoned Christmas tree yourself. If you can drag it somewhere it has a chance to be recycled, I hope you will.

Thank you to Smiley Geek Girl for the photo of the lonely tree.

Holidays: The Kids’ Table

When I was a kid, our big family gatherings had the traditional kids’ table. At first it was fun to hang out with your cousins, having those chocolate-milk-bubble-blowing-contests without garnering parental stink-eye; but eventually you wanted to age-out of that table and join the grown-ups because you weren’t a kid anymore.

And then one day you did!

christmas-at-the-kids-table We all must have collectively aged-out of the concept of kids’ tables because I’ve noticed lately that the kids’ table has gone the way of the dinosaurs.

Now if there’s a rickety little card table it has a new fancy holiday tablecloth on it instead of last year’s tablecloth and you could find anyone sitting there — just as you’ll find plenty of kids at the regular dinning room table.

And I hate it.

Like every child before me, I couldn’t wait to be deemed an adult and join the grown-ups and now view this as a rite of passage that those younger ought to earn too.

But more than that, as an adult, I long for adult conversation unfettered by the little ears. It’s not that I want or need to swear like a sailor all through dinner, but some topics are not suitable for children.

And even those that are suitable, are often the sort that require you to stop every five words to explain who people are, define words, and provide context. I do that all day, every day; and some times I’d just like to have a meal in which I can talk grown-up stuff with people I don’t often see — and not be bogged down with a learning situation for children, complete with adult-to-child thesaurus, a world globe, & a flip-chart.

Possibly worse is having the kids blurt information. You know, like ruin the story you are cleverly crafting by giving away the punchline. Or how about when you are waxing nostalgic, making an insider joke with your sister about that bad thing you both did that one Thanksgiving — and your kid catches on, blurting, “You and Aunt Jackie stole a street sign?!”

*sigh*

I’d like those adults only conversations — after all, I sat at the kids’ table for years, I’ve earned them!

Does that make me a bad person? I don’t think so… My parents did it. My grandparents did it. And the only bad thing I have to show for it is a sack full of memories.

So what the heck happened?

People started treating their children like adults — small-bodied adults, but adults nevertheless.

People thought that the kids’ table was mean; “Kids shouldn’t be ostracized for their age,” they whine. The kids’ table is seen as an archaic memento of the days when children should be seen and not heard. But when I look back, it’s the secrets shared and conspiratorial conversations with cousins at the kids table that I remember most vividly.

I remember the pride my male cousins had at making we girls giggle and gross-out over their status as pull-my-finger kings — with no gassy uncles to over-power them. I remember the turns my female cousins and I took, mocking the boys for their uncouth ways. I remember laughing so hard, milk squirted out of our noses. And I remember the gossip we shared, the secrets we confessed — things we never would have dared to say around the grown-ups. (Those dumb old grown-ups would have needed a hip-lingo-to-uncool-adult translator, a map of the school, and flip charts — and even then, they wouldn’t have been cool enough to get it.)

Sitting at the kids’ table was our private time.

So kids now can sit where they want; never mind that Great Grandpa has to sit at the rickety card table and 7 foot tall Uncle Kevin has to fold himself in half to get on that folding chair. But we’ve lost more than those physical comforts.

The kids have lost kid time and we’ve lost grown-up time.

So bring back the kids’ table, I beg of you. I miss it, and our kids are missing out on it.

Meanwhile, I have my memories… Which I am reminded of every holiday and every time I flip through old magazines, vintage photos, etc., and see images of the kids’ table.