Nostalgic Christmas Under the Tree

I save things.

My mother saved things, too.

She saved bits of wax paper and slightly used tin foil and plastic bags for reuse – the consummate recycler before it became law.

I save . . . memories.  Tangibly.  So I can look upon them and hold them for fleeting moments – perhaps only seconds.  The remnants of bygone days when time moved slower and innocent joys skipped gaily about in my childlike imaginings.

ragetty remnant quote

I save Christmas.  Especially Christmas.

And, this year, I decided to depart from my normal Christmas decor plan to create a nostalgic setting that delights and comforts me – soul and spirit.  You see, instead of putting my country lighted village scene on the library table in front of the picture window in the dining room like I always do – I put a tree. 

Retro tree1

Decked with vintage and retro styled ornaments keeping watch over a display of vintage and retro toys, books, decor, and even some actual presents from my childhood’s Christmas Past.

retro tree 2

One thing is new, though – this sweet Santa’s bag teapot recently added to my collection a year or so ago.


It is perfect to bring together the Toyland collections of my past with the Teatime collections of my present.  They are this grown up lady’s toys, who is still very connected to the wonder and delight of her youth in all good things and beauty.


My Raggedy Ann was Christmas gifted to me in 1961 and is still wearing her original clothes – though perfectly aged showing signs of much love.

She sits near where Barbie stands . . .

Barbie retro tree

Wearing a handmade fur trimmed corduroy red hooded winter cape over a black velvet evening dress trimmed in gold, she would certainly have made a fashion statement at any Christmas party in the birth year we both share – 1959.


I admit – I came into this particular Barbie many years later – my own tragically lost when a younger sibling quarreled with a playmate and stomped home leaving our Barbie collection at the offending playmates house.  Silent treatment ensued between them for weeks – our Barbies were never recovered.


This Barbie was found while thrifting and included the original wigs and a bag full of the most meticulously hand sewn wardrobe in the styles of the early 1960’s that one could ever hope to own! I expect will need to plan a post to show all those handcrafted miniature lovelies off one of these days.  Perhaps in the new year.  The collection reminds me of all the handmade clothes I once had for my dolls – the details of which my mind’s eye is still keen to vividly recall. 

She is perfect under my Nostalgic Christmas Tree.

So, too, is this little angel.  It is one of three that belonged to my mother’s mother – and then to my mother – and then, when mom passed, she divided the trio up among her three daughters.  It is a treasure and tangible memory of her.


Also under the tree – a first edition from 1947 of Miracle on 34th Street!  It is the first Christmas movie (the original with Maureen O’Hara, of course) I watch every year on Thanksgiving evening while the turkey settles. I was thrilled to come across this edition at a used bookstore.


Now – time to take some tea and pie. I’ve stepped across the room to my tea cabinet where just the right teacup is displayed!


It is full of wonder for me – even as an adult!  From a Norway china pottery, it depicts a wedding party storyline on the interior of the cup.  A castle setting with all the expected cast of characters in medieval attire making a pilgrimage to – perhaps – the Christmas wedding festivities in the King’s banquet hall.



I love the detail of each figure. like the bride and groom – and the lush red and green hues of the exterior and very Danish style floral embellishment.




The demitasse size is just right for a child’s fingers – and the Crustless Pumpkin Custard Pie with Maple Syrup Drizzle is a perfect compliment!


As a child, I loved pumpkin pie – but always left the crust.  After all the flavor and delight of the pumpkin custard part, the bland crust was a bit of a disappointment.  As an adult, I am on a gluten free diet so eating pie crust is on my official list of What Not To Do.  I was excited to find a recipe for a crustless pie, and made a few changes of my own to bring it more into line with my “Yes” ingredients – and truly guilt free tea treat dining!


Crustless Pumpkin Custard Pie w/Maple Syrup Drizzle

2 cups pumpkin puree

1 cup Almond Milk

1/4 raw honey

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons unsalted butter – melted

2 teaspoons Almond extract

1/2 Bob’s Red Mill Sorghum Flour

2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice

Coconut Oil

Pure Maple Syrup

Set oven at 350 degrees.  Grease a 9″ pie plate with coconut oil.  Beat together pumpkin, almond milk, raw honey, eggs, melted butter and extract.  Mix in the flour and pumpkin pie spice.  Pour into pie plate and bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes – no more that 15 minutes – until toothpick in center comes out clean.  Check at the one hour mark to be sure the sides aren’t burning.  Serve warm or cold with a garnish of maple syrup drizzled over it – or perhaps a small scoop of ice cream/whipped cream.

Option 1:  Add cranberries or raisins to the mix for a chunky sweet spin to your pie.

Option 2: Instead of Pumpkin Pie Spice, add 2 Tablespoons of Pure Maple Syrup.


Mmmmm . . . quiet time today with my tea, pie and nostalgic memories, I am joyful in the solitude as I thumb through my day’s reading and reflection from Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift – the joy of the Lord filling my heart with visions of Gratitude and Hope dancing in my head.


This little child keeping Christmas again this year in the wonder of childhood as she meditates on THE CHILD OF CHRISTMAS.


I’ll be featuring more Nostalgic Christmas Treasures this month as we wait on the day of His coming . . .

blog signature

Sharing Nostalgic Christmas Under the Tree this week with:

Make it Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House

Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage Tea Time Tuesday

Kathy at Delightsome Life’s Return to Loveliness

Terri at Artful Affirmations Tea Cup Tuesday

Martha at Martha’s Favorites

Bernideens Teatime Blog

Ruth at Antiques and Teacups

 Beverly’s Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound


Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Kathryn Ross

About Miss Kathy

"I teach families how to restore their God-given authority as the primary educator in their child’s life through the experience of reading together as a family. Learn how to use literature to create teachable moments, build strong minds, and bind loving hearts."

Kathryn Ross, writer, speaker, and dramatist, ignites a love of literature and learning to equip young and old towards developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle—reading together, learning together, loving together. Her works challenge families to deepen their literacy skills and grow into the greater things God has purposed for them. She’s taught in Christian and homeschool circles, trained in the Principle Approach® through the Foundation for American Christian Education. Miss Kathy owns Pageant Wagon Publishing, producing homeschool enrichment materials, devotional works, study guides, and theatrical dramas for church, school, and community production. She podcasts at and blogs at


  1. I love your little vintage christmas… sweet. The Raggedy Ann looks like one I have from when my Aunt was a child and then she had given it to me.

    Amy Jo

  2. Oh, sniff, sniff… have really tugged on my childhood heart strings with your nostalgic post! I think your tree is exactly what your body and soul needed. You listened really well to your heart didn’t you? It is a marvelous, and magical display of childhood innocence and spontaneous joy! Yay!
    I feel honored that you have shared this with us all.

  3. Oh, Kathy, I so enjoyed your charming post! I am very sentimental myself and your post really ministered to me. I love your little tree in the window and all the treasures beneath it. I think most of us become like children around Christmastime, and I’m certainly no exception. I also had a Barbie with wigs. She was my last doll. {Before I started collecting them, that is! Porcelain dolls}
    I like a crustless pumpkin pie too although our recipes are somewhat different and your little teacup is so cute. Thank you for sharing this at Tea Time and have a lovely week, my friend.


  4. Horrible story on the Barbies, so glad you came across some later. My Barbie collection (old) went to a lady who knew better than to ask a 3 year old if she had any barbies for sale at a garage sale I was having. My daughter went and get her 3 old Barbies and the lady gave her 25 cents each for them. Sad, some people just take advantage. Sweet Santa Bag tea pot, your window looks festive.

  5. Oh I love, love, love all of your decorations. You know, I’ve been having a hard time getting motivated to decorate but I tell you, this post has gotten me motivated. My favorite doll growing up was a Raggedy Anne and yours brought so many memories. 🙂

  6. Hi Kathy: Today, you almost made me cry. That is the sweet post you did. Thank you for sharing the wonderful memories. You are such a sweet lady. You are special to me. Blessings, Martha

  7. Beautiful Kathy! I haven’t gotten my decorating done, but I always favor old and meaningful ornaments and items from my family and childhood as well. The pie is perfect for me as well! I have never been a crust lover either,,,probably the reason I don’t like or make pie! Thanks for your wonderful post, recipe and for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!

  8. Lavender Cottage says:

    I enjoyed this post about past memories and the use of nostalgic Christmas decor. I didn’t know there was a Barbie that wore wigs, and I am glad you found one with a collection of clothes to be dressed in.
    The crustless pumpkin pie looks delicious, thanks for your sharing your recipe Kathryn.

  9. Oh, Kathy! I loved this walk down memory lane. I too, bring out many of my Christmas past gifts from my childhood. Love the recipe for the crust-less pie. I’ll have to try it. And that sweet nativity ornament you have at the end. . .we had one exactly like it when I was little. I’ll have to check with my sister and brother to see if either of them have it. Thanks for the memories!

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