Feeling Christmasy

I have a thing for retro Christmas decorations — the tackier, the better. When I discovered Charles Phoenix and his vintage photos at Christmas time a few years ago, it was like getting a special present. He lives in L.A. and collects family photo slides from the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s that he finds at flea markets and yard sales, then he puts on slideshows in L.A. that both celebrate and mock the images. Genius.

There was a brief story about him in The New York Times Magazine a few years, along with some of his retro holiday photos:

Charles Phoenix is fixed on the past, but not his own. He hasn’t taken a picture in years, but over the last decade, he has collected more than a million slides from estate sales and flea markets, many of them showing holiday festivities… The parade of families is anonymous, in many cases. But the slides shown here from the ’50s and ’60s capture the eccentricities of each celebration, from the cloudy, rose-colored concoction that capped off one feast, to the toy kitchen set for an ecstatic housewife in training.

Inspired by these images, I started collecting retro Christmas decorations for our house and created our little Christmas nook:This week, I cajoled Dave into dragging the boxes out of the storage room so I can establish the Christmas nook on Sunday for maximum holiday cheer. Come over and enjoy a glass of bubbly with us in the nook!

Charles Phoenix site
Charles Phoenix NPR interview
Great blog post about Charles Phoenix show

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  • Roni says:

    Well, aren’t you all about Christmas this year? If I didn’t know the truth I would think your Christmas photo came from the collection of Charles Phonix. Have a Merry. Love you!