For Christmas, some children got toys for being good little girls and boys. That is why toys are so much a part of the holiday season decorating Christmas cards and Christmas trees—train sets, teddy bears and hobby horses, toy drums, toy soldiers, sleds, trucks and all sorts of dolls.
They represent innocence and fun. They make us feel good, even loved. They make us smile. Because they evoke such nostalgia, old toys are among the most sought-after and are often the most expensive collectibles on the antiques market.
It is a lovely idea to decorate for the holidays using old toys, placing them on the mantel or book shelves, in the china closet, even on the dining table or including them among the wrapped packages under the tree.
It is not necessary to pay a fortune for them if you shop around. If you check out the advertisers in this publication, you will undoubtedly find some good deals on vintage and antique toys. I particularly like the handmade toys—trucks, boats, rag dolls—many from the 1930s when money was tight or from rural families living far from fancy department stores.
If you can, however, go out and shop at your nearest antique mall or auction house and treat yourself to one classic old toy for your yearly Christmas decorating scheme. Before you know it, you shall have an investment quality collection to pass down to your family. That is, of course, if they’ve been good little girls and boys.
Mary Dessoie covers a variety of topics in the field of antiques and collectibles. She founded the Butter Pat Patter Association for beginner and advanced collectors of butter pats, miniature plates that were introduced in the mid-1800s for individual servings of butter. A subscription to The Patter newsletter is $22 and includes a mint-condition Royal Doulton butter pat. Royal Doulton, located in the Staffordshire area of England, is known throughout the world as one of the leading manufacturers of fine china. Subscribers will also receive ten issues of The Patter. Sample copies are available by sending $4.00 and a LSSAE (66 cents). Those who would like to start their subscriptions immediately and receive their Royal Doulton pat by return mail can send a check or money order payable to Mary Dessoie, 7950 E. Keats Ave., No. 178, Mesa, AZ 85209-5025.