Christmas Junking

Boyz ‘n the hood: Kevin, Michael, Andy and Andrew
Andy and Andrew approve of their Christmas finery

Last week, just as Katie and I were about to leave for an estate sale, Boomerang Boy sauntered in with a request. “I need a jackass Christmas sweater for the P’s party,” he announced. “Something tacky.” Katie and I exchanged a knowing nod. “We’re on it,” Katie assured him. Thirty minutes later, we were at the sale. The late home-owner had been in her house for over sixty years. From the amount of mildew, dust and debris, we estimated it had last been cleaned sometime in the Nixon administration. Katie was appalled. My daughter is neat, orderly, organized. We fear it’s some sort of sleeper gene. I was thrilled. For you see, vintage treasure-seekers, mildew, dust and debris are the sure signs of a packrat. What you want to see at a good estate sale is a pile of old boxes and rotted army foot-lockers and broken furniture at the curb. What you do not want to see is a newly-mopped floor and a plastic bin full of eight-track tapes. Or a family member with a clipboard and a list of prices. Or, Gawd forbid, the latest Kovel’s price-guide in hand. When you approach an estate sale house, it’s always good to see more piles–maybe some rusty lawn furniture or crusty concrete planters or garden urns. We saw these things and more at last week’s sale. The house was a festival of what-nots, geegaws, whimdoodles, tchtoskes, flotsam and jetsam. Katie’s upper-lip curled. Her nostrils flared at the merest hint of mold. I, on the other hand, nearly leapt for joy, despite the cold I’d picked up in New York. We made our way upstairs. And sure enough, heaped on a bed amidst a mountain of clothing and household linens, we found the perfect vintage Christmas sweater. Three perfect sweaters, to be exact. Two of them were identical, intricate patterns of downhill skiiers, expertly executed, but in an unfortunate cheesey synthetic yarn. The third, green sweater, was really lovely, in a good quality yarn. All for the bargain price of five bucks. Downstairs, as we were paying for your goodies, the deceased’s son nodded approvingly. “My mom knit those sweaters for me,” he told us. “She loved to knit.” He, apparently, did not love her enough to keep the fruits of all those labors, but never mind. To the victors go the spoils. Afterwards, Katie took her outraged sensibilities and inflamed sinuses to bed. And Andy and his best buddies Andrew, Kevin and Michael all wore their “jackass” Christmas togs to the P’s party. Unfortunately, only Andy and Andrew were svelte enough to fit into the vintage sweaters. In fact, if you look closely, you’ll see that Andrew is wearing his red sweater under the green one. Michael did fit into a “jackass” plaid sportcoat his mom and I picked up for him at an earlier estate sale, and Kevin wore his own sweater. Pictured above are the four amigos, all friends since diaper days, enjoying some Christmas libations.

7 thoughts on “Christmas Junking”

  1. The sweaters are classic!! The boys look fabulous! I would have to agree with Katie however, the dust, mold and grime would drive me crazy. Sounds like you went to my in-laws house. They are definately pack rats.

  2. It’s imperative to always have tacky holiday sweaters on hand just for these types of occasions. Glad to see the boyz knew who to turn to!!!

  3. Hey, two of those boys are MINE! and I’m so proud of them. Too bad their mama can’t knit them a “jackass” sweater, but maybe next Christmas I’ll knit some “jackass” scarves! Sweet!!

  4. Hey, I bought a sweater very much like that green one at a yard sale this summer. I’ve been saving it to wear on Christmas Eve. Great minds think alike!

    Now, pardon me while I put on my Christmas Tree earrings and pin that I got at another garage sale.

  5. I am so loving those sweaters! I went online a couple of months ago looking for Vintage Ski wear. Do you know no one really sells 1950’s style ski wear anymore? I know it wasn’t the most climatically designed clothing but that’s not the point. I’m not going to ski in it. I’m going to Lodge sit in it.

    Love those sweaters and what cute boys.

  6. So flattered you stopped by my blog! This weekend, I’m off to get more of your other books to read!
    Have a wonderful Holiday Season!!

  7. Love the sweaters. I would actually wear the green one…not sure what that says about me…especially as I can mentally see my DH shaking his cranium….

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