For years I’ve been receiving catalogs from The Vermont Country Store without giving them more than a quick flip and a toss into the recycling bag. Unfair, I know, but you can blame it on Bob Newhart. I watched enough damaging episodes of his 80s sitcom to mistakenly believe that Vermonters have as much smarts as Britney Spears on a drug-free day.
Until now. I opened up the latest edition of this unknown gem to hit my mailbox, and – where have you been all my life, Vermont Country Store catalog??? This thing is loaded with retro goodness galore. If you’re looking to recreate a 40s, 50s, or 60s home holiday atmosphere, this is the website to go to.
For starters there’s the silvery tinsel tree and color wheel, “for those dreaming of a very 60s Christmas.” They better watch it with that strapline. If people are dreaming of a very 60s Christmas, the young uns’ better stay away from the punch and brownies! The tree comes in two sizes: 4 feet tall at $79.95, and 6 feet at $129.95. The rotating color wheel is $24.95 and lends an even trippier effect to the tree by changing its color. Far out!
For decorating that tree, you can opt for glass ornaments, percolating “bubble” lights, and non-disposable tinsel. The bubble lights are 11 feet long and retail for $24.95.
For the mantel or display table, The Vermont Country Store offers adorable lighted cardboard villages that were once available in five-and-dime stores. I’ve never seen these anywhere else. Each village consists of three pieces and retails for $39.95. There are also bottle brush trees and Barclay metal figurines to complete the look.
If you’re into candles, they sell several whimsical Christmas figures that were popular in the 50s, including carolers, Santa, and reindeer.
But perhaps best of all, The Vermont Country Store is the supplier of many hard-to-find candies and treats that you won’t see in a supermarket. They have everything from Walnettos to British Quality Street candies to brandy-filled chocolate Santas, not to mention cakes, cookies, and Vermont cheddar cheese. The first 27 pages of their catalog alone are dedicated to their food items.
Not only that, but the catalog is chock full of classic toys (all of which are tested at an American laboratory for those worried about lead contamination) and toiletries that left drugstore shelves many moons ago. In fact, I’d recommend just about anything in the catalog to fellow retromaniacs except for the rather unsexy flannel nightgowns – unless you’re looking for a new method of birth control. Victoria’s Secret they’re not, but Vermont Vintage they are.
My biggest Prince memory is of a college friend that was madly in love with him. So much so, that she invited me and other friends to her...