Jeremy reports from Florida: “Check out Susan Waggoner . I saw a couple of her books in a Christmas shop.”
Here is what I learned:
Christmas + Crafting + Iowa + Vintage 1960’s = Natalie’s Ideal Holiday
Waggoner, it turns out, is the author of a series of books with names that inspire.
Have Yourself a Very Vintage Christmas: Crafts, Decorating Tips, and Recipes, 1920s-1960s (2011)
It’s a Wonderful Christmas: The Best of the Holidays 1940-1965 (2004),
Under the Tree: The Toys and Treats That Made Christmas Special, 1930-1970 (2007)
Christmas Memories: Gifts, Activities, Fads, and Fancies, 1920s-1960s (2009)
This prolific author has many more non-Christmas books, all of which look interesting. Although I did not find a lot of biography (I wanted to see if there is a chance we are related and she is my long-lost aunt or something), I did learn that Waggoner was born in Des Moines, Iowa and grew up in Minneapolis. She holds degrees from University of Iowa. According to publisher, HarperCollins, she now lives in New York City.
Even without a detailed biography, I did find a guest post she published on Melanie Falik Books’ crafting blog which confirms my suspicions that maybe we are related. Here’s a description of her childhood:
“My early Christmases were celebrated in Des Moines, Iowa, with my father’s family, a group to whom Yuletide was equal parts holiday and competitive crafting marathon. Today, my most vibrant memories of those years revolve around what was made rather than what was bought: red voile aprons with white poinsettias painted–freehand–by my grandmother; a host of miniature angels crafted by my mother hovering around an organ my father made, using his drafting pencils for pipes; wreaths of pinecones. It was exciting to be even on the fringes of such activity.”
I feel like I was there! Did I ever tell you about the pincone necklace I made for my mom?
On a guest post for the Cladrite Radio blog, Waggoner begins with a sentiment that Jeremy and I share:
“People sometimes ask me if, after writing four books on the subject, I am ‘Christmased out.’ It’s hard not to laugh. Heavens, no! Researching and writing these books has made me love Christmas even more, for now I have not only my own seasonal memories, but the memories of others to reflect on.”
That’s what we’re discovering. Our Christmas obsession has put us in contact with others who share our holiday joy and have great stories.
I am on a quest to meet this author!
P.S. Does anyone have a copy of one of these books to lend?
P.P.S. I’m calling my Iowa relatives. I bet they know Susan Waggoner.