A Vintage Christmas

Have you ever wondered what Santa's workshop might look like?

Rosanna Smith, a local business owner with a love of antiques and penchant for nostalgic story telling typically uses her collection of vintage treasures to style weddings. She says that weddings are a day when multiple generations of families gather to celebrate love, honor traditions and create new memories. Curating an atmosphere that incorporates antiques in the décor makes for conversations that start with Remember when… or My grandparents once told me…, and the sharing of family folklore ensues. 

Rosanna discovered during a different kind of project the similarities between weddings and the holiday season, which also are a time for families to experience opportunities for storytelling and family traditions. Supplying a red velvet sofa for a Breakfast with Santa photo booth, she became immersed in dressing up the whole set to create an imaginary North Pole Workshop scene. Using some of her large collection of vintage pieces gathered over the years — because you never know what you might need to spark a feeling of joy — the set came to life as her impressive imagination kicked in. Her goal: she wanted for the parents and grandparents accompanying children waiting in line for their turn with Santa to experience their own walk down nostalgic Memory Lane, creating an opportunity for sharing memories and family stories. Look through these photos of the set yourself and see if memories are sparked, or, for the younger generation, questions come to mind. Memories and stories from our older generations are treasures; do not waste the opportunity this holiday season to capture them. 

Santa’s North Pole Workshop includes a vintage phone and old-fashioned feather pen to make any notes from his conversations with the parents who call to speak with him directly. And although Santa likely has an iPhone too, he still likes to stay organized by keeping his lists of things to do, as well as his Big List, in actual hard copy on his typewriter which has no memory so it’s all secret.

The lanterns are for traversing between all the buildings in the North Pole, such as the main Workshop, the Toy Shop, the Reindeer Barn, the Cottage, the Tool Shed, the Great Hall, and the Sleigh Shed. So many different lanterns are needed also because good lighting is everything, and frankly, Rudolph needs to save his red-nose energy for the trip.

The luggage is for Mrs. Claus who is hoping to go with him this year as she’s been cooped up and needs a vacation! Santa put his everyday boots near the luggage because he’s ready for a vacation too. 


The simple game of playing catch with a trusty leather mitt and mask could keep kids entertained for hours, until the street lights came on. A parent might ask their children if they’ve ever noticed what time the street lights come on nowadays. I bet they haven’t!

With technology providing much of today’s entertainment for kids, having old toys in Santa’s workshop might prompt a parent to share a story or two about when they were kids. The metal toy tractors and red barn conjure images of outdoor playtime, or perhaps tiny elves clearing snow and going through “reindeer caretaking” training. And memories of little red wagons are sure to be treasured as well.


Santa still likes to use his trusty globes to track all the places he’ll be visiting in the world. The bird’s eye view is more akin to his ‘sleigh in the sky’ view and his ‘magic’ binoculars help him to always watch and know when kids are good and bad. There are two clocks in Santa’s Workshop… the large one without hands because it’s *always* Christmas in the North Pole, and the special gold one keeps him on track for his special voyage. 


The old sleds with their metal rails surely carry with them the imagery of euphoric speeding down a white hill with at least someone catching air before crashing! If that was your mom or dad or grandparent, and they had that awesome experience when they were kids, wouldn’t you want to know about it?

About Staff/Contributed 574 Articles
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