Vintage item remembered: the Christmas corsage

Many items from my youth are now considered vintage, including me probably.

Do you remember Christmas corsages? If you do, then you and I have one thing in common: our proximity in age.

When I was young, Christmas corsages were worn by women on their winter coats in December.

Thankfully, this is one tradition that has been relegated to the “vintage items” category on etsy and eBay.

vintage corsage painted with watercolours

Rarely made of natural products, these corsages could be very ornate (gaudy even) with elf or angel or other nondescript, questionable figurines, tinsel, Christmas balls, greenery, and ribbons all fighting each other for a place of prominence, or they could be very simple with a few pine cones and red berries.

More often though, there was nothing subtle about the corsage; it was definitely meant to be seen by all.

Women thought they were very elegant with their fur collared coats and their corsages pinned on the left lower shoulder as they made their way to Christmas mass.

My version is a rather understated corsage: the watercolour illustration has red bells and green leaves along with a variety of cones, (all plastic of course), and red satin ribbons.

When I was ten or so, my mother gave me my own corsage. I do recall seeing Christmas corsages on photos but I was unable to unearth a photo for this post.

If you have any vintage photos of your mothers, aunts, grandmothers or other relatives wearing these beautiful (or not) corsages, I would love to post them, with or without your stories to accompany the photos.

I know this is a busy time of the year, so if you happen upon the photos at some later date, you can still send them to me and I will save the photos and your anecdotes for this time next year. Yup, I am already thinking ahead!

Don't get me wrong - I am not trying to revive this tradition.

It is a quaint item of the past that deserves to remain on etsy and ebay.

2 Responses

    • I wonder why it started and ended in North America. I did search for the origins and couldn’t find anything on the Christmas corsage itself. Thanks for letting me know Sally.

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