The Vintage Christmas Company; our story
For almost 25 years our shop AFFAIRE D'EAU is situated on the Haarlemmerdijk. We’re specialised in antique bathroom appliances and all things related to the nostalgia of an antique- and vintage looking bathroom. I’m always on the look-out for beautiful things for the house and about 10 years ago I realised it was hard to find beautiful Christmas ornaments in the Netherlands. We then started our own import from several Eastern Europe countries. With love and joy, we each year sell our beautiful collection at our shop on the Haarlemmerdijk. Our webshop delivers our collection through the whole of the Netherlands and we ship into the wide world.We source small family businesses in the heart of the old world, central Europe where glass ornaments are still being created in the traditional way: mouth blown, hand decorated and often based on old designs.
My love for beautiful Christmas ornaments is bittersweet. Born in Prague and raised in the Netherlands, Christmas was always an important feast filled with traditions from the country my parents left behind. My grandparents were only allowed to visit us sporadically and they would travel by train to Düsseldorf in Germany where we would pick them up. On these trips we would always visit the Christmas market and as a child I was allowed to choose one beautiful Christmas ornament. To this day i cherish the ornaments i selected as a child and they get the best spots in my Christmas tree. The ornaments from those years that I managed to keep (that didn’t break, because yes, Christmas ornaments are fragile) mean a lot to me. They remind me of those difficult years without family but they also give me that warm Christmas feeling I used to get when I saw the train from Prague pulling in to the Düsseldorf train station. From the moment my grandparents arrived, the Christmas preparations could really start. The great back off, selecting nice gifts for each other, decorating the house for the Advent time. I was always looking forward to that one night of the year; the night of the 24th, the traditional Christmas eve. The night everybody gathers together and the day when in the Czech tradition baby Jesus, assisted by his angelic helpers, brings gifts under the Christmas tree that stands tall and shines bright. (read more about this in the blog).
I know this way of celebrating Christmas is not for everyone, not everyone experiences Christmas like this. And yet, during the last 10 years since we’ve been selling our collection Christmas ornaments in our shop on the Haarlemmerdijk, I’ve seen many people getting enchanted by the magic of Christmas. They come back every year at least once to admire our collection. and that’s also something we’re especially look forward to, to see all these customers in our shop, albeit only once a year around Christmas.
Christmas unites us and Christmas ornaments make us happy. I love to share that happiness with everyone both here in our new webshop and in our regular shop on the Haarlemmerdijk.
IT'S ALWAYS CHRISTMAS AT AFFAIRE D'EAU!
Alice Ernest– owner and founder of AFFAIRE D'EAU and THE VINTAGE CHRISTMAS COMPANY