I’ve been a longtime fan and customer of the Victorian Trading Co. – many of their products stock my boxes of holiday decorations, and many stay out all year long, adding nostalgia and whimsy to my home.
I especially love their selection for children – the reproduction games and toys that are available through their catalog are old-fashioned and delightful, and mostly functional. We have wooden blocks and miniature music boxes and seemingly magical trick money banks, all of them cherished and played with often.
But nothing beats the product I want to share with you today…
I first noticed these masks when I was pregnant with Gideon, and swiftly added them to my list of wishes. I pictured winter nights around the fire with theatrics and lots of laughter; I just knew in my heart they would be, for lack of a better word, awesome.
What I didn’t know, however, was how utterly creepy they would be. I bumped into the actual masks one day at a store in Fredericksburg, Texas, and was amazed at how they transformed a face and made everyone who looked at them either gasp or exclaim or yell, followed by giggles. They are so weird and hilarious and…fantastic.
I was more determined than ever to add these masks to our arsenal of family fun.
Every year, as Christmas and birthdays rolled around, they got pushed back for other more age-appropriate gifts – toy tools and baby dolls and boardbooks – but this last year, when my sister-in-law, Amy, had the opportunity to visit the actual Victorian Trading Co. store in Lenexa, Kansas, and called to tell me they had a selection of those masks on sale, I said “Buy them!”
On Christmas morning, they sat proudly atop our mantel…
the kids were amazed, and couldn’t believe their reflections in the mirror!
The masks were put safely on our shelf for other days, but just this morning as I was pouring my second cup of coffee, Gideon asked if he might play with them. My sleepy brain really wanted to say ‘no’ but he looked so hopeful and excited, I put my coffee cup down and we tiptoed in the office together to put on a mask so he could surprise (and perhaps terrify) his sister. We whispered and laughed together and, as I tied the string at the nape of his neck, I realized that the dreams I had so many years ago when I first saw these masks had come true. They might be made of paper and string, but they inspire the incorruptible things that money can’t buy: laughter, imagination, family bonding, and innocent fun. After her initial shock at seeing her brother’s face, Rebekah wanted in on the fun. Beware: the following photos are a teensy bit creepy…
In our pajamas, we jumped in the van and drove down the hill to scare Papa. His horror and delight when he opened the van door and saw his slightly strange but t00-cool-for-school children staring solemnly and eerily at him in their masks was well worth the trouble it took to load the lot of us up. And our fun was compounded when the kids got to tiptoe into our friend Zac’s office to give him a good scare/laugh, as well.
I’m so glad I finally bought these masks and am determined to add to our collection as holiday budgets allow.
And I’m super glad that I put down that coffee cup this morning…
I encourage you to do business with the Victorian Trading Co., especially over the telephone. They are delightful. Click here to follow a link to their masks and take a look at their other products while you’re there. You can sign up for a catalogue, too!
Or you could also click here to visit the makers of these masks, Mamelok Papercraft. I’ve only begun to peruse their collection of amazing paper products, but I did just notice they carry Beatrix Potter masks, and I’m now a little geeked out…hello, 2013 Easter baskets!!
p.s. I am not being paid by either company to share these links or products. I’m just a happy customer, spreading the news…