After nearly thirty years of running Vaillancourt Folk Art, a company dedicated to crafting heirloom-quality Christmas treasures, Gary Vaillancourt has a good sense of what tradition can do for a family, which he shares here in It’s Hard to Tell When a Tradition Begins, co-written with Barbara Basbanes Richter.
Every family has its own Christmas traditions. Some originate in the immediate family, some go back generations, and some are so ingrained in the holiday that it wouldn’t be Christmas without them. Interestingly, most people never stop to think about how these traditions actually began. While growing their business and developing holiday traditions for their own family, Gary and Judi unearthed the origins of various Christmas celebrations and gifts that, whether most of us know it or not, shaped our modern holiday. Meanwhile, their personal enthusiasm for antique European chocolate molds dovetailed into using these charming figurines to create chalkware coveted by collectors worldwide. Gary and Judi had no idea how many families would eventually adopt Vaillancourt pieces as part of their new Christmas traditions. This is the story of that adventure and the traditions discovered along the way.
Vaillancourt Folk Art products are entirely made in America, and the Vaillancourt goal is to keep Santa around forever. There’s no reason why that special Christmas feeling can’t exist 365 days a year. Christmas is about being with family, sharing great stories, and creating memories to sustain and nourish the soul. Follow Gary and his family’s adventures preserving Christmas cheer in It’s Hard to Tell When a Tradition Begins and be inspired to create a little holiday magic of your own.