I love Christmas. Okay, let me clarify that. I love decorating for Christmas. I don’t like shopping for Christmas or dealing with Black Friday sales or trying to track down the hot toy of the season. What I do love is pulling the boxes of vintage Christmas decorations out from behind the eaves of the attic and carefully unpacking each box. Everything gets parceled out slowly over the month of December and gradually the house becomes more and more festive.
Eventually I get around to the best part, the Christmas tree. A few years ago I bought myself a vintage aluminum Christmas tree on eBay. It’s a sparkly bit of a thing, standing about four feet high. It packs away in its original box and each year I have to unwrap each of its tinsel and steel branches and then put the tree together piece by piece.
All the while I am trying to avoid accidentally tearing off a piece of the wooden dowel that holds everything together as I try and attach each of the limbs to it. Sometimes they don’t fit quite as easily as I would like, so I have to do a little nudging.
A bit harrowing, but once the tree is finally put together, it looks fabulous on top of the living room coffee table. Since it sparkles in any kind of lighting, I can be pretty spare with the decorations. The first year I simply used some plastic baubles I found at Target.
These were just small round plastic ornaments in bright metallic colors. I did the whole tree up in shades of purple and aqua and yellow. Lights weren’t necessary at all and even after all the lights are turned off for the evening, you can still see the gleaming silvery branches as they catch the light from the lamppost outside the bay window.
Now though, I’ve gotten around to finding some cute vintage ornaments to go with the tree. My favorites are the Shiny Brite Christmas ornaments. The ornaments were made in the 1950s and the tree was manufactured in the mid-sixties, so the ornaments from a nearby era suit it beautifully. I try and look for the smaller versions of the various Shiny Brites available as I don’t want to overwhelm the tree with glass ornaments that are too big for the branches.
For lighting, a rotating color wheel is the perfect match, especially my vintage color wheel. It keeps my Christmas tree bathed in various shades of green, red, white and yellow as it turns through its rotation.
Once January comes, I’ll reverse the whole process un-decorating the house, but my Christmas tree is usually the last thing I break down and put away. Once all the branches are stripped and returned to their individual wrappers, the whole thing gets carefully tucked away for next year.
If you would like to enjoy your own merry vintage Christmas, all you really need are some adorable Shiny Brite ornaments and an aluminum Christmas tree of your very own to add a bit of vintage flair to your holiday celebrations.