Looking to give your Christmas decor a unique twist? For an authentically retro holiday, deck the halls with vintage Christmas decorations from the mid century! Keep reading to learn more about some of our favorite mid century Christmas collectibles and where you can find them today.
Where would any post on mid century Christmas decor be without Shiny Brites? Started in 1939 by German immigrant Max Eckardt, Shiny Brites brought the popular glass-blown ornaments of Germany to the States. The ornaments were carefully hand-painted and sold to American consumers until they fell out of popularity in the ’60s.
Where to find them today: Eagle-eyed shoppers can still find them at garage sales or antique shops, but they can also be found on eBay or Etsy. Additionally, Shiny Brites are still being reproduced under the same trademark by Christopher Radko.
Made popular by the Aluminum Speciality Company, aluminum Christmas trees reached their peak in the late ’50s and early ’60s. The trees, which came in many different colors, were seen as a forward-looking, futuristic Christmas decoration that was filled with Space Age optimism. However, the trees fell out of favor in the late ’60s, in part thanks to A Charlie Brown Christmas Special‘s depiction of them as over-commercialized and artificial.
Where to find them today: Authentic vintage trees can be found on eBay; modern-day reproductions can be found from makers like Modern Christmas Tree.
Post-war Christmas trees were often decked out in Christmas lights that are far different (and more exciting!) than the fairy lights that adorn our trees today. Why? The lighting on mid century Christmas trees bubbled! Made popular by NOMA in the mid-40s, multi-colored bubble lights used the heat from a light bulb to boil methylene chloride, creating a bubbling effect. They were sold in small packs and used clips to attach themselves to the tree.
Where to find them today: Vintage lights can still be found on Etsy, though some of the bulbs may no longer work. For a newer (and more reliable) option, check out Novelty Lights.
Retro Christmas Cards
Equal parts kitschy and minimalist, retro Christmas cards seamlessly combine the high and low art of the mid century. The designs on the cards often use only a few colors, but the colors they use are loud and bright. They’re often fun designs of Santa or of a family decorating a tree, using minimal ornamentation (pun intended!) to do so.
Where to find them today: If you’re looking for authentic, unused mid century Christmas cards, try eBay. If you don’t mind a knockoff or a card in the style of the mid century, try Etsy.
Ready to find some mid century Christmas collectibles of your own? For more holiday fun, check out 6 Retro Holiday DIYS For Your MCM Home. And of course, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for more Atomic Ranch articles and ideas!