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December 17, 2010

A Look At Our Mid-Century Christmas Tree

By RetroRuth

So, here some of the ornaments that grace our white tree this year.  We have all vintage ornaments on the tree, and all of them inherited!  We didn’t have to buy a single one. Some of them are from Tom’s family, and some of them are from my Dad’s family. 



The ornaments from my family all came from a huge black box that my great-grandfather made in the 1920’s.  I am not sure what exactly the dimensions are, but I know when it is full it takes two people to carry it!


The box had a TON of ornaments in it.  Most were mid-century, like this plastic icicle and the pictured glass ornaments, but there were layers down at the bottom that were wrapped in newspapers from the 1920s. And some below that even! 



One day we sat with my parents and divided up all of the ornaments in the black chest into three new ornament boxes, one for me, one for my sister and one for my brother.  It took most of the afternoon, and when we were finished each new box easily had enough ornaments to decorate 2 trees.




It is neat not just to have vintage ornaments to decorate our tree, but to have ornaments that were use to decorated our parents’ trees, our grandparents’, and even our great-granparents’ trees! Suddenly holding each ornament becomes a connection to our family, and I find myself wondering whose hands touched it in the past to hang it on the family tree.  And how many generations of presents sat waiting for Christmas morning under these colorful little guys.

What about you, readers?  Do you have any ornaments passed down from your family?  Let us know!

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8 Responses to A Look At Our Mid-Century Christmas Tree

  1. Deb Reply

    December 17, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Love this, Ruth! You’re all so lucky to have these passed down to you. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Eartha Reply

    December 17, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    So, so cool! What treasures to have – and they’re so beautiful too! You just can’t beat that type of patina on an ornament either. I have a few ornaments from when my Dad was a little kid and a couple from when I was a kid.

  3. Ron Parker Reply

    December 17, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Great story and great ornaments! That is so awesome that your families have saved all of those ornaments. I only have one ornament from my childhood, a glass snoopy with 1976 painted on him.

    Here is a look at my aluminum tree. I can’t imagine a christmas without it. It isn’t the only tree, I’ve got to have a traditional one also. I did change out the old color wheel with a color changing LED bulb so that add purple to the regular red/blue/green/yellow mix. I have a few vintage ornaments on it and I’m always looking for more.


    Merry Christmas to you all!!!!

  4. RetroRuth Reply

    December 17, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Thanks, Deb! Glad you liked it!

    Eartha – I know what you mean, there is really no replacement for the old ornaments. Sometimes retro just doesn’t cut it!

    Ron – The ornaments from when we were kids are important too! Someday someone is going to take my “Baby’s First Christmas 1980” and be amazed by how well the plastic has held up. 🙂 Also, your tree looks amazing! I am so jealous. Is it an Evergleam?

  5. Ron Reply

    December 17, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    I’m not sure who made it, it’s from a thrift store. The base is basically a broom handle painted silver with holes drilled for the branches. I found a few years back the appearance is greatly enhanced when I wrap silver garland around it.

  6. Andrea Reply

    December 17, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Wow, what an ornament collection you’ve inherited, Ruth, that’s awesome! The bulk of the ornaments on my tree are ones from when I was little. My mom used to buy me and my brother an ornament each year when we were little. Then I also have quite a few that have been bought for my older daughter over the years. So it’s quite a hodgepodge! And now I’ll start buying them for the baby, adding to it.

  7. Sara in AZ Reply

    December 17, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    WOW RUTH!!!!! I am really jealous of all your gorgeous ornaments. Your tree is SO beautiful. That is so awesome that your family held onto the ornaments through all these years. I only have 2 ornaments from my childhood. One is a wooden one with a sticker on it that I made, and one is a clear glass bulb with Raggedy Ann painted on it.

  8. Glenda Reply

    January 5, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Nice ornaments! I, too, decorate all vintage – mine are old with a few newer “old-looking” ornaments thrown in for filler. Tons of Shiny Brites and mercury glass. I decorate 2 trees; one vintage 9′ tree and one 6.5′ tree done in all “CAT” ornaments (I’m a cat fanantic). I have probably 10 tubs full of Hallmark ornaments I’ve collected through the years, but they haven’t been used the last few…..
    I’ll send you a picture of our trees at your email address.

    Glenda Campbell

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