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Many people today are nostalgic about Christmas past and want to re-create an old-fashioned Christmas look, including a tree that reminds them of their childhood.
It’s quite possible to bring yesterday’s look back to this year’s Christmas tree. Many people still have the old lights and ornaments of yesterday; if not, buying new lights, finding vintage ornaments and making old-fashioned looking homemade ornaments is simple and fun.
Picking Out an Old Fashioned Tree
A real tree is wonderful, but if the mess is too much, the same look can be achieved with a good artificial tree. Trees that have lots of spaces between branches are wonderful for hanging large ornaments that kids make at school, or for hanging strings of popcorn. A Blue Spruce is a very traditional “real” tree, with short needles and lots of open areas for ornaments.
Choosing the Colored Lights That Adorned Your Childhood Tree
Old fashioned Christmas trees didn’t have tiny white lights; they had large colored bulbs, some of which blinked off and on. Others, called bubble lights or bubblers, contained a liquid that bubbled continually in a candle-like holder. All these lights are still available today.
Large colored lights do more to make a tree look retro than almost anything else. The soft glow of colored lights in the dark takes many people back to childhood. Of course, some people still remember real candles on the tree, but considering the fire danger, it’s best to stick to forgo these.
Getting the Vintage Christmas Tree Ornaments Out of the Closet
Yes, today’s trend is for monochromatic trees, or trees with just a few tastefully co-ordinated colored balls, but a vintage tree has everything but the kitchen sink on it. Kid’s handprints made from plaster, chain links made from colored construction paper, popped corn on strings, colored beads, and every ornament the kids or the adults ever made filling every bough.
For anyone fortunate to have access to Grandma’s boxes of ornaments, a treasure trove of glass Santas, wax ornaments, tiny tin musical instruments, original Hallmark ornaments from the 1970s or earlier and more may await. No attic at Grandma’s? Hit the local thrift shops, garage sales or antique store, or check out eBay.
There may even be a box of the old leaded tinsel in the box, although anyone with animals or small children should pass this up since it contains lead. Newer tinsel just doesn’t hang like lead tinsel does on the trees. Antique shops sometimes have old metal ornaments shaped like tinsel, or glass icicles to use in the place of tinsel.
Making Your Own Tree Decorations; Stringing Popcorn, Handmade Ornaments
Anyone can string popped popcorn, and it’s not difficult to make gingerbread men or cut out sugar cookies to hang on the tree, although shellacking them is a good idea to keep them out of the mouths of passing animals and children.
Children come up with colorful, cute additions if armed with some colored paper and marking pens. Cut out their designs, add string or yarn, and let them hang in a place of honor.
Creating an Old Fashioned Christmas Tree is a Labor of love
A nostalgic Christmas tree is one of a kind; no one else anywhere will have one exactly like it. Put the personality of every family member into the tree and let everyone create something special to hang from its branches; a real old-fashioned tree is one that comes from the heart.