The Ultimate Guide to a 1950’s Christmas

The Ultimate Guide to a 1950's Christmas.png

As you know, I love the 1950’s and ever since we purchased our home (built in ’53), I knew we needed to go all out and keep it authentic to the period for Christmas. I thought I would give you a list, and tell you about some must-haves for a 1950’s Christmas.

Aluminum Christmas Tree

One of the first things I knew I would need to create an authentic 1950’s Christmas was an aluminum tree. The first aluminum Christmas Trees came out in 1955.

Luckily these aren’t too hard to come by, however, they do tend to be a little pricy. You can find them on eBay for anywhere from $100 up to over $500 depending on the height. That is out of our budget, so we decided to get a bit creative. I was able to find a full box of aluminum tree branches on eBay for around $40. They were practically brand new and still in the original sleeves and box. This was just the branches though, no pole or tree stand. We got a one inch thick dowel rod from Home Depot and spray painted it silver. Then my husband helped me drill the holes for the branches. I found an atomic tree stand on eBay as well, and we were set!!

Our aluminum Christmas tree

Color Wheel

You can’t have an aluminum tree without a color wheel! Instead of stringing lights on the tree, a color wheel was used to shine different colored lights on the tree. It makes the aluminum so shiny and pretty.

There is a light bulb behind the wheel and the colored disk rotates so each color shines on the tree.

The vintage color wheels I found on eBay and Etsy were all around $75, but luckily I found a company that makes reproduction color wheels for only around $30. I ordered one from the Vermont Country Store. They have a lot of nostalgia and fun traditional candy and treats as well.

Shiny Bright Ornaments 

Now that you have your aluminum tree and color wheel, you must decorate it! The ornaments of choice in the 1950’s were glass Shiny Bright ornaments.

I have collected some true vintage ornaments over the past few years from antique stores and yard sales. There are also usually several pieces in lots for sale on eBay and Etsy. A few years back I found some beautiful pink and turquoise reproduction vintage ornaments at Target.

A mix of vintage and reproduction ornaments

Bubble Lights

Another traditional 1950’s Christmas trademark are bubble lights. These little lights have a liquid stem on top that bubbles when heated by the light. These remind me of the old Wurlitzer jukeboxes, and I think that was what they were going for.

I like to place mine with some garland and cotton snow on my mantle. I also put some of my vintage ornaments in crystal candlesticks to add to the display. These bubble lights are readily available on Amazon for only around $12 for a strand of seven lights. This is an affordable and easy way to create a cute 1950’s display.

Ceramic Christmas Trees

These cute decorations have been handmade and also manufactured from a mold since the 1940’s. They really became popular in the 1970’s. They are still made today, and you can find stores that sell them online made from the original 1950’s molds.

Gift from my mom

I started my ceramic tree collection with the tree pictured above that my mom gave to me. It is one that she’s had since she and my dad first got married thirty-six years ago.

Thrift store find

I have since found two more trees thrifting, and one at a yard sale. So far my collection of four ceramic trees has only cost me $18!!

Now you are ready to create an authentic and beautiful 1950’s Christmas!

I have enjoyed sharing my Christmas decorations with you and I hope that this was both fun and helpful.

Merry vintage Christmas!!!


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