It's beginning to look a lot like the Christmases of your childhood! We've curated a list of favorite vintage Christmas decorations that bring charm and nostalgia by the sleigh full. We started with tree trimmings, including throwback favorites like sparkly Shiny-Brite ornaments, reproduction bubbly lights, homemade tree skirts, and even popcorn garland.
But once we got started, we simply couldn't stop! From classic Santa and snowman figurines to lesser-known-but-equally-beloved favorites like Putz houses and feather trees, this joyful collection of vintage Christmas decor covers ideas for your table, kitchen, mantel, and more.
So as you deck your halls this season, sprinkle in some old-school spirit. Happy holiday decorating!
Glass finial tree toppers have remained popular through the years. American brands such as Shiny-Brite released colorful painted style with glitter in the 1950s and '60s. These vintage pieces can be found for $30-70 each.
Of course, it's the time of year for the man in red! Vintage Santa figurines of all shapes and sizes make for festive and nostalgic decor in any room of the house, inside and out. This guy, at 62 inches tall, would be right at home greeting guests on a front porch or in an entryway. Glow-up blow molds, vintage and new, are super popular today.
Classic figurines that are smaller in stature, such as the old-school Santas in this farmhouse decked out with vintage decor, pack a jolly punch when grouped together.
You'll be hard-pressed to find a more beloved vintage Christmas decoration than the Shiny-Brite. Special as a single and stunning as a set, most vintage-lovers have never met a Shiny-Brite they didn't love. No matter the application—adorning the tree or arranged in a tiered bowl as a centerpiece—these colorful baubles are simply timeless.
An antique German feather tree is the perfect size for a stairwell tabletop moment. Dainty Shiny-Brite ornaments add sparkle. Visit this Etsy shop for a selection of authentic goose feather trees. See next slide for details.
Sweet red berries on the tips of each branch punctuate this petite tree that stands just 14 inches tall, making it a versatile holiday decoration ideal for a tabletop, shelf, or as part of a Christmas centerpiece.
A quilted tree skirt is a charming way to add throwback style to your Christmas decor. Festive designs in red, green, and white bring homespun style, as the skirts you'll find today were often homemade using store-bought patterns.
Brightly colored cardboard dwellings, called "Putz" houses, can be found on online vintage sites for as little as $10 each. They make for an adorable winter neighborhood atop a mantel or shelf. Mix in bottlebrush trees for a charming village-like vignette.
If you want to add tons of color to your tree, hunt for these flower-shaped foil light reflectors. They attach to each bulb on a strand of lights for two purposes: to absorb the incandescence and to help radiate the light's glow. Multilayered versions are often a little higher in price, but you can find regular sets depending on condition anywhere from $10-$50.
Bring on the tinsel! Although the vintage packaging is delightful and makes for an adorable Christmas display, decorate with new tinsel. (The old stuff is unsafe for household use!) After all, a tinsel-covered Christmas tree is one of the easiest ways to impart vintage style.
Make a merry menagerie on your tree with a collection of Dresden ornaments. Made of embossed cardboard, these colorful pieces can be found for as low as $5 and as much as $100, depending on design uniqueness, condition, and level of detail.
At four feet tall, this shiny aluminum tree is ideal for smaller spaces and is a total throwback!
Glassware and dishes adorned with holiday motifs can be found at flea markets and yard sales for oftentimes less than $1 each. Check Etsy and antiques shops for full sets, like these candy cane-patterned milk glass mugs by Federal Glass. See next slide for more dishware decorating ideas.
Festive dishware like this Hazel-Atlas Tom and Jerry set were made by several glass companies. The fired-on designs (as shown here) were popular in the mid-1900s and make for nostalgic decor today on a shelf, buffet, or table.
If you're lucky enough to score a complete themed set, vintage cookie cutters in their original packaging make for sweet decorating moments in your kitchen. Tuck them on open shelves for a pop of holiday cheer. See next slide for a fun DIY idea using old or new cookie cutters.
DIY a sweet wreath for your front door by gluing found cookie cutters in a circular shape. Adorn with a ribbon of your choice (ours is jute). If you don't have vintage ones, you can create this same craft with new ones.
Santa mugs are for more than coffee or hot cocoa—they are the just-right size for tucking in greenery or bottlebrush trees (as shown here). We love how red and white tins filled with greenery round out this island centerpiece in a country kitchen.
Talk about a groovy way to decorate the tree! These ultra-colorful, vintage-style bubble lights really take you back to those carefree childhood Christmases.
In the mid-1900s, advertisers printed matchbooks with holiday messaging. Display a collection of these tiny treasures during the holidays to strike up a retro vignette.
Reminisce Christmases past with a collection of holiday cards arranged in the shape of a tree. Each separate message joyfully comes together for a happy and graphic greeting. (We love this decorating idea for small spaces where a tree may not be possible.)
Whether cross-stitched or hand-screened, 1930s-'50s holiday linens (similar to the poinsettia print pictured here) are still super popular among collectors. Today, you can find them on Etsy, eBay, in antiques shops, and more.
Authentic gift wrap from the good old days isn't easy to come by, but you can still score affordable offerings in pretty patterns that recall earlier eras at just about any retailer.
Remind your loved ones of yuletides of yesteryear with a vintage ceramic tree. Old models can be found through vintage sites and dealers, but reproductions in green and white are readily available at a variety of retailers, including Amazon.
From city souvenirs to treasured holiday heirlooms, snow globes have long been a fixture in Christmas displays. A fun tradition: Add a new globe to your family's collection year after year.
Ranging from ceramic to Styrofoam to honeycomb, these frosty friends are an affordable find for vintage Christmas decor. Nestle them in fake snow for a happy, jolly winter display.
The display on this dining room table, a mix of vintage and new, add a permanent pop of green during the holiday season. Other good spots for bottlebrush trees: on the mantel, on side tables, tucked on open shelving—just about anywhere!
Not only is this tradition fun for little ones, but the end result also looks wonderfully warm when strung on the tree.
Vintage toys—especially ones in classic Christmas colors—make for adorable decorations under the tree, on the mantel, or as part of a centerpiece. And what's more, they bring back fond memories of Christmases past.