Monday, December 6, 2010

Vintage Christmas Decorations

I went to my parent's condo on the weekend to take some photos of their Christmas tree.  All the ornaments on their tree are vintage and it is just such a lovely sparkly sight that I wanted to share it with you.

 A few of the ornaments date back to my father's youth 80 years ago and the rest were purchased in the first decade of my parent's marriage in the 1950s and 60s.

The oldest ornaments on the tree don't actually have much colour left on them.  There are two faded 80 year old Santas.  You can see one of them in the photo below with one of the newer Santas in the background - and by newer I mean about 50 years old.

There are also a few birds that are close to 80 years old,

this dimpled ball,

this sweet little basket,

and this mulit-angled dimpled coloured ball.

The first few Christmases after my parents were married in 1954 they bought several boxes of ornaments to decorate their tree.  Many of the ornaments at the time came from Germany and Czechoslovakia.  They were all hand-painted on glass sometimes with the addition of glitter.  My Mother's favourite is this little retro skier in the photo below.

They are such a pretty mix of pinks and reds and blues and silvers.

On the top of the tree is a spire that was also purchased in the 1950s.

You can see one of the horns on the right side of the base of the spire.  When I was a child some of them still made a trumpeting sound when they were blown.  Sadly none of them do that any more after the five of us kids all took turns every Christmas blowing them.

I've always loved the birds on the tree.  You can see a couple up near the spire at the top of the tree and another one (looking a little tipsy) in the photo below.

It was getting later in the day by the time I left and the lights were really starting to make the ornaments glisten.

Don't those vintage ornaments just make the tree so sparkly and bright?
Linked to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Show that Sapin! at My French Country Home


  1. What a special collection of ornaments. I love vintage anything....especially vintage Christmas ornaments. Thanks so much for sharing these with us. I think I like the vintage skier best, too!

  2. What a wonderful tree/collection! The tree is beautiful. I remember some of the ornament styles from when I was growing up. Very special!!

  3. Wow....I ADORE vintage ornaments. I have a few of my own that I've inherited but I also like to thrift and "resue" the vintage ones I find! LOL I am coming over from Between Naps on The Porch. You posted before me and I am checking out your blog! Come visit mine if you get a chance!

  4. This honestly gave me a lump in my throat, goose bumpy sort of feeling. What special, special treasures. I would love to hear all of your Mom's stories about the ornaments and the precious recollections they hold. Absolutely stunning and treasured lil memories in each unique ornament.

  5. Very pretty and what a great collection! It reminds me of my childhood and the ornaments we had on the tree. Thanks for sharing them with us.

  6. So very pretty. Love the vintage ornament collection. I love vintage Christmas things. Thanks for sharing.

  7. How enchanting that you have all these treasures to display on your tree!


  8. Just beautiful! How meaningful those ornaments must be to your parents! Makes me wonder what happened to my Grandparents' ornaments. I have one box of them...I should get them out and do something with them! Congrats on your DIY Showoff feature too! Angie xo

  9. lovely, just lovely :) Oh i love the non-classic colors! And the birds remind me of my grandparents' tree...sweet memories

    PS - i'm your newest follower! I hopped on over here from Green Submarine...and I love your blog! i'm excited to see more :)

  10. What an amazing collection! What is even better is that your parents have kept and treasured them for so long. Just think of the wonderful stories each of these ornaments could tell of Christmas' past. So special. ;)Sharyne

  11. These remind me of the ornaments my mom used to have on our tree when I was a child. I miss those-I don't miss the super hot lights she used to have on the tree though, I'd burn myself every year!

  12. I grew up in the 50's and 60's as a teen and these ornaments were some of the ones we had on our tree. How special you still have them from your family. What a treasure. xo Jenny

  13. Truly amazing..made my heart go pitter pat...such treasures.


  14. Its amazing and so nice for them to treasure memories of all these ornaments.

    My first giveaway is up on my blog and I would like to invite anyone on your blogroll to please come enter!

  15. So pretty!! I think my mom has some of those too!
    Thanks for sharing, hope your having a great week!

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  17. I love vintage ornaments and your parents have an amazing collection! Many of the old ornaments my parents and grandparents had are lost, we did find a few when we were cleaning out their house though and I love them! Thanks for showing us their beautiful tree!

    Kat :)

  18. The third picture totally reminds me of the ornaments at my grandparents house when I was a kid! The ones with the insides all ruffly (maybe thats not explaining it right..haha!)! Love your tree, and great find!

  19. You know what I love? That Mom and Dad have had these on their tree all these years. I love how their WHOLE tree is vintage. I have been decorating my own tree for 23 years and have changed my "style" at least 3 times. I remember a couple similar styles that you showed that my own parents had while I was growing up and I have my grandmothers mercury birds that have a clip on them... I would like to do something special with them and not just put them on an otherwise busy tree!
    Thanks for sharing, that was very special.

  20. Those are so beautiful! The fact that there is actual family history behind them all makes them so special.

  21. How beautiful...they make a spectacular tree!!

  22. Grace,
    You've got a wonderful collection of ornaments. Some of the most unique I've seen. I've seen reproductions of the birds but they're not as nice. The faded Santas, I think, are my favorite but the little flower basket is also precious. I happy that you're passing on this tradition with your children as well. Mementos from travels are perfect memories.

    Happy Christmas!

  23. Hi Gracie!
    Nice to meet you... thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving such a nice comment! Your parents vintage ornaments are beautiful... what a stunning presentation of amazing ornaments.
    I am so glad we got the chance to connect through our blogs!