Vintage-Style Christmas Ornaments

Retro-futurist robot reindeer
Some of my very earliest memories are of Christmas decorations, which may seem a tad odd but it's probably because Christmas is such an exciting time of the year for young children. Certainly it was for me.

I can, for example, remember being held on my father's shoulders to see the deep red and green concertina paper decorations in the corner of the ceiling in our living room, although I must have only been about two at the time. For some reason that one really sticks out in my mind - that and a set of felt-covered, rotund Father Christmas figures, each one holding a musical instrument. I wonder what happened to those?

My fallen angel
The most special memory of all though, relates to when I was around four or five. I can recall, albeit very faintly,  going into a strange shop with my Aunt, whom I didn't see very often and where, much to my delight, she bought me a Christmas angel. It was actually the only real memory I had of that particular Aunt as sadly, she died not long after that event. The angel had a porcelain body but with a sheer fabric dress and wings and year after year we would place her on the top of the tree, which made me feel quite special, because I knew she belonged to me.

I still have that angel, though she is by now stuck at the back of a dark drawer - too broken and fragile to rest on the tree but too sentimentally significant to discard completely.

Choosing Ornaments
Shiny Brite ornaments. Image from
While it would be lovely to have real vintage ornaments hanging from the tree, the genuine article is not all easy to find and I suspect, not cheap. I'm particularly impressed with the gorgeous glass Shiny Brite ornaments which I'm told were very popular in the US from the 1930s until 1960. Gotta love the Italian made 1960s Beatles glass set as well.

Although ebay has quite a few vintage ornaments for sale, many of them are apparently not the real thing.  If you are looking for the real thing, check out Jenn Ski's blog - as a self-confessed "Christmas ornament addict" she may help you sort out the wheat from the chaff.

1964 hand-blown glass Beatles Xmas ornaments. Image from Iskowitzrarecoins

However, for the retro fan without the funds or energy to pursue the real thing, there are plenty of interesting vintage-style (as the salesmen say) ornaments available to give your tree that nostalgic ambiance.  If you're a retro-futurist, try a robot reindeer. Or how about a set of vintage toys?

Vintage toy Xmas ornaments
For a little 50s kitsch glamour, check out these Sears Pink Flamingo Xmas ornaments...very ooh la la

Pink Flamingo Xmas decoration. From Sears.
Glass Ornaments
Despite the appeal of the novelty ornament, for true Christmas brilliance, it's hard to go past those exquisite glass ornaments. Better to buy one beautifully crafted but probably expensive ornament a year than an entire box of cheaper but trashier stuff.

Department 56 Whimzily paisley glass ornaments. Set of 3

Classic Murano glass Xmas ornaments
Kitsch Christmas Ornaments