Decorating with Vintage This Christmas

Christmas just wouldn’t seem the same without the traditions each household, around the world, includes in their decorating, including their tree and other decorations.

Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition, in the 16th century, when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. The early Americans decorated their trees mainly with homemade ornaments and popcorn interlaced with berries and nuts, while the early German-Americans continued to use apples, nuts and marzipan cookies. However, by the 1890s, Christmas ornaments were changing from hand-made to factory-made, and they were made of glass and metal. Now, those old metal and glass ornaments are considered vintage, such as Radko and mercury glass. Old has become new again!

The invention of electricity made lights possible, and they were strung on every tree branch, making it possible for Christmas trees to glow. They replaced candles on the trees with electric bubble lights in all shapes, sizes and colors. With lights being so popular, Christmas trees began to appear in town squares across the country. Christmas tree lightings, such as the one at Rockefeller Center, have become a tradition of the season. The first tree at Rockefeller Center was placed in 1931. It was a small tree, without ornaments, placed by construction workers at the center of the construction site. These days, the giant Rockefeller Center tree is laden with over 25,000 Christmas lights.

The feeling of vintage comes from tradition, so when decorating your home this season, here are some ideas to pull from the past for a more vintage Christmas. Incorporate handmade ornaments and a simple color palette, such as red and white. A flocked tree covered in red and white ornaments with simple felt stockings hung on the fireplace make for a beautiful and simple color palate. The child’s sled, teddy bear and the red boots all speak to a child’s Christmas in this home. Even the wrapping paper contributes to the color scheme.

For another vintage look, use only one color, such as white. A white-flocked tree with simple wooden ornaments tied with white ribbon and white spray-painted pinecones create a calm and beautiful color scheme for any home. The addition of a vintage lantern and packages wrapped in brown paper and tied with white ribbon complete the look. You can carry this same color scheme throughout your home with white ornaments and ribbon weaved through garland and on the fireplace, and for your dining room table, use white candles surrounded with greenery and burlap ribbon.

Vintage ornaments come in many colors, including pastels in blues and pinks. Vintage feels old and well loved. You can make glass ornaments feel vintage by applying a coat of glass spray paint. You can find the glass spray paint at craft stores, and you can find tutorials online. Adding ribbon, instead of metal hooks, for hanging your ornaments gives a vintage feel. Decorate your table with a cloth napkin tied with ribbon and a sugar cookie for a place setting that gives a vintage feel and a nice treat for your guests.

Make sure to pick a theme by picking your colors and the type of ornaments and then use them throughout your home. Add some vintage charm with burlap or ribbon, dried fruits and hand-made paper ornaments and decorate with the same theme, starting with the wreath on the front door, to the tree and mantel, your dining table and small vignettes on the coffee table and even your guest room. This way you spread a little vintage charm to your entire home. So, from simply lit trees to those covered in ornaments, there is no wrong way to decorate. Incorporate your treasured things and add a few vintage touches for a memorable vintage Christmas.