Halfway into January, I’ve finally made the time to photograph and now share vintage Christmas ornaments that decorate our tree.

The temperature swung from snow and arctic temperatures at the beginning of the week to nearly 60 degrees by week’s end. Crazy,

right?! That melted the snow and allowed us to take down and pack away the outdoor strings of lights, animated deer and both sets of decorated urns.

Gosh I hate putting everything away! It’s a messy job, so time-consuming and always a challenge to find space to store everything! Of course, if I didn’t have so much stuff, it wouldn’t be such a big deal…

However, I’ve disciplined myself this year to take the time to do some cleaning, repairs, a little purging of damaged or no longer used decorations, catalog what I have, and reorganize storage a  bit. Later this week, I’m even going to refresh a several wreaths and garlands. If I don’t do it now, it certainly won’t happen in time for next Christmas!

For the past several years I’ve been photographing and documenting my decorations for future reference. I just finished that project with vintage Christmas tree ornaments that my parents gave me after they downsized.

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A Gift of Christmas Past

Last year, I received the most lovely surprise gift from my parents — a small box of their old Christmas ornaments.

I thought Sistah B had already taken procession of any vintage family ornaments long ago. In fairness, Sister B was the one who showed interest way back when. Or rather, it was her husband, who already had a deep appreciation for vintage ornaments when she married him.

Today, I’m sharing some of my vintage ornaments, both those passed down from my mother and a few I’ve purchased. It’s not a big collections. But, what I do have are very special to me.

Not Just for Peacock Ornaments

Vintage ornaments go on the artificial tree in the living room, where they are safer than the drooping branches of the live tree in the family room.

It’s the same tree that holds my peacock ornament collection featured in the post, Peacock Ornaments Decorate Christmas Tree. That’s why you may notice peacock feathers and garland in the background of the pictures.

This first vintage Christmas ornament belonged to my parents.


I’m no expert vintage ornament collector. I just like what has meaning to me. If any of you know anything specific about any of the ornaments pictured in this post, please share!


My understanding is that the ones above and below are called an ‘indent.’ I love both the front and back of this teardrop-shaped ornament. 

The striped ornament below shows its age, but that’s part of what I like about it. I think they call that process, ‘oxidation – when the paint color fades. To me it adds character. You know it’s adorned many a Christmas tree.


This next one I discovered at Trax Farms antique loft, where I also found several Santa and snowmen blow molds.

I love the color, oxidation, shape and indentation. Again, not an expert. There’s probably a term for this style? It looked like it needed a home on someone’s Christmas tree.


Next, is one of my favorite vintage Christmas ornament balls. The indent looks like it has a flower inside of it, and I especially like the color combination.


Here’s another teardrop that’s condition is worn, but what a pop of raspberry color and dazzling indentation!


My parents gave me these seashell-shape ornaments. Boy, I don’t remember these at all! Surprised my sister didn’t grab these, since she has lived on the water in Virginia and now South Carolina. Want to do a trade sistah?


Actually, I’ll have to get her to photograph the vintage Christmas ornaments she has from our parents. That way, we can all share and enjoy them, regardless of who’s tree they adorn.


Shop Local

I purchased this pair of white and red little felt angels from a local vintage shop. Not sure if they are actually ornaments or package decorations? They appealed to me because they are reminiscent of Christmas when I was a kid (a long, long time ago!).


Unfortunately, the store where I bought these is closing. I’ll miss stopping by and making little discoveries there.


A plastic choirboy holding a candle is one of my favorites. Hubby was a choirboy in elementary school. Unfortunately, we don’t have any vintage Christmas ornaments from his family’s tree.


This last ornament isn’t as old as the others.


I purchased the Santa ball the first year or two that my husband and I were married from a department store called, Kaufmanns. So, it’s older than my adult sons anyway!

Downhill Skiers

The oldest vintage items that decorate the Christmas tree aren’t actually ornaments at all. Originally, the two cherished figures accessorized the Lionel train platform my dad made when my sisters and I were little.

Recently I discovered the skiers are older than I thought. They actually date to about 1940 when my grandfather put them under dad’s tree as a kid. How neat is that?

Find out more and see how I incorporated them into the centerpiece of Downhill Dinner at Ski Cabin Winter Table.

Vintage Christmas Angel Sits Atop Tree

The vintage Christmas tree decoration that I treasure the most is this golden angel tree-topper. My understanding is that my parents bought it for my first Christmas.

When I was young, I failed to see her beauty. I think we sometimes fail to appreciate items from our past until we age — and nostalgia kicks in. However, since I was newly married, the angel has always held a place of honor on our tree.


Someday, I hope she continues to grace a tree or decorate the home of a family member. After all, she’s been adorning one of our trees for over half a century now.

Do you have a vintage Christmas heirloom or two?

Preserving the Past

If you have a parent or grandparent who is downsizing, do make sure either you, a sibling, cousin, niece, or child take ownership and care of Christmas family treasures. Or, if vintage ornaments are just not your thing, there are many, many people who collect and value them.

Don’t have any vintage Christmas decorations passed down in your family? In addition to searching online at Etsy and eBay, January is suppose to be one of the best months to find old holiday items at resale stores like Goodwill. That’s because, rather than pack them away, people donate them.

If you are interested in seeing more vintage Christmas ornaments and decorations, check out Pinterest and the boards, Christmas: Vintage and Christmas Vintage Kitschmas.




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