Holiday wishes and mistletoe kisses, Merry Christmas everyone!! Hope you all are staying safe and healthy. It’s Christmas time once again!!
I can’t believe the weeks have flown by; I tell my hubby Gary that ever since Thanksgiving it has all been a blur to me and it’s gone by so fast. So I really can’t believe that this is post five in our six-part Vintage Christmas Collecting Series and, I think one of my favorite posts because not only are we talking about the key elements of a mid-century modern Christmas but also sharing holiday fashions from the 1950s-1960s with me as your festive model.
Retro Aluminum Christmas Trees:
You really can’t have a mid-mod Christmas without an aluminum tree. These are artificial trees that were made in the late 1950s to the mid 1960s and came in a variety of sizes with aluminum branches and needles. Some trees even have pom poms on the ends of their branches like my darling little aluminum tree in these photos. True vintage aluminum trees from the 50s-60s are a very hot collectible (and seem to be getting hotter every year) so prices are up there and you can pick up a vintage aluminum tree run from around $175 to over a thousand dollars, especially if they are colored aluminum like teal or green trees. There are companies today making reproduction aluminum trees in multi colors as well as kitschy pink trees at reasonable prices if a true vintage tree is out of reach.
Vintage Color Wheels:
Retro aluminum trees are lighted up by a color wheel. I have one sitting on the floor right behind me in the above photo. The color wheel turns and shines colored light onto the tree and it really is lovely with the way the colors reflect off of the tinsel branches. You can find true vintage color wheels at antique shops and on Etsy and eBay for around $50-$300 with their original boxes and in working condition. Sometimes the cords/plugs need to be rewired for today’s standards so proceed with caution when you plugin a true vintage color wheel.
Vintage Shiny Brite Ornaments:
Now that our Mid-Century Modern Christmas tree is up and has lights, we need to decorate it. Ornaments made by Shiny Brite are my personal favorite and were made in the 40s-60s by ornament maker Max Eckardt who also started the Shiny Brite company in the late 1930s. Shiny Brite ornaments are a little different than the glass ornaments made during this time frame in that they are made of glass that has a special coating of silver nitrate and that makes them stay shiny much longer than the other ornaments from the era. True vintage Shiny Brite ornaments can have stenciling with Christmas scenes and words, the ornaments are usually brightly colored and can have sparkly mica flakes for embellishment and, they have a gold topper (can darker over the years) that is stamped “Shiny Brite Made in USA”.
Shiny Brite ornaments were made in a variety of sizes and box designs. Today, many vintage enthusiasts collect the boxes as the shapes and graphics make for wonderful additions to holiday decor and displays and add a sense of nostalgia. You can find vintage Shiny Brite ornaments in antique shops and online, an original box full ornaments in great condition can cost approx. $100 but you can find these ornaments regularly, especially during the holidays and right after (antique shops tend to have amazing bargain sales right after Christmas) and it is a great time to buy them. Single ornaments can cost $10-$25 depending on the decoration. Store your Shiny Brites with care as they are still made of glass and not shatter proof.
Mid-Century Modern Fashions:
Novelty prints were incredibly popular in the 1950s-1960s and nothing screams Mid-Mod Christmas more than holiday novelty prints on dresses, tops and skirts. I adore fashions from the 50s-60s, the Pinup Girl era because they are incredibly flattering, especially on a curvy girl. I love how they nip in your waist and have full circle skirts. You can add a petticoat for additional fluffiness. The outfits I am wearing in these photographs are not true vintage but reproductions as today we are fortunate to have a handful of companies making these styles from true vintage patterns and they are size inclusive (not tiny sizes like like they were in the era) The harlequin diamond pattern (pictures above) was widely seen on clothing in the 50s-60s and I absolutely love my red and green harlequin top and matching circle skirt.
Also, the fun holiday prints on these dresses features in this post are so colorful and I just love getting dolled up in them.
This novelty print ornament skirt is one of absolute favorites!! I adore the bright emerald green color and how all the ornaments are done in jeweled tones. My top is a very bombshell style from the 1950s and pairs perfectly with this skirt for one fabulous holiday outfit.
Here’s a fun party dress that is very on point with the Pinup look. It is my denim blue dress with metallic flourishes, three quarter sleeves and a skirt that makes me want to twirl and twirl. I love the feminine details of the dress with the dainty and slim neckline and nipped wait.
As I mentioned, there are a few companies making these reproduction outfits in a wide range of sizes along with shoes and accessories so let me know if you’d be interested in a post and, you can pop over to my Instagram @crazy4me and see many more outfits of mine and how I style them.
Mid-Century Modern Television
As we wrap up our post, we need a Christmas movie to watch on our Philco Predicta Television set.
The Philco Predicta television is a dynamite looking mid-century marvel that was produced for a short time from 1958-1960 and boy-oh boy were we excited when we wandered into a local antique mall and bam, there it stood, and in working condition too. Our Philco swivel-screen consolette is just amazing and it sits right in our living room. The Predicta originally came in five colors and ours is the vermillion red color and it is complete with a shelf and brass legs. I really love the style of the Predicta as there is really nothing like it today. The picture quality is exactly what you might expect from a late 1950s television but the fact that it is still working is incredible. During the holidays we really enjoy turning it on and watching Christmas movies from yesteryear and it fills us with plenty of good cheer. There are a few folks around the country that actually do restoration work on these tvs and can get them back up and running for you so do an internet search to locate them. Restored working models can run $1,200+.
Upcoming Vintage Christmas Collecting Series:
- Collecting vintage NOEL Christmas candleholders, figurines, and bells – November 27, 2020
- Vintage Holt-Howard Christmas collectibles
- Pretty Ladies – Vintage Christmas Head Vases and Planters
- Collecting vintage Christmas angels
- Have yourself a Mid-Mod Christmas
- Collecting vintage Christmas year-round – January 2, 2021
Join our Vintage Kitschy Christmas Facebook Group and show off your favorite vintage Christmas collections, displays, thrifting and junking scores.
Merry Christmas everyone!!