For millions of people, vintage Christmas decorations are the ones they remember as children. I certainly do. Taking ornaments out of specially made boxes every year when it was time to decorate the Christmas tree was a ritual that heralded the wonderful holiday season, along with its lengthy school vacation and abundance of leisure and play time.
There is much sentimental value placed on vintage and antique Christmas decorations. Though people sometimes use the descriptors “vintage” and “antique” interchangeably, they are really not. Though there is no unanimous consensus, the most accepted definition in the U.S. is that vintage items are more than 25 years old. Antiques, on the other hand, are objects that are unique, over 100 years old, and have not been restored.
Sometimes you can get lucky and find real vintage or antique Christmas ornaments. Good places to look are charity shops and thrift stores. Many such stores will have a mid-year “Christmas in July” sale where you can often find some amazing ornaments. But if you go this route, it could take many years before you would have a decent collection of vintage ornaments. It is very difficult to find the ornaments in good condition. It is important to note that vintage and antique Christmas ornaments may not have been subjected to the rigorous safety standards they are today. It is probably wise to stay away from plug-in vintage decorations.
If you want to have a beautiful Christmas tree that has the charm that comes from a vintage look, you do have other options, however. There are new Christmas decorations that are made to look just like vintage decorations, but they have the advantages that new Christmas decorations have in terms of fire safety.
Some families start with one particular style or color vintage (or vintage look) Christmas ornament for each child, each year. Then, as the children grow up and move out, they take their ornaments to use in their home. But ornaments are far from being the only vintage Christmas decorations. There are stockings, miniature trees, nativity and village scenes.