Vintage Christmas decorations are definitely having a moment. It seems like everyone is looking for that perfect, unique piece to add to their holiday decor. And what could be more unique than a vintage find?
If you’re not sure where to start your search for vintage Christmas decorations, consider checking out local antique stores or even thrift stores. Estate sales are always a favorite place to find vintage Christmas decor. You never know what hidden gems you might uncover! Once you’ve got your hands on some vintage treasures, the sky’s the limit in terms of how you use them.
For example, vintage ornaments make for a beautiful and unique tree. But these ornaments can be used in other creative ways to decorate. No matter how you choose to incorporate vintage items into your Christmas decor, they’re sure to add some extra personality and charm.
My 3 Favorite Vintage Christmas Decorations
The holidays are one of my favorite times to break out my vintage collections. My 3 top collections I use to decorate for this magical time are: wool plaid blankets, toy trucks, and vintage wood sock stretchers.
Of course, I always use my vintage milk glass collection for Christmas decor, but since I use that every calendar month, I don’t really consider it as vintage Christmas decorations.
Wool Plaid Blankets
When buying plaid wool blankets, I tend to stay within a certain color palette that I use around the house. Although I have a ladder that some are displayed on, we do use these to snuggle up on the sofa with, they aren’t just used for our vintage Christmas decor.
I buy green and red plaids, but also those that have blue so they look good with the decor that is already in the rooms. The blue ones I keep out through the winter, and after Christmas, only put away the ones that seem really holiday focused.
Recently I have added plaid ornaments that are not vintage but are those things that can be lower on a coffee table in case one of my sweet littles gets ahold of it. When you have a 3-year old grandson who likes to ‘throw balls’ you gotta consider your audience!
Metal Toy Trucks
Of course he is attracted to the metal trucks that I have added a touch of vintage Christmas to by tying on a little bottle brush tree with some twine or torn fabric. So I keep those up high! I tuck them into these little apothecary drawers which is a great place to showcase them. My countdown Christmas sign is made from metal license plates, so it goes with the vibe.
This year I bought the cutest wood log cabin that was a playhouse so I will put that on the piano, with the larger trucks that are the same scale ‘parked outside’ of it.
Wood Sock Stretchers
But the thing I have bought the most lately, adding to my stock (or hoard as it may be) is the wood sock stretchers. I now have many sizes from child size to super long, and I really love the patina. I use these on the mantel with greenery and branches, along the banister in the entry, and this holiday I have so many that I can get creative and add them throughout the house.
Each year, it is fun to create new Christmas themes for the tree or wreaths. I’m even going to attempt decorating early for the holidays. I tend to not bust Christmas out until Thanksgiving is over, but since we aren’t hosting this year like normal, I think I might be safe pulling out all the holiday things early.
A Retro Christmas
There are so many memories associated with Christmas, and I love finding that retro Christmas item that brings this magical time to mind! I have all the ornaments that the kids made growing up, and other weird art that gets tucked into the tree. When they were school age, teachers would always have them create Christmas stuff, and I’ve kept most of it.
Of course, as far as vintage Christmas goes there are all kinds of things you can collect such as: art, tabletop items, a sign to hang up to count the days, things for the mantel, trinkets to give guests, even small items to create and craft ornaments.
Of course when decorating for the holidays, you don’t just need vintage Christmas decor, you can also gather items of color that match whatever theme you are doing.
I make our family room the one with the most vintage christmas decor, where I use the colors red and green. In the living room, I decorate a bit more fancy using lots of silver and blue, which brings a festive vibe but matches the room decor more.
This makes it easier for me to deal with all the holiday decor a bit longer, and keeps me from ripping it down the second Christmas is over!
Where to Find Vintage Christmas decor
My favorite place to shop for vintage Christmas decor is not just an antique store, although this is a great place to find all things vintage. Estate sales are the best, but must be shopped year round to find premium vintage Christmas. When the holiday rolls around, you’ll be behind the eight ball, so it’s best to keep your eyes peeled all year!
The best vintage Christmas decor will go quick, but if you shop off season, items might hang around to the next day where you can get deeper discounts. Christmas items that are popular or on trend get snatched up quicker.
I do love to find outdoor vintage Christmas decor, but I usually end up selling it. If it’s powered, always plug it in and make sure the electricity components work. And never buy a nativity set without making sure you have all it’s pieces that match it. What’s the nativity without baby Jesus? Learned that one the hard way!
Since I am a dealer of vintage, when setting up my booth for the season, I can check out all the other booths in the mall and shop early to add to my collections. That’s the good and the bad of being a dealer. I do shop to sell, but I also shop to add to my retro decor. I do love a good patina! Especially on glass ornaments.
Storing Vintage Ornaments and More
Luckily I live where we have a basement, so I have a great storage room I have created into a complete holiday collection space. Throughout the year, as I buy things at estate sales, I can go down and drop them into their off-season home.
If you have lots of stuff, it is best to sort them into the types of vintage Christmas decor that it is. That way you won’t have metal trucks, knocking into ornaments and breaking. I always hate when that happens!
Plus I love to label stuff! And when I fill up the bins, I can always make room for another one. Although my daughter calls me an ‘organized hoarder’ (LOL) I am selective and only bring home those items that are going to be useful and are specifically the vintage Christmas decor category I already have, or things that remind me of memories past.
If you don’t already, I hope you will try incorporating vintage into your Christmas decorations.