Vintage Christmas Ornaments

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    Antique Glass Ball Ornaments

    antique glass ball ornaments
    Vintage Christmas Ornaments. / CC BY-ND 2.0

    Add Old-Fashioned Charm to Your Holiday Tree with Vintage Christmas Ornaments

    Holidays make us nostalgic, and vintage Christmas ornaments are physical reminders of past years. Even folks who prefer all new home décor often have a fondness for them, from delicate glass baubles passed down through the generations to elementary school craft projects of paper and macaroni made years ago by now adult children.

    If you don’t have a huge collection of family pieces, you can still decorate your Christmas...MORE or New Year’s tree with vintage Christmas ornaments. Don’t spend a fortune on reproductions when you can find easily find the genuine articles in all price ranges.

    Flea markets, yard sales, thrift stores, online auctions, and antique malls are all great sources, whether your taste runs to German glass, pure kitsch, or anything in between.

    Here are some examples to inspire you:

    The photographer found this collection of colorful glass ball ornaments in a Connecticut antique store, most of them likely made in the 1940s and 1950s.

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  • 02 of 10

    Moravian Star Tree Topper and Vintage Glass Ornaments

    Moravian Star Tree Topper and Antique Glass Ornaments
    Vintage Christmas Ornaments. / CC BY-ND 2.0

    A tree full of glass ornaments from the 1940s - 1960s is topped by a 21 point Moravian Star of Bethlehem. The owner even has the original box.

    Photo: / CC BY-ND 2.0

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  • 03 of 10

    Glass Ornament Collection from the 1940s to 1960s

    Collection of Vintage Glass Ornaments
    Vintage Christmas Ornaments. / CC BY-ND 2.0

    Enjoy the entire collection of vintage glass balls and baubles from the tree in the previous photo. Most of the ornaments were made in the 1940s through 1960s, though I think I spot a few earlier ones as well.

    Photo: / CC BY-ND 2.0

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  • 04 of 10

    Retro Christmas Ornament Collection

    Retro Christmas Ornament Collection
    Vintage Christmas Ornaments. / CC BY-ND 2.0

    This collection of retro Christmas ornaments includes Sputnik stars, toy soldiers, and blue bells.

    Photo: / CC BY-ND 2.0

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  • 05 of 10

    Retro Sputnik Star Ornament

    sputnik star Christmas tree ornament / CC BY 2.0

    While Sputnik star ornaments have a distinctly retro feel, they are still classic enough for even the most traditional Christmas tree.

    Sputnik star ornaments inspired Warren Milks to create his Roto-Sphere signs in 1960. I’m fortunate to live only a few blocks from one of the few remaining operational Roto-Spheres in the country.

    Photo: / CC BY 2.0

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  • 06 of 10

    Silver Bird Clip-On Christmas Tree Ornament

    Silver Bird Christmas Tree Ornament
    Vintage Christmas Ornaments. / CC BY-ND 2.0

    This beautiful clip-on silver bird perches on the branch instead of hanging from it.

    Birds are one of the most common motifs in antique clip-on Christmas tree ornaments. Other popular clip-on ornaments feature candle holders and fruit.

    Photo: / CC BY-ND 2.0

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  • 07 of 10

    Handmade Glass Bauble and a String of Bubble Lights

    Handmade Ornament and Bubble Lights
    Vintage Christmas Ornaments. / CC BY-ND 2.0

    The photographer's grandmother made the glass painted ornament, and the bubble lights add mid-century charm.

    Photo: / CC BY-ND 2.0

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  • 08 of 10

    Kitschy Creatures and a Flirty Deer Adorn a Retro Style Tree

    Kitschy Christmas Tree
    Vintage Christmas Ornaments. / CC BY-ND 2.0

    Mice, kittens, and other kitschy creatures cover this charming retro style Christmas tree. I particularly love the tall deer peeking out from behind the tree.

    Photo: / CC BY-ND 2.0

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  • 09 of 10

    Kitschy Collection of Pixie Elves and Santas

    Huge collection of kitschy elves and santas for the Christmas tree
    Vintage Christmas Ornaments. / CC BY-ND 2.0

    This huge collection of pixie elves and Santas is pure kitsch.

    Note how many of the elves are sitting with their arms wrapped around their knees. These are knee hugger elves, imported from Japan and very popular in the 1960s. The spring action in the knees holds them on the Christmas tree branches, so it looks like elves are shimmying up your tree.

    Photo: / CC BY-ND 2.0

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  • 10 of 10

    Charming Set of Ornaments Still in Original Box

    Vintage Set of Christmas Ornaments Still in the Original Box
    Vintage Christmas Ornaments. / CC BY-ND 2.0

    This lovely set or vintage figural ornaments is still in the original box.

    If you're collecting as an investment, original packaging is important. If you're collecting just for pleasure, you don't need the packaging, but it's always charming as part of your display if you happen to have it.

    I'd display the books, vinyl record, and other goodies near the tree also, perhaps under it with the gifts or as part of a tabletop or mantle vignette.

    Photo: / CC BY-ND...MORE 2.0