Vintage Christmas Decor Ideas to Try

Nostalgia. That’s why vintage Christmas decor is so appealing. They invoke the awe and excitement we experienced as children, waiting for the celebration of baby Jesus or the arrival of Santa with presents. As a child, everything about Christmas seemed magical.

Vintage Red Truck Carrying Christmas Tree in the Snow


Remember when decorating with teddy bears was the trend – especially at Christmas time? It seemed like everyone had one in their home somewhere. Tuck one in a stocking or place one in a chair with a Christmas pillow.

Red and White Christmas Stockings with Teddy Bear Tucked Inside


Shiny Bright ornaments immediately recall holidays gone by. You can find new ones at stores like Menards, or gather the real deal at flea markets.

Red Wooden Wagon Filled with Vintage Christmas Decor Ornaments


Do you have any old ornaments that you no longer hang on your tree but you hate to part with them? Create a fun retro shadow box and put them back on display!

wooden shadow box with collection of Christmas retro style decor ornaments and toys inside


Or take an old drawer, paint it, and fill it with a Christmas scene. This is a great way to corral some of your mismatched holiday items.

vintage drawer with a winter Christmas scene of a little town with falling snow inside


When it comes to vintage Christmas decor, I can’t resist a Santa or two – or three or four. I think this stems from the fact that my parents didn’t encourage belief in Santa. They felt it detracted from the birth of Christ. So I never experienced the awful let-down of finding out that Santa Claus was just a fantasy.

Vintage Christmas Santa in Neutral Tones - Father Christmas


Speaking of Santa, a few years back I found a beautiful vintage Santa ribbon for my Christmas tree. I developed my entire theme around that ribbon.

Vintage Santa Ribbon with Musical Notes on a Flocked Christmas Tree


Another year I made a paper chain with vintage stock paper. Assembling it immediately took me down memory lane with images of creating red and green construction paper chains for our school classroom.

Vintage Paper Chain for a Christmas Tree


Do you remember back in grade school and studying the ways different countries celebrated Christmas? The Dutch put out their wooden shoes for Santa to fill. I was envious of Mexico that filled the entire month with celebrations and pinata parties! See? Vintage Christmas decor always gets me reminiscing back to childhood days.

How about decorating an old sled with greens, bells, and ribbons?

Christmas decorations on the street with old wooden sled.


Vintage sled with Christmas ribbon and greens


Who’s a fan of putz houses – also known as glitter houses? I created an entire vintage mantel with them one year.

Putz House, also known as Glitter House, on a Christmas mantel


And who’s a fan of bottle brush trees? I have more than I know what to do with, but I always love these holiday flea market finds. I bought this one from Jennifer Rizzo, my fellow blogging friend who hosts our holiday home tour every year!

Green Bottle Brush Christmas Tree in Silver Trophy


My favorite vintage Christmas decor is this Victorian style tree that was the first tree I ever featured on my blog. It caught the eye of Country Sampler magazine and led to my first magazine feature. You can read how I trimmed the branches to give it a sparse look.

Old Fashioned Christmas Tree with Vintage Ornaments

Tell me what vintage Christmas decor you like to use in your home!



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  1. I absolutely loved this post! Every idea was fabulous. I also loved your story about your parents downplaying Santa. They were very wise. I have always been made of “strong stuff” but when my mom broke the news about Santa, I was devastated that my parents, who I loved and trusted the most, had actually lied to me. I got over it and they were always my heroes but I did make the decision that my children would never experience that heartache. In my home, Santa was always the fun side of Christmas but JESUS WAS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON, and 45 years later, a birthday cake for Jesus is the highlighted tradition 😇

  2. Good morning, Jennifer. Thank you for the lovely blog this morning, taking me back to Christmas’ past. I especially enjoyed decorating with teddy bears. I still have some of mine packed away and I may bring them out again this year. Please have a very blessed and healthy Christmas.

  3. I really enjoyed this blog and all of the beautiful ideas. I remember many of same idess, I was my daughter’s room mother for 2nd grade years ago and I worked for months. Took in a tree for the class and each day the teacher added an authentic ornament from a country and teacher discussed the country and its Christmas traditions. I still have ornaments and I spent hours/months locating the ornaments. Still have vintage globe they used to locate country. I probably enjoyed the tree more than anybody. Our daughter was adopted at 14 mths old (made it back from Russia on 12-24)!!! We have always been open about her birth country and that is how project initiated. Sometimes did food treats for that country too. .

    I have read several blogs; thank you for mentioning the reason for the season…JESUS! Made my day.

  4. Yes, it is an especially beautiful blog today, Jennifer. I have a lot of vintage Christmas decorations that I just love, but my most favorite is my Santa mug collection. Thanks for taking us down memory lane today. Have a great weekend.

  5. This post was so wonderful, and yes it took me down that memory lane. I never remember doing Christmas of different countries at school but my Grandfather had these set of books kind of like the old encyclopedias that had all this information about Christmas in different countries that was so fun to read. I wish I knew what happened to them. I have many old vintage ornaments, I have those big round glass baubles with all the pretty designs on them that I think came out in the 50’s or 60’s that were my husband’s parents. My Mom also had some of these but alas got broken over the years mainly by the cat climbing the tree and knocking it over. Thank you so much for this post.

  6. Thanks, i love the magic of Christmas still, it warms my heart to see all the beauty of it and of course the birth of Jesus. I love to use my mom’s Shiny Brites and a little village she had. I also have tree decorations from my grandchildren and children that i use.

  7. Love the ideas here and I love that tree that was the first one featured in your blog. I honestly don’t like how all the trees now are so sheared early on that there is no spacing between branches and the branches seem so much lighter. I love vintage Christmas and do the same type of tree I grew up with using the old ornaments from my mom and grandmother plus ones I’ve added over the years. Many were from Sweden, Poland & Germany. I went crazy for a while collecting 50’s and 60’s Christmas items. Love the old mica and pinecone elves, snowmen, etc. Every year I tell myself I should go with a different look but fall back to the same old look lol. I think it just reminds me so much of my childhood.