Collecting 1950s

Collecting 1950’s: A Very Retro Christmas

Hi folks. This post will tell you how to have a very retro Christmas. And according to the trends, it seems like that’s what a lot of people want these days.

Hmm, well. It seems that a lot of vintage resellers revolve their inventory around vintage Christmas stuff. And I don’t mean only at Christmastime! On the LIVE IG sales there are at least two Christmas sales a month, one always on the 25th of each month, and all month long in July. So what do they do for December? Why, Christmas every day of course!

The Christmas items that vintage resellers sell, range from ornaments, to plush Santas, snow people, angels, elves, pixies, drummer boys, holiday deer, Nativity sets, wreaths, table cloths, glasses and plate sets, candleholders and even 4-foot-tall vintage aluminum trees and retro blow molds. There is literally NO limit to what you will find in a vintage Christmas sale online. And the best part, is you don’t even need to leave your chair. That’s the reseller’s job! All year long they find cute and kitschy Christmas items from different sales and bring them back for you.

Vintage elves and ornaments are all the collectors’ rage!

So how retro is retro? The items I usually see offered by vintage resellers range from the 1940’s through the 1980’s. Undoubtedly, the 1950’s and early 60’s are by far the most desired eras for Christmas items. Holt Howard, Lefton, Napco, Inarco, Thames and most of the “Made in Japan” collectibles are the epitome of Christmas kitsch and are always hot on the market. This includes adorable head vases, figurines and other festive-themed planters.

5.5″ Napco Christmas Shopper planter is marked 1956
Small 4″ caroler head vase is marked Napco, 1957
Vintage Christmas Shopper with bells by Thames is almost 7″ high!

But folks, some of this stuff is pricey. It’s not unusual for collectors to throw down between $100 and $300+ for a rarer piece. Not unusual at all! Things that once sold at Woolworth’s for 89 cents are now highly sought-after pieces, bringing in hundreds on the collectible market. Likewise, vintage ornaments are incredibly pricey. Shiny Brites that have survived the decades can go for $20 per ornament and between $60 and $100+ per box. (I have a few boxes of reproduction Shiny Brites in storage. They are still pretty and much more affordable.)

Of course, if you have the money, there’s no limit on how much you can shell out for your retro Christmas. But if you’re like me, you might want to do what I did with the Shiny Brights and go for a reproduction item or items which are easy to find and MUCH cheaper. You can find some retro-inspired goodies at Target, for one. Their “Wondershop” has vintage looking deer, small ceramic trees and various ornaments inspired by the best era ever.

Pink table tree and deer from Target’s Wondershop are vintage inspired.

Yes. Thank God for The Wondershop. Otherwise it would be harder for those of us on a budget to make it a retro Christmas, especially with the prices of true vintage. Good thinking, Target peeps!

Retro deer ornaments from Target’s Wondershop

Normally, I tend to go retro or not. That is, either I invest in a true vintage piece from the 1950’s, or I get a repro for cheap. But there is an in-between. Sometimes you can find really cute figurines from the 1970’s and 80’s with a vintage feel to them. For example, these candleholders pictured below. They remind me of little Donnie and Phillip Everly. I think these candleholders are no older than the 70’s, but they’re classic and I pretend they’re The Everly Brothers as they might’ve looked in 1946 when they sang Christmas Carols on KMA Radio in Shenandoah, IA.

Candleholders (possibly 1970’s or 80’s) have a vintage appeal

These days, with Retro Fever burning hot on the collectors’s market, many people craft with vintage pieces to make a new piece of art to enjoy for the Holidays. This little centerpiece below was made by Stephanie C. from Krazy 4 Kitsch. Stephanie used a vintage 1977 Schilling All Spice tin and adorned it with tinsel and a vintage kitty ornament. Handmade crafts such as these are extremely popular on the Christmas market and collectors spend hundreds daily on these one-of-a-kind pieces.

Handmade decoration uses vintage pieces.

Well that’s really it. I hope you enjoyed this post. Have a very Retro Christmas and, well, I guess the New Year can’t be retro, but what the hell, have a very Retro New Year too.

Best Wishes,

Retro Dee

A Retro Christmas Display!

Disclaimer: I DO NOT get paid or compensated in any way for endorsing any companies or products, nor am I affiliated with any companies or products. All opinions are my own.

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