What’s old for Christmas is new again. If you were born before the 1960s, your first Christmas tree might have been aluminum. Remember as a child staring with awe at an elderly aunt’s gleaming aluminum Christmas tree? They were first used in 1955. And weren’t you mesmerized by the lighted color wheel (don’t touch! It got hot!) that made it shine red, green, yellow, and blue? Now, modern copies are being made and aluminum trees are popular again. New, shiny aluminum trees are only 2 to 3 feet high, meant to be used as a table decoration. These small trees sell for $20, while a 4-foot vintage aluminum tree sells for $250 to $600. A new 6-foot-high aluminum tree sells for $600 or more.
Green ceramic Christmas trees with tiny colorful bulbs on each “branch” are also popular again, with stores selling them for about $70. Vintage ones sell for around $90 to $100.
“Just like vintage” decorations continue to be popular, most notably the Christmas tree “Bubble-Lites” made in 1946 by NOMA Electric. Their first December, the company sold nearly one million sets of Bubble-Lites. Vintage lights in their boxes from the 1950s and ’60s cost less than $100. A string of seven new bubble lights sells for $20 and up.
But while collectors may have re-discovered the deco aluminum trees with flashing lights and a “modern” look, they still remember the live trees that proudly displayed decorations that have been carefully preserved. And, of course, everyone still searches for an old plastic piece of mistletoe, or live mistletoe, to hang above the door.
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The first aluminum trees were offered in 1959, so they did not become popular until the 1960s (revolving lights 1963). During the 1950s, flocked trees were seen. Artificial trees have been around since the later 1800s.