A Vintage Christmas Dream-Come-True!

I’m an old soul who’s fallen in love with the idea of Christmases past. So naturally a Bronner’s Vintage Christmas Tree was bound to happen … and as soon as possible!

I first had the idea last year after visiting The Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village Holiday Nights celebration. My Aunt raved about them for years but it was the first time my husband and I made it to one. We* were instantly smitten with the nostalgic affair of stepping back in to Christmases past! (For this Bronner’s girl, this was not a stretch!🙌 BUT my husband on the other hand is a bit harder sell on eras gone by and he actually agreed!)

The Henry Ford's Greenfield Village Holiday Nights with Model T rides, open fire pits and vintage Christmas decorations through the eras.
Holiday Nights at The Henry Ford Greenfield Village.
Christmas Mummers at The Henry Ford Greenfield Village Holiday Nights
The tradition of Mummering is celebrated at Holiday Nights.

There are so many incredible things we experienced that night. Where to even start?!

HOLIDAY NIGHTS AT THE HENRY FORD

The cold, crisp winter night was contrasted by glowing fire pits dotting the streets. They beckoned us near with beaming warmth while permeating the air with the delightful smell of burning wood. The luminous headlights of Model T cars pierced through the dark as they putted by on streets lined with passersby, carolers, a brass band and even a few mummers!

Dimly lit stands selling Christmas ornaments, lanterns and Christmas greenery were peppered between booths roasting chestnuts and roast beef on a spit over open fire.

We grabbed a hot chocolate and took breaks from the cold, rainy evening by popping in to some of the historical houses to catch glimpses of “vintage Christmas” variations through different eras. (Cotswold Cottage’s Christmas set in WWII was one of my favorites! Pictured above, at bottom right.)

The feasts, the decorations … I felt like I was in heaven! Well close enough … I was as close to the past as I’m going to get in Greenfield Village’s living museum.😊

We ended our evening caroling on an open, horse-drawn carriage ride and left our fun-filled evening anticipating this year’s visit. (I’m counting down!) And I, well, I was already planning how I could share all that inspiration with you here!

BRONNER’S VINTAGE CHRISTMAS

Survey Says …

I started looking around for vintage-themed Christmas decor here at Bronner’s and was quite amazed at all we had. Though, I should not have been surprised, with over 50,000 trims and gifts for all seasons, reasons and budgets, Bronner’s really is a WONDERland!

The solution to SO MANY awesome retro inspired items? Let our Facebook fans help us decorate a tree of course! So that’s just what we did, with one week’s worth of daily polls. (And yet there is still so much more one could choose from!) See complete list of featured products at the end of this post.

THE CHRISTMAS TREE

We needed a blank canvas to work from – a Christmas Tree. And that’s just where our polls started. Between a traditional Christmas tree or an aluminum-styled tinsel tree, our fans voted to deck the boughs of a good ‘ole evergreen!

Facebook poll results favor a traditional green Christmas tree over a silver tinsel Christmas tree.

LIGHTS

Our second poll posed the illuminating question of which Christmas lights to use? Clear C7 incandescent Christmas lights or the ever popular, multi-colored bubble lights?

Facebook poll results favor retro bubble lights over clear C7 incandescent Christmas lights.

Retro bubble lights for the win!

DID YOU KNOW: “Bubble lights for Christmas decoration were first patented in the United States by Carl W. Otis in 1944,” according to wikipedia.

Our decorator Misti combined some fun vintage-styled C7 LED lights for a bigger pop of color, inspired by the trees of the 50s.

TIP: LED lights and Incandescent strands should be plugged in separately as the electric current running through them differs.

Two young girls stop to admire bubble lights and tinsel garland on vintage Christmas tree at Bronner's.
📷 Credit: Rachael Simon

Our trees are typically decorated behind-the-scenes. Doing one on the storeroom floor, in front of our visitors, was a new experience! I asked Misti about her adventure and without hesitation she shared a highlight from that first day:

“My favorite moment was when an elderly couple was passing by. They paused and grabbed each other’s hand as they stood there gazing upon the tree. I overheard them reminiscence how they used to have bubble lights, just like these, on their tree when they first married.” She continued, “It was such a touching moment for me.”

Old-Fashioned Bubble Lights decorate Bronner's Vintage-Styled Christmas Tree.
Featured: 7 C7 Colored Bubble Lights
(1133152) $26.99

GARLAND

The next item to ‘pop‘ up on the list was garland. We asked our friends if they preferred old-fashioned popcorn garland or a fun, vintage beaded tinsel garland? And this is where, honestly, I was shocked at the results!

Facebook poll results favor vintage tinsel garland studded with beads over nostalgic popcorn garland.

I thought for sure the popcorn garland would take it. Especially as I recalled the beautiful memory Sheila Weller shared in our “How My Mom Made Christmas Merry” contest earlier in the year. See that heart-warming story in this Instagram post.

Misti on the other-hand, was hoping the tinsel garland would win. So it wasn’t long before she made quick work, turning her vision into reality by pairing the poll winner with some beautiful glass bead garland in silver and red.

Vintage tinsel beaded garland goes on Bronner's Nostalgic Christmas tree.

ORNAMENTS

In the middle of our polling came the choice of ornaments for our Vintage Christmas tree. The challenge with Facebook polls is you are only allowed two possibilities … and there are SO MANY ornament styles we could choose from.

I collected different items and took them to our experts – because I’ve faced the reality that I cannot decorate a tree! … I’ve tried!😂 So our team divided them up in to two collections.

In hindsight, I realize because of the limited image size the collections look rather similar in the poll options. In addition, it was hard to truly showcase our beautiful and diverse glass ornaments, many of which are still crafted in Europe, true to tradition. Perhaps this is why our poll results were so close:

Facebook poll results from our vintage inspired ornament collections.

In the end, Group B won your poll. Here’s a closer look at some of the vintage-styled ornaments we’ve decked the boughs with:

Ornaments sold at Bronner's Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, Michigan are strikingly similar to vintage Christmas Ornaments.

And naturally, a collection of nostalgic Santas. Because we wouldn’t want to end up on the naughty list by excluding Santa!

Nostalgic Santa ornaments from Bronner's decorate our vintage tree.

THE TREE TOPPER

The results of the tree topper poll had me feeling a case of Déjà Vu with a single 1% difference from our ornament poll the day before!

Facebook poll results from our vintage inspired tree topper favored a multi-colored tinsel snowflake over the glass reflector angel.
Misty from Bronner's decorating team adds the tinsel snowflake tree topper atop the Vintage Christmas tree.
Featured: 5.5 Inch Snowflake Tree Topper With 10 Multi Color Lights (1197057) $7.99

The glass angel reflector tree top is so cool. But I think the tinsel snowflake really matches the finished tree so perfectly! And while that may be true, our polls weren’t done just yet. We had one more very important matter to vote on …

TINSEL

Our last poll posed the question of which accents should finish off our vintage inspired tree, gold angel hair or silver tinsel icicles?

It wasn’t really too much of a surprise here! Based on the comments from the thread, I could see the silver tinsel was in favor. What did surprise me somewhat, was that the gold angel hair still came in with a strong 23% of votes! (I may or may not have been hoping to see what the gold angel hair would look like on the tree.🤭)

Our Facebook poll asks whether to finish off the tree with gold angel hair or silver tinsel icicles.

The tinsel icicles REALLY made this tree a vision of perfection! And so now I think I need some for my own tree this Christmas.😊

Old-fashioned tinsel icicles from Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland give a real retro feel to our vintage Christmas tree.
Featured: Silver 18 Inch Icicle Tinsel Garland (1143100) $2.99

A VINTAGE CHRISTMAS DREAM COME TRUE

Your vintage tree is my Christmas dream-come-true!

The tree is displayed on a pedestal and finished off at the bottom with our Dacron snow blanket. And makes a perfect way to display a classic train or Christmas village beneath!

THANK YOU so much to every one who participated in our polls. This nostalgic campaign was so very fun! And Misti, our decorator, was the most merry and bright throughout this whole experience. She shared how it brought to life memories of her own Grandmother’s tree and how proud she’d be of this beautiful evergreen you’ve designed!

Bronner's vintage styled Christmas tree decorated like the 50s.
Guests check out the vintage Christmas tree on display in Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

DID YOU KNOW: Every decorated tree at Bronner’s features a nativity ornament?! Can you spot it in the picture below?

Ladies admiring nostalgic tinsel icicles on the tree at Bronner's
Featured: Nativity In Red Oval Glass Ornament (1156652) $32.99

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Should vintage Christmas trees make a come back?

We’d love to hear about your favorite Christmas memories in the comments below!


WANT MORE VINTAGE IDEAS?

DIY Feather Tree inspired Ornament Stand How To

If you love this post we think you’ll enjoy our vintage inspired DIY ornament stand-turned-feather tree! Or check out my top 10 picks for other vintage items from Bronner’s you didn’t get to see in this post!


FEATURED ITEMS IN THIS POST

Light Sets

Garlands

Ornaments

Topper

Tinsel

4 thoughts on “A Vintage Christmas Dream-Come-True!

  • December 9, 2019 at 3:25 pm
    Permalink

    Many years ago, 40 is my best guess, I bought a glass Pinocchio ornament at Bronner’s. That ornament was my children’s all time favorite.

    Pinocchio lasted many years until the cat & dog scuffled under the Christmas tree and broke him. All we have left is his head but he goes up every year. My grands love to see him and hear his story.

    Please let me know if Bronner’s ever has another Pinocchio.

    Thank You

    Reply
    • December 9, 2019 at 3:48 pm
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      Hi Mary Lou Jackson! We’re so sorry to hear the cat and dog did not get along as well with Pinocchio as the rest of the family! We actually DO have a very limited supply on hand of an Italian made, glass Pinocchio ornament! You can find him on Bronner’s website, item number 1186757, or through this link: https://www.bronners.com/product/pinocchio-glass-ornament.do

      Reply
  • November 15, 2019 at 9:54 pm
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    Growing up we had this sparkly ceiling in our living room. When the tree was up and lights reflected off the ceiling it looked amazing. We had a hodge podge of decorations and always had a special ornament each year.

    For the last 9 years I’ve been going to Bronner’s in the fall. I chose a different ornament..or two…or three each year. My husband picked out one for our first Christmas a week before he proposed. Now our tree is a collection of our special ornaments as a family as well as ones that are irreplaceable like the Santa that clasps onto a branch purchased the year I lived in South Korea, the train known as “dad’s train” (and nibbled on by the dog), my knitted Christmas bootie from my first Christmas complete with Gramma’s handwriting consisting of my name and the year. Last Christmas my mom gave us the 1978 ceramic tree my gramma made for me. We’ve had the ceramic tree my mom made for the family since we got married.

    Our Christmas tree looks more and more like my tree as a child. If only it was ok to put sparkles on your ceiling in your apartment.

    Reply
    • December 9, 2019 at 4:12 pm
      Permalink

      What a lovely memory and tradition, Janice! Thank you for taking the time to share them with us! We won’t tell anyone if you put glitter on your ceiling But maybe a less permanent alternative would be glittery paper temporarily taped to the ceiling for the Christmas season?!

      Reply

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