Friday, November 26, 2010

Getting Out The 1950's Atomic Ranch House Christmas Ornaments

This is one of my prized possessions. Oh no, 1950's Atomic Ranch House lady never finds any Jackson Pollocks at thrift stores, but around here, finding anything good in the vintage department is rare.

So when I found this sno-glob string of lights in a fantastic original box about 10 years ago, I was jumping for joy! Did I grab the loose string of lights being sold with it, and replace a couple standard Christmas bulbs with the original sno glob one's right there in the thrift store? Oh yes I did! (Someone had mixed and matched bulbs, but I wasn't going to let that stop me from making them right again before I bought them).

By the way, when my friend Vintage Christine mentioned having to tear off price stickers, I thought of this very box. It has one of those awful Salvation Army price stickers stuck on the front of the box. You know, the kind made with adhesive much like super glue?

Well, a little trick I learned on how to remove stickers from paper and cardboard: Gently heat the sticker with a blow dryer, and carefully peel the sticker off. It worked!!!!

Make sure to remove anything heat-sensitive from boxes before heating. But that little trick has saved many a fine box!

More 1950's and vintage ornaments bought in thrift shops over the years. I have several boxes of it.

Some boxes are so badly tapped, it doesn't pay to mess with them, I simply use the ornaments... But, they were cheap.

Here is the story of how I got my 1950's tinsel tree (top branch removed because it's too tall!):

When 1950's Atomic Ranch House lady was 8 years old, she discovered the joys of yard sales. I was coming back from a friends house and passed a yard sale. I looked around, with only 25 cents in my pocket, and spotted the tinsel Christmas tree.

Now remember, they were not popular at the time, in fact, they were considered out of date (much like that 1990s fake Christmas tree is now).

The man only wanted a quarter, so I grabbed up the two big boxes and carried them home, proudly proclaiming to my Mom: "We will never have to buy another Christmas tree again!"

Mom was a good sport, and though I am sure she hated this tree at the time, (remember, it's like bringing home that awful fake 1990's tree), we put it up that Christmas and decorated it. Gee Mom was cool.

Now, I had not gotten the tree out in many years. so this year I brought it out... Both boxes...

And realized, much to my surprise, there was a reason there was another tinsel Christmas tree pole floating around in the hall closet all these years: I have TWO tinsel trees!

I totally forget I had two! I need a base for the other one, but that nice man at that yard sale, decades ago, sold me both, for a quarter!

So, that's the story of how I got my tinsel trees. Long, long before anyone thought they were "cool" again. =D

Mom started working again in the 1970's, and she loved Christmas, so she bought a lot of things back then. And while she was not religious, she loved to buy religious things like Creches and Mary statues and angels. She simply loved them.

So, in her honor, of course, I saved a lot of her 70's Christmas stuff. I set up her larger Creche, with the three Wise Men. She did buy very nice things.

Think it's sacrilegious to have my atomic tripod boomerang ashtrays with them? lol...

(Remember, you can click on images to see them bigger!)

And I keep the "pink room", bedroom #1, containing a lot of her stuff and the more fragile vintage and antique stuff closed off from Chris. So of course he always wants to go in there. I mean, it's always closed, so it HAS to be special, right?

And yesterday he snuck in there...

Blending in with all the stuffed cats on the bed, he jumped right up there with the big white Mama cat, and started to knead his toesies on her soft fur, then cuddled up with her and her three kittens. New friends!

Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving, here's to decorating for Christmas!!


  1. love your bits - and think it's amazing that you saved them all. well done and it's a warning to everyone who is thinking about 'maling some room'!

  2. =)

    Whoo hoo, I already have a vintage tree stand for my second tinsel tree... Yea!

    It pays to get your stuff out, if you have not looked at it in a while lol...

    Glitter and pink ornaments too... =D

  3. Aw, what a little cutie. Great tip about the hairdryer, and what a great tree discovery!

  4. My lil buddy Chris. He makes me smile every day. =)

  5. I remember when my friend's family bought a tinsel tree when they were very modern!!
    Love that last photo of Chris and his pals. Cute!!

  6. oh these christmas decorations are lovely! You are a lucky lady! i'm finding it rather hard here in the uk to get vintage 50's christmas decorations, but my parents bought me a few fab ones last year. i can't wait to get my tree up! xx

  7. Oh Wow! way to go 8 yr old you! I've made my mind up this next year im going to set aside $XXX.00 amount and get a 6 ft pine Aluminum tree off of ebay. I bet it will run me up to $300 but I've wanted one forever. haha I'v just finally come to terms with paying $80 for my 4 foot tree last year. Love your christmas stuff, cant' wait to see it up!

  8. rosie, luckily there is always ebay, but... Shipping to the UK is a bit high!

    "Pine" aluminum tree, Mick? Like the one I have, or different?

    Shop for one in spring and summer, I've seen some sell for good prices off-season!

  9. Wow fab tree and great bargain, I don't have any mid century christmas stuff :o( But I'm ok about it we do have some fab eclectic decorations!

  10. I love your blog!!! I love thrift stores and from September to January my house is decorated for Halloween and Christmas I look for vintage from the 1950'S to the 70'S I love regular decor from those times too?

  11. Gee STM, there are still inexpensive Xmas things all over ebay... If only shipping were less expensive...

    Hiya Drake. Of course! My whole house is 50's decorated! =D

  12. Lovvve the tree! I'm dyin' to get one of those- I haven't even looked yet though- are ya'll tellin' me they're expensive?? In my mind I'm thinkin' $10 should get me a pretty nice vintage glittery tree with color wheel...right? I feel like that estimate may be off by a bit now...

    I don't have any vintage decorations, but really want to have fun this year with Kitschmas..

    Oh, and thanks for the tip on how to remove those stickers!! They drive me CRAZY! And I'm always afraid I'll peal part of the box or thing off with them... Have you seen where they simply write on the box or worse- object itself- with a marker?! Now that gets me angry...

  13. I love Chris. My heart just melts seeing him nestled in there with his stufftie friends.

    I bought a non-vintage turquoise tinsel tree this year. We have a very, very thin fake tree (I'm allergic to real ones boooo) for the living room but the blue one goes in my craft room. I have no idea if I'll decorate it since this is the kittens' first Christmas. But we'll see.

    I can't wait to see more pictures of your decorated home.

  14. Loving the tree and retro ornaments :)

  15. No the kind you have displayed is called a "Pom-pon" Alumium tree. A "pine" looks more like a traditional christmas tree!

  16. I don't know how I missed the post about how you got two aluminum trees...but now I'm green with envy...LOL MCMadam and I were just saying the other day that you almost have to take out a bank loan to afford one these days! What a smart 8-year-old you were!

  17. One of my old customers hired me to paint the windows of their mid-century modern home for Christmas. What I did looked as if it came with the house in 1956! We also exchanged decorations...They gave me an 8' Noble Fir, I gave them 5 boxes of vintage C9 replacement bulbs in original packages, they gave me vintage ornaments in their original boxes that they had found in the garage. A magical holiday indeed!

  18. Ah! Little Chris is such a cutie!