How to Have a Vintage Christmas

Tis the season to embrace all things vintage, kitschy and Christmas!

As most of us start decorating our homes for the holiday season, it’s a great time to decorate in a way that suits our personal and unique tastes. I personally love checking out people’s Christmas tree’s and Christmas rooms on Instagram especially when there are good themes and great tree decorating skills. Luckily today, especially thanks to the Internet, our passions and styles can be easily sourced and splashed around our homes for the holidays. I have seen some stunning beach and mermaid themed Christmas tree’s, Comic book and Harry Potter themed Christmas rooms and even a Disney Christmas themed home! But how to do you add a little bit of vintage, retro or pinup to your Christmas? Here’s are some fun ways to make your home a little bit more unique this silly season.

The Christmas Tree;

most home Christmas displays will be centered around the Christmas tree and it’s up to you if you want the tree to be real or fake. Living in Australia, fake is the most common option but luckily, there are heaps of styles, shapes, and colours to choose from. Go for a tree that has a deeper green and doesn’t look perfectly manicured, it can range from being very full or quite sparse. Some trees have ‘snow’ on them which can give you a fabulous wintery Christmas feel. All this aside, don’t be scared to find a coloured tree if it feels more suited to you. Silver or white Christmas trees are quite common but there has been an increase in black, purple and blue tree’s.

This year, I have gone a bit bonkers and bought a pink tree because I was left unsupervised at a computer. I’ll still put up my old faithful green tree but I can’t wait to decorate my pink one with some bright pink and pastel baubles as well as all my Disney ornaments. Looking online for ornaments is a great way to create a really uniquely decorated tree. There are often vintage Christmas lots for sale on eBay and Gumtree and you can soon have a large collection of true vintage decorations. Make sure to treat them extra special because they will be fragile. Try to also get warm or yellowed Christmas lights as LED blue/white lights can be a little harsh and take away from the vintage feel.

Whilst decorating your tree, try to stick to a colour scheme. Traditional colours always work but make sure to add a few fun elements with novelty or homemade ornaments. A great time to shop for Christmas ornaments is just after Christmas when they all get reduced heavily, I sometimes stock up and put them away for the following year. Make your tree fun and inviting. A Christmas tree skirt is also a great vintage way of hiding the legs of the tree and completing the look. I’ve been using my tree skirt for over 10 years but will try to sew a new one this year to match my new tree.

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Host some fun events:

The perfect vintage hostess creates some fabulous events and Christmas is a great time to include friends and family for some simple fun. By hosting a small cocktail party with cute Christmas music, a few cocktail nibbles and board games, you can soon have a great festive atmosphere in your house. If you are after something more family friendly, getting some cheap plastic baubles or styrofoam balls, you can get your family to decorate their own ornaments. Most schools create some kind of festive decoration for kids to bring home but this gets everyone together for a fun afternoon. The same can be said for creating something delicious in the kitchen, whether it’s creating a Christmas feast or baking something sweet, get people involved and enjoy the moment.

Getting people together to decorate the Christmas tree is always a special moment in my Christmas season. Although I can be a bit of tree perfectionist, I do enjoy decorating my tree with people I love. I feel it fills the house with love and laughter and creates a beautiful center piece for my home. I always play Christmas music in the background whilst the tree is dressed and it’s a moment I look forward to every year.

A cheap get together can always be a Christmas movie or two and some popcorn with friends. You can even turn this into a popcorn garland making events if you want to keep the creative element. Or, if you are able to, drive around and go admire some people’s Christmas home light decorations. This is a personal favorite event amongst myself and my friends, we all clamber into about two or three cars and drive around the Christmas light hot spots and get into the festive spirit.

The Perfect Christmas Outfit:

This year I have the great endeavor to create my own Christmas outfit but I find I end up normally wearing a favourite dress from my wardrobe. With so many Christmas events on, you are bound to go through some of your favorite outfits but remember you don’t have to stick to something bright red. Look out for silver or sparkly dresses and jazz yourself up with some gorgeous jewelry. If you have time and the skills, why don’t you sew up your own unique Christmas outfit? Because it’s quite warm in Australia for Christmas, you can sew a beautiful little wrap dress or something with a full skirt. If you are going to a barbeque, a cute playsuit with a wrap skirt can also be a winning outfit. If you are sewing your own outfit, have some fun and add some frills! I always like to add pompom ricrac as they look like little Christmas baubles hanging off my clothes.

Home-Made gifts:

I personally love making home-made gifts for friends and family but it can be a time constraint issue too. Making small pots of jam, Christmas cake or decorations are all fun vintage ideas to perk up your Christmas style. If you have the time and space, making cute Christmas themed aprons is a really nice gift as they can be worn throughout the Christmas season and are really personal.

Take the extra time and care whilst wrapping your gifts. Go all out with ribbons and other fun additions to make the wrapping just as special as the gift inside. It can be cute to add baubles to the ribbon so the receiver also has something to add to their tree. Gifts are a great time to start a yearly tradition such as always giving a Christmas ornament or gifting a delicious treat.

Simple decorations:

Have fun whilst decorating your house! Bowls of baubles and homemade wreaths all give your home that festive retro feel. As mentioned earlier, there are several places to buy true vintage Christmas decorations and ornaments (including specific Facebook groups). If you can’t find true vintage, look for glass ornaments and items that look true vintage. There are always heaps around so shop around and even have a look online. Places like IKEA have some great decorations and colour palettes that really suit a vintage home.

If you have kids, Christmas is a great time of year to give them some crafting projects such as creating stencils or ornaments. Frame up some of their images and see their faces light up when their artwork is admired.

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The Christmas Table:

If you are hosting one of the bigger events such as the Christmas dinner or lunch, the way you dress your table can really set the mood of a vintage Christmas. Choose a few simple colours that can easily be found in stores if you’re starting from scratch or if you have time, get on the sewing machine. A simple white tablecloth can be dressed up with a festive table runner, you can go for a fun fabric or even hessian/burlap fabric to give the table a real rustic feel. Use a similar coloured fabric to create napkins and see if you can find vintage napkin rings or DIY your own.
Place a few small decorations on the table such as Santa, a bowl of baubles or a few tiny Christmas trees. Candles are also a beautiful way to add charm to any table, either place a few tea lights around the table in candle holders or find some vintage candlesticks. You can also just run a small string of battery powered lights in the center of the table if you’re worried about little fingers getting burnt.
Play some Christmas music during the meal to keep the festive spirit going! Have fun cooking and remember to time manage.

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Final Thoughts:

Christmas is both crazy and magical. It’s a chance to reflect and reconnect with people around us but there is also a lot of pressure to have a perfect home or image. As fun as all these tips are, don’t feel like you need to do each one, they are only guidelines and it’s understandable that some people cannot craft or bake due to other facing issues.
To truly have the best Christmas, look after yourself and those around you. If you fill your home with love and laughter, that’s all that matters. Don’t feel the pressure to produce a Pinterest worthy Christmas if that’s not your style and remember that collecting ornaments and decoration can take several years. Some of my ornaments I bought when I was 7 or 8 and have looked after them all these years. It’s little things like that that truly make the season special.
My house is not the epitome of vintage Christmas glamour, but I know every time a friend drops by, it’s the joy we share that fills the home. Do Christmas your way and have a safe and happy season.

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