Boxes of vintage Christmas tree reflectors were a fun find for me this fall… I could hardly wait to use them on our Christmas tree!
Today is kicking off another 3-day run of Simple Decorating Tips posts, this time featuring vintage Christmas! Yippee!!
I absolutely love vintage Christmas decorations and decor. For you ‘young pups’ reading this… (you know who you are, the ones that classify 1995 and before as vintage) I am talking truely vintage, not something that came from what feels to me like just a couple years ago. LOL
As I’m nearing my 6th decade, (My husband just corrected me, it’s soon to be my 7th decade. Yikes!) of being on this earth, vintage to me must be at least early 1970’s and prior.
Truth is, vintage is a bit relative to each person isn’t it? I wonder if my mom and dad, (born in the 1930’s) even think of 1970’s as being vintage? Or do they consider vintage to be aged appropriately to their childhood memories, so like stuff from the 30’s and 40’s??
For something to be classified as ‘antique’ it must be at least 100 years old, so maybe ‘vintage’ is everything 99 years old up to the years of your childhood, assuming you’re an adult now.
These reflectors may qualify as vintage for all generations mentioned. By the artwork on the boxes of reflectors, I surmised they were from the late 1920’s or early 1930’s. Some brief research confirms a 1927 date.
Did you know that the first Christmas tree to be lit with electric lights was in the 1880’s? I was shocked that it was that early! By the 1920’s and 30’s, as long as you had electricity, it became common practice to have a string of electric lights on the Christmas tree. Before that time, they used real lit, (like on fire, lit) candles that were attached to the tree! To light the Christmas tree was risking lighting the whole house up too, and not in a good way!
I can see why in preparation to light the Christmas tree candles, they would have buckets of water or sand sitting close by. Sadly it wasn’t that uncommon for the tree to catch fire. We’ve burned our Christmas tree in the firepit after Christmas, and it ignites like a huge torch. The thought of putting real lit candles on it, inside the house, seems so crazy to me!
The old pictures of the candlelight on the Christmas trees does look romantic though. The candles sat in a tin holder that had a little tin drip tray reflector around the base to catch the melting wax from the burning candle. Below that was a clip on the bottom of the candle holder to hold the assembly to the tree branch.
I wonder if people poo-pooed the transition to electric string lights from burning candles, the same as vintage Christmas collectors nowadays can frown upon the use of LED lights from the old vintage lightbulbs that get so hot when in use?
When they changed over to electric lighting, reflectors like these Diamond Jewel Reflectors could be placed on the lightbulbs of the string of Christmas tree lights to dress them up and suggest that same candle look.
That’s basically what I intended to use them for, however, my lights aren’t string lights.
I’m not a fan of string lights on the Christmas tree. I really detest the look of the cord from the string lights all over the tree. Plus, new string light just don’t last! I found I might as well just throw the prior year’s lights in the trash because ususally half of the string would stop working by the next year anyway.
I changed over to battery operated LED clip on candles, (GASP! I love vintage and I love LED lights!)
Finding these little LED clip on candles a few years ago was a fun opportunity to rid myself of the string light disasters! They clip on the branch, no cords attached. They are controlled with a remote control and they have a dimmer on the remote so I can turn the candlelight down to softly glow. (Here’s the shopping link for the LED clip-on candles I have)
I didn’t do any measuring before I bought the boxes of reflectors, I just hoped for the best. These weren’t expensive so I knew I could resell them if they didn’t work for my little LED candles.
The moment of truth…
The vintage reflectors fit perfectly on the candles!
Just like the antique real candle version, these contemporary LED candles have a clip on the bottom to hold them tight to the tree branch.
The reflectors I bought had 2 different styles. I used both styles and mixed them on the tree.
Even unlit the vintage Christmas tree reflector adds so much charm to my LED candles!
The Christmas tree is full of mostly vintage ornaments, so these sweet little candles look great with them.
I have found some really fun vintage Christmas ornament and decoration treasures. Especially over the last couple years as I’ve been learning more about them and searching them out intently.
Tomorrow, Simple Decorating Tips will have another post highlighting many of the vintage Christmas displays I have around our home. With a final wrap up of vintage Christmas on Sunday featuring my favorite ornament collection. If you aren’t a big fan of vintage Christmas, who knows maybe by the end of these 3 days you will be!
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Here you can check out all the Christmas decorating projects I’ve written about: