21 Vintage Christmas Decorating Ideas That Give Us the Holiday Feels

vintage Christmas light bulbs displayed on white cake stand
Photo: David A. Land

As a child, the holidays were always a magical time. And when we decorate with vintage Christmas decor, it transports us to those beloved gatherings of yesteryear. Recreate the memories by shopping antique shops, estate sales, and flea markets for vintage decor that brings wonder and nostalgia back to the holidays.

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Vintage Ornaments

christmas tree with ornaments
David Land

A rainbow of vintage glass ornaments is a festive twist on classic Christmas decor. Blogger Kelly Elko displays her Shiny Brite collection on an artificial tree with widely spaced branches that showcase the ornaments. Get the look by mixing shiny new ornaments with retro ones with a matte patina.

02 of 21

Santa Mugs

vintage santa mugs and enlarged hot cocoa recipe in cabinet
John Granen

Everyone will want to stop at this hot cocoa station with vintage-inspired Santa mugs. Attach a cute handmade tag to a glass pedestal bowl with marshmallows inviting guests to dig in. Faux snow gives the display a little extra holiday cheer.

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Antique Decor

white christmas tree and presents
Adam Albright

Scour local antique shops and when you've found the perfect decoration. We love how this flocked Christmas tree looks decorated with vintage ornaments and battery-operated candles.

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Mercury Glass Christmas Trees

christmas tree decor on book shelf and lockers
Adam Albright

Dress up any tabletop or nightstand with mercury glass Christmas trees. Pair them with a vintage holiday photo or an architectural salvage piece. A few colorful bottle brush trees add color and whimsy.

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Snowman Blow Mold Christmas Decoration

snowman blow mold
Courtesy of Walmart

Christmas blow mold decorations were a staple during the 1950s in front yards everywhere. These plastic figurines are illuminated with a light bulb, so they glow from the inside out. Add them to your outdoor Christmas decor and cue the holiday nostalgia.

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Vintage Light Bulbs

vintage Christmas light bulbs displayed on white cake stand
David A. Land

Christmas lights aren't just for trimming the tree! Grouping small items can add a big impact to your old-fashioned Christmas decor. Display an assortment of antique holiday lights on a cake stand for a festive Christmas centerpiece.

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Christmas Villages

white mantel with green garland and wood christmas village
Adam Albright

Create a festive Christmas mantel with a classic village display. Modern materials—like ceramic and metal—work better with a contemporary holiday aesthetic, so stick with wood for an authentic old-fashioned feel.

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Brass Candlesticks & Figurines

dining table with brass deer, candles, greenery and cinnamon rolls
Adam Albright

Create a wintery woodland atmosphere with vintage brass deer. Set greenery on a runner for a natural centerpiece. Complete the look with antique brass candlesticks.

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Antique Mirrors

living room snow covered pine white stockings velvet green chair
Adam Albright

Bounce a little holiday magic around the room with a group of vintage mirrors on the mantle. If the frames don't match, you can easily spray paint them for a unified look. Pair the mirrors with other old-fashioned Christmas decor and a little greenery. Chunky knit stockings are a simple yet sophisticated touch.

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Bottle Brush Trees

bottle brush christmas trees decor
Marty Baldwin

Bottle brush trees are a midcentury holiday staple. They were originally designed by Addi's Bottle Brush Company as a way to upcycle toilet brushes. Today, these Christmas decorations come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Display them alone or cluster them across a mantel or table for a vintage Christmas aesthetic.

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Vintage Lunch Boxes

wooden bench decorated with antique picnic basket and thermoses
Jay Wilde

Create a jolly and welcoming scene in your home by dressing up the mudroom drop zone with mixed green garland and a woodsy wreath. Vintage lunchboxes and thermoses add a nostalgic feel of old-fashioned Christmas decor. Although new, the felt banner looks like it could be a family heirloom.

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Wooden Sled

vintage sled with music-inspired gift wrap near tree
Adam Albright

Special delivery! Give a vintage sled a new purpose as it holds precious cargo under the tree until Christmas morning. Wrapping gifts in Kraft paper and twine adds to the old-fashioned Christmas decor.

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Architectural Pieces

salvaged frames and molding with Christmas decor
Jay Wilde

Deck the halls with architectural pieces, like this shelf, which was probably once a door header or molding. Vintage prints and holiday postcards strung along it create a garland-like look. Old frames, wooden candle holders, and white bottle brush trees round out the antique store finds in this delightfully timeworn display.

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Antique Pitchers

pine needles in pitcher with christmas ornaments on shelf
Jay Wilde

Group old cream and sugar pots with metal pitchers for a collected-over-time look. Fresh cuts of greenery and multi-colored bottle brush trees add texture. Place glass ornaments along the counter for a pop of color.

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pink modern snow globe in mason jar
Melissa Johnson

Turn to a classic snowglobe to add a touch of nostalgia to your Christmas decor. The snowy scene within each globe adds another element to your vintage Christmas theme.

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Antique Birdcage

antique birdcage with garland and wreath decor
Kritsada Panichgul

It's time to fill that vintage birdcage with your favorite holiday decorations. Add a small evergreen wreath to the front and fill the base with bottle brush trees or glass ornaments.

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Vintage Postcards

chalkboard with string of holiday postcards and berry garland
Jay Wilde

Look for vintage Christmas postcards in antique stores or Etsy shops. Use mini clothespins ($2, Walmart) to hang the cards on twine or weave them into a simple evergreen swag. Hang your handmade garland on the mantel or drape it across a piece of art.

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Flour Sifter Centerpiece

vintage utensil holder with branches and berries
Adam Albright

Vintage kitchen utensils used as floral containers is a great way to repurpose old finds. Search the pantry or antique shops for flour sifters, pie pans, or old pitchers when you're playing with centerpiece ideas. Cut branches and berries will last a few days without water, or tuck a small glass of water inside.

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Vintage Furniture

pale blue buffet with mini Christmas trees on display
Adam Albright

Create an idyllic old-fashioned Christmas decor vignette with a vintage sideboard. Dainty tabletop trees sit beneath antique corbels hung in a Christmas tree shape. French linen pillows on metal chairs put the finishing touches on this charming holiday display.

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Silver Decor

Christmas Tree

Pour some holiday cheer on a sideboard with silver accessories. The natural patina gives the silver an elegant vintage look. Boost the holiday spirit with a mini-tree and a handmade holiday sign, created by pinning a cord to a fabric-covered foam-core board and set in a golden frame.

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Ceramic Christmas Trees

walmart ceramic gold tabletop christmas tree
Courtesy of Walmart

Ceramic Christmas trees became popular in the 1970s. They originated as paint-your-own ceramics. Today, you can buy decorative trees, ornaments, nightlights and more at stores like Target, Walmart, and Amazon.

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