8 Iconic Christmas Trends That Are Making a Comeback in 2022

These once-popular holiday decorating ideas are back again, decades after first appearing in the pages of Better Homes & Gardens.

As the saying goes, everything old becomes new again—and that’s certainly true of holiday decor trends. As we look back at the last century of Better Homes & Gardens Christmas decorations, there are certain looks that have returned decades after they were first printed on our pages. We first wrote about flocked Christmas trees in the 1950s, and recently covered the white tree trend more than six decades later. Some holiday classics, like Shiny Brite ornaments and vintage Santa mugs, are back in style thanks to a recent resurgence of nostalgic Christmas decorations.

So check your attic for vintage mercury glass ornaments or pull inspiration from Christmases past as you decorate with this season. These are the top retro holiday decorating trends making a comeback.

Shiny Brite Ornaments

Made popular in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Shiny Brite ornaments are one of the most recognizable vintage Christmas trends thanks to their bright colors and sparkly finishes. The original Shiny Brite ornaments were first handmade in New Jersey in 1939, and they’ve been an American decor staple for centuries. The ornaments were machine-blown by Corning Glass Works before being hand-decorated and sold at F.W. Woolworth stores for a few pennies each. 

They quickly became the hottest Christmas ornaments on the market in the ‘50s after WWII ended and families could afford to buy new holiday decor items again. 

And with the recent resurgence of jewel tones paired with the popularity of vintage holiday decor, the iconic baubles are decidedly back in style—whether true originals or not. 

“New or old, their bright colors and metallic finishes look so right now,” we wrote in the December 2016 issue. “Like the originals, the reproductions come in a spectrum of colors decorated with stripes, flocking, and glitter. And, of course, the interiors are still silvered, which makes them, well, shiny and bright.”

white mantel with green garland and wood christmas village
Adam Albright

Holiday Villages

We first wrote about Christmas villages in our December 1966 issue, but the trend became increasingly popular throughout the 1970s and ‘80s. What first started as small cardboard or ceramic figurines turned into full-blown villages with moving parts, tiny people, and hundreds of collectible pieces. While you’ll certainly see plenty of these vintage pieces resurfacing this year, there are also hundreds of simple, modern versions on the market. 

santa Christmas mugs
Jay Wilde

Vintage Santa Mugs

Many of the popular vintage Christmas pieces that are back in style aren’t used for their original purpose. Rather than serving hot cocoa or apple cider in these old-fashioned Santa mugs, they’re primarily used for decor now. (A smart move, since true vintage pieces can often contain lead elements.) 

In 1949, the iconic Santa face mug was produced by the Hold Howard Company and became a holiday staple for several decades. Now, reproductions of the old-fashioned mugs are flooding store shelves as the vintage Christmas look makes a comeback. 

Flocked Christmas Trees

We first wrote about flocked Christmas trees in the 1950s, and over the past five years, we’ve seen their popularity skyrocket again. As we wrote in the December 2017 issue, “Flocked is back! Everything vintage is new again.” And while these white Christmas trees certainly lend themselves well to the mod colors currently in fashion, the faux-snow-covered branches also blend seamlessly with the farmhouse Christmas looks that are everywhere these days. 

White Christmas trees are our top Christmas decorating trend of 2022, no matter how you decorate your flocked fir

green vintage ceramic christmas tree

Getty Images

Ceramic Christmas Trees

If you grew up before the 2000s, you likely remember having a porcelain or ceramic Christmas tree in your home, or maybe you associate them with Grandma’s annual holiday decor. The tabletop trees with built-in lights and a star on top were a Christmas decor staple for decades, and now the delicate figures are back. The iconic trees gained popularity in the 1970s, and now, more than 40 years later, they’re making a major comeback. Since there was a several-decades-long lapse in the production of the trees, original creations can sell for hundreds of dollars now. But plenty of companies have jumped on the trend and started producing new versions of the ceramic figures for a fraction of the price. 

silver tinsel Christmas tree with blue and gold ornaments

Kim Cornelison

Tinsel Trees

You might associate tinsel with the 1950s, but it actually dates back much further. It was first used in Germany in the early 1600s when the silver material was draped over tree branches to catch the flickering lights of the real candles used to adorn Christmas trees. Tinsel was originally made of real silver, so using it in your Christmas decor was a sign of prosperity. The trend came back around in the ‘50s and ‘60s, but this time the sparkly material was made of much more affordable PVC plastic, which made the trend more accessible. After a brief resurgence in the '80s, the tinsel trend is back again in full force. Whether you opt for a full tinsel tree or simply add silver strands to your live tree, use it to add extra sparkle to your decor this year. 

Nontraditional Trees

The spirit of individualism in the 1970s led to many handmade, nontraditional trees, including those featured on our December pages of that decade. We showcased trees made from string and hung from the ceiling as well as a macrame evergreen that could be displayed on the wall to save space. These small-space Christmas tree ideas experienced a major comeback in 2020, not because of space concerns, but rather borne out of creativity. As many spent more time at home during the pandemic, people searched for new ways to make their holiday decor feel fresh and fun.

pastel pink and blue christmas tree on table
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Pink Christmas Decor

Midcentury color schemes are a major influence on the nontraditional Christmas decor trends present today. The bright colors that were first made popular in the 1950s are back, and one shade in particular has taken over holiday decorating. Pink Christmas decor has been on the rise for several years, but with the recent popularity of the Barbiecore trend, you can expect to see much more of it in 2022.

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