Why these ceramic trees are packed with so much nostalgia

·2 min read
Vintage ceramic Christmas trees are making a comeback as many have been passed down through the generations. (Submitted - image credit)
Vintage ceramic Christmas trees are making a comeback as many have been passed down through the generations. (Submitted - image credit)

There's a ton of nostalgia that comes with Christmas, and for a lot of people that nostalgia is packed into one of those tabletop ceramic Christmas trees that became popular in the 1960s and 70s, and have now made a comeback in recent years.

"My grandma had one of these ceramic trees when I was growing up, and I loved it," said Leslie Bank of London, Ont. "I wanted her to give it to me when she moved out of her home, into a retirement home but she said no."

"I've been forced to start my own collection."

Submitted by Devan Vanden Boomen
Submitted by Devan Vanden Boomen

So far, Bank and her husband have three of the trees, which suits Devan Vanden Boomen just fine since he also remembers fitting the lights into a ceramic tree at his grandma's house when he was a kid.

"It was one of those things that my siblings and I would fight over, who got to put the little plastic lights into the holes every year," he recalled.

Submitted by Devan Vanden Boomen
Submitted by Devan Vanden Boomen

Vanden Boomen's grandmother made her own trees, mostly likely with the mass-produced moulds which according to the American Ceramic Society, burst onto the holiday market in the 1960s and 70s.

"Interest in do-it-yourself projects, along with an explosion of Christmas consumerism and a retreat into traditional gender roles following the war, positioned the ceramic Christmas trees perfectly for adoption," reads a recent article on the American Ceramic Society website.

It's obvious interest in the little trees has taken off again — just look on Facebook Marketplace where they're often selling for more than a $100 a pop.

When Christine Renaud's mother offered her kids the familial ceramic heirlooms about 20 years ago, Renaud was the only one who wanted them.

Submitted by Christine Renaud
Submitted by Christine Renaud

"At the time maybe when she asked us, they seemed a little tacky, but now I'm so glad I got them," said Renaud of London, Ont.

"I remember Christmas as a little girl and putting all the little bulbs in and sorting them in a certain way."

Renaud, who is active on the social media app Tik Tok even produced a video about the trees last year:

Sarah Dawson's favourite ceramic tree is at her parents' house now, but she remembers it as her grandparents' home.

"My grandparents made it by hand, so they moulded the plaster and took it out, and hand painted it," she said.

"It's so pretty. It's green and it has these little Christmas mice sticking out of the tree," said Dawson who hopes to one inherit the tree. "I think it's going to be a rock, paper, scissors between my sister and I. We both have our eyes on it because it's so special."

Maybe we'll have rotating years," she laughed.

Submitted by Sarah Dawson
Submitted by Sarah Dawson
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