Putting away Christmas leaves me a little blue. After all the lights, bright colors, candles, sparkle, ribbons, and decorations are boxed up, my house is bleak. Blah.
Last year I began a new practice of creating winter tableaus from bits and pieces of my Christmas decorations. I’ve found that it really lifts my winter spirits.
One of the items I kept out this year is a 6” ceramic lighted tree as shown in the above photo. Although this was a gift from my mother-in-law Rosalie, it reminds me of my own grandmother Elizabeth who had a larger ceramic tree that graced the dining room during the Christmas season.
As it turns out, ceramic trees have quite the history.
According to Salon.com, ceramic parties were popular in the 60s and 70s. Instead of Tupperware or Avon parties, women with a knack for crafts found themselves at ceramic parties making all sorts of decorations. In November, the crafting focused on Christmas items such as Santas, nutcrackers, and, of course, trees.
I can’t picture my grandmother attending craft parties, so her ceramic tree was likely a gift from someone.
The tree molds were manufactured by a limited number of providers, and that’s why most of the vintage ceramic trees in existence today look so similar.
When the 80s rolled around, this type of group crafting began fading from popularity. By the 90s, people were purchasing ready-made products. Salon.com says, “For the next 30 years, ceramic trees entered that awkward outdated phase that so often comes between trendy and vintage.”
Enter 2020 and the pandemic. People longed for comfort foods, sweatpants, and nostalgic Christmas decorations. Yes, ceramic trees made a huge comeback this past Christmas. Like me, folks had fond memories of ceramic trees from their childhoods.
For the many people who decided to forego the usual Christmas decorating this year (why bother when no one will be around to see your house?), the ceramic tree filled the need without too much effort.
I hope that next December people will revert to honoring their full Christmas traditions, whatever they may be, and not let the “it’s too much bother” excuse of pandemic times make us lazy.
My Christmas “stuff,” none of it rare or expensive, keeps the story of our family’s Christmases going strong. And I guess I’ll keep telling that story as long as people will listen.