How Ceramic Trees Became Popular In The First Place – and Why We’re Still Nostalgic for Them
This story originally appeared on southernliving.com by Stacey Leasca.
Christmas time is officially here, which means it's time to break out the eggnog and a few time-honored holiday decorations. And, if you live in the South, that likely includes one very special miniature porcelain tree.
Back in the 1970s, tabletop ceramic Christmas trees became all the rage. These tiny decorations typically came in green or white, along with colorful lights poking out through the branches, and were likely handmade by the lady of the house in a nearby ceramics class.
According to the ultimate authority on ceramic trees, CeramicChristmasTrees.info explained that during the 1960s and ‘70s, "Several different ceramic mold companies in the Midwest started producing their own version of the now classic Ceramic Christmas Tree." The earliest versions, it added, came with miniature electric bulbs that had to be lit individually.
"As technology developed in plastics and lighting, the older versions of tiny individual bulbs were replaced by trees that lit from within using only one lightbulb to light an entire tree that is decorated with small, colorful plastic ‘bulbs,'" it added.
However, as time went on the ceramics industry and the hobby of painting ceramics declined. The site reported that several of the mold companies have since gone out of business as more ready-made ceramics were shipped in from overseas. "Many of the original mold designs and styles have been lost or destroyed," the site noted, making the ones that do exist all the more rare and special.
However, now that we are in nostalgia overload, and if you'd like to get your hands on one you have a variety of options. The first of which is to ask your mom, grandma, or great auntie to hand hers down to you. The next option is to hunt down a true original on websites like eBay. But, be warned: these little pretties can go for as much as $80 in mint condition.
You could always go for a reproduction, like this one available on Amazon. Or, you could make this decoration wholly modern and your own by getting a millennial rose gold option instead. Of course, you could do it the old-fashioned way and paint your own tree as well. This way, you can start the tradition all over again and hand your handmade tree down to your children and their children one day too.
This article originally appeared on southernliving.com