Are vintage ceramic Christmas trees worth a lot of money? If you have unearthed one of those classic decorations, experts say they are quite valuable during this time of year.
You remember the ones we’re talking about, right? They skyrocketed in popularity in the late-60s and early-70s.
Growing up, you may remember your parents or grandparents placing them on pieces of furniture like coffee tables, fireplace mantles, or even televisions.
Depending on the kind you had, some came equipped with twinkling lights and others could spin around play a Christmas tune.
“Everyone who took a ceramics class and celebrated Christmas made one of these trees,” Bob Richter, vintage lifestyle expert, told TODAY Home. (1) “People put them on top of the television, back when the TV was a piece of furniture.”
A Brief History of Ceramic Christmas Trees
In the 1960s, more and more mothers and grandmothers wanted to create their own dinnerware, gifts, keepsakes, and heirlooms.
Very quickly, local shops realized that ceramic Christmas trees were a hit – as did many ceramic mold companies.
The earliest versions of these trees had tiny bulbs that were each individually wired. But as technology advanced, only one bulb was used to light a ceramic Christmas tree which was decorated with colorful plastic “bulbs.”
Colors, textures, and styles also varied! Whether they were glazed or finished in acrylic paint, painted white or green, had snow or didn’t, people loved these things. According to CeramicChristmasTrees.info: (2)
“Since the early 1990’s, several mold companies and ceramic shops have gone out of business or merged with others due to a decline in interest for ceramics; mainly due to the influx of ready-made ceramics from Japan and later China.
Added to that the need for Mom’s to go to work to help support the family, leaving little time for ceramics projects. As these mold companies went out of business and ceramic shops closed up, many of the original mold designs and styles have been lost or destroyed.”
Ceramic Christmas Trees Are Making a Comeback
Although the hype died down throughout the 1980s, it seems as though this vintage Christmas staple has become popular again.
The comeback could be due to the fact that younger generations are growing more sentimental. There’s a growing sense of nostalgia for their childhood Christmases.
“At the holidays everybody wants one because it reminds them of the past. And it’s a recent thing within the past couple of years,” he said. (1) “Everybody’s like, ‘Oh, my mom had this, my aunt had this, so I want one’… Basically, you’re buying nostalgia. You’re buying the memory.”
So, if you’re looking for some extra Christmas spending money, the ceramic Christmas tree collecting dust in your attic might be where you find it.
Don’t wait too long, though! Richter emphasizes that the best time to sell these ceramic Christmas trees is now – during late autumn and winter. This is simply because few people are looking for Christmas decorations during the off-season.
While it might be too late in the year, you might want to consider stocking up over the spring and summer while demand is low. Chances are they will be sold for less which means you can sell them at a higher price next holiday season!
There’s nothing wrong with keeping your ceramic Christmas tree either! The older they get, the rarer they become.
Many of them are family heirlooms now and, arguably, it would be a shame to get rid of them. They may be worth hanging on to after all.
“The truth of the matter is, I think it’s great to turn them into cash, and it’s also great to bring them down and plug them in and use them, and tell a story of your grandmother or your aunt or your mother or whoever it was who had them in the first place,” said Richter. (1) “Because I think that the true value. It has emotional value, and that has gossamer wings.”
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