You know when you’ve owned something for so long that you’re just sort of seeing past it? You no longer see the potential in it, but just what it is and what it’s always been. Such was the case with this vintage ceramic Christmas tree. We’ve had one in our house for as long as I can remember and it’s always looked the same. My mom made one at a make-your-own ceramics place in the early 1980s and my uncle’s wife at the time made one as well. When I was snooping around in my Opa’s attic over 20 years ago, I found the tree my uncle’s wife made nestled in a box of paper. It’s exactly like my mom’s tree that I grew up with, so I asked if I could have it. For many years, this ceramic Christmas tree was just a nostalgic decoration, one that didn’t particularly feel like my style. Some years, I set it up in one of the boys’ rooms, and other times it just stayed in the box.
Recently, I saw Natalie from My Vintage Porch collecting similar vintage ceramic trees, painting them white, and changing out all of the colored bulbs to clear. It had a total “duh” moment. I can change out the lights?! Of course, I can! Why did I not even think of that? It’s because I was seeing right through it. I had lost my eye for seeing its potential. Seeing a vintage ceramic Christmas tree through Natalie’s fresh perspective gave me a fresh perspective on mine. I liked the green glaze and snowy caps on the branches, so I decided to order some clear replacement bulbs and just replaced the colored bulbs.
The Marshall referred to in the inscription was my uncle Marshall. My son, Marshall, was named after my Opa. There are a lot of Marshalls to keep straight in our family. And Marians. Holly, on the other hand, is one of those family members who just sort of disappeared. She divorced my uncle when I was very young and I don’t ever remember hearing about her again. I have no idea what even happened to her! She might want her tree back…
(So, apparently, I got the story wrong. Holly made both trees and gave one to my mom and one to my Oma. My mom did make a nativity set, which I have. So, Holly might be wanting both of her trees back…)
Anyway, the bulbs I ordered were just slightly smaller than the original bulbs, so I use some hot glue to hold them in place securely.
And what a difference! Now this vintage ceramic Christmas tree is a favorite!
I put it on the pine chest in the foyer to act as a nightlight and so the lights are visible through the sidelights of the front door.
These ceramic Christmas trees are making a big comeback, so keep your eyes open for a good vintage one at thrift stores, yard sales, etc. You can find some vintage ones on eBay and Etsy, unfinished ceramic ones to paint, and new reproductions.
I’m a bit partial, but I think the shape of mine and the base are particularly pretty compared to others I’ve seen. I’m glad that someone helped me look at it with fresh eyes.