If you celebrated Christmas in the ’80s, chances are your tree was a hodgepodge of various elements, from tinsel and colorful glass bulb lights to handmade ornaments crafted at school. On the other hand, some ’80s trees reflected a more sleek, modern approach, featuring flocked limbs and a deliberate color scheme. However you let your tree shine, today’s post takes a look back at some of the most memorable ’80s Christmas tree trends of the time. [photo above of A Very Brady Christmas, from Everett Collection via Decider]
Tinsel is hardly an ’80s-specific trend. In fact, many associate its height of popularity with the 1950s and ’60s. But would the ’80s, a decade known for its sparkle, really turn its back on tinsel? Whether it was wrapped around the tree as an eye-catching garland or hung strand by strand in “icicle” form, tinsel was what gave many a 1980s tree its shimmer. It sounds glamorous, but the telltale sign of a Christmas tree decorated by kids was unevenly dispersed clumps of that tinsel. Which would then fall to the floor. But beauty lies in the imperfection, right?!
Nowadays it’s easy to give your Christmas tree an ’80s look with the help of tinsel! It can even be chic and modern. Not convinced? Check out the music video for “Last Christmas” by Wham! [photo credit: Getty via Metro]
A Hodgepodge of Ornaments
If you were a kid in the ’80s, your family tree likely featured a wide assortment of ornaments, from Hallmark Keepsake pieces to that salt dough wreath that displayed your first grade photo! Don’t forget ornaments that featured the names and characters of your favorite movies, such as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
Ball ornaments were also popular, from the glass variety to the satin balls featured above. These are from Etsy shop Le Petit Cheri.
For an eclectic ’80s tree, try combining an affordable new box of glass ball ornaments with actual ornaments from the 1980s, whether you purchase them on Etsy or use beloved pieces from your childhood.
Speaking of ball ornaments, they’re particularly stunning when featured on a flocked tree. I’m talking about you, ’80s hotel and office lobby trees! Modern flocked trees of the ’80s begged for a color scheme and were likely less susceptible to the mix-and-match look of the family-friendly green trees we all know and loved. If you need a little more ’80s flocked tree inspiration, check out the 1987 film Less Than Zero, featured in the screen shot below.
Mix It Up
As we wrap up, I’ll leave you with a quick reminder that creating an ’80s Christmas tree is as easy as mixing and matching. None of the ornaments above are from the 1980s, but when combined with authentic ’80s elements, they’d fit right in. Whether you have a green, flocked or metallic tree, you can try any of the following techniques to get an ’80s look:
- add tinsel using garlands and “icicles”
- include ornaments from your childhood
- purchase ’80s ornaments from retailers such as Etsy
- combine the old with the new, creating the “hodgepodge” look showcased on many an ’80s family tree
- use glass ball ornaments to your advantage
- showcase colored lights if you wish, such as retro-style glass bulb lights
Wishing you the Happiest of Holidays, and thank you for reading! XO, Kate
Teresa Lindqvist says
Great post for Christmas! Wishing you a Merry Christmas!
Thank you, Teresa! I hope you had a very Merry Christmas! Wishing you a lovely rest of your Holiday!!