When I was growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, aluminum Christmas trees were not all the rage. Not anymore. With their futuristic look, they were widely popular during the 1950s and 1960s, until they weren’t. According to the Internet, a 1965 punch issued by a little television special called A Charlie Brown Christmas knocked the dazzling decoration into attics and trash dumps, from where it seldom emerged. But I occasionally saw these mid-century Christmas icons, with their revolving color wheels, in photographs. And I wanted one.
Fast-forward a few decades, and silver trees, while maybe not the rage (or even mildly popular), are again purchasable. So when I spied one at Home Depot last year, I bought it. Intimating the color wheel of years past, the built-in lights will either rotate through the spectrum, or I can use a remote control to set it to stay on whatever color suits my mood.
The majority of the trimmings I used were reproduction Shiny Brite glass ornaments. Shiny Brite made the most popular ornaments in the United States during the 1940s and 1950s, and they were still in widespread use when I was a child. I love their colors and shapes, and the way they reflect the light. They look fantastic with the vintage plastic icicles I bought on Etsy.
Every year until she died in 2012, my grandmother gave me a cloisonne ornament. I used them, too, to make the tree a little more meaningful. Because it’s Christmas.
I cannot find my exact tree, but this one at Lowes has the retro colored light feature and a remote control. Also take a look at this inexpensive one on Amazon. It doesn’t have the lights, but you can always buy a separate revolving color wheel.
Shiny Brite Snowmen and Santa 9 Ornament Set | Shiny Brite Holiday Splendor 12 Ornament Set | Shiny Brite Vintage Celebration 6 Ornament Set | Shiny Brite Holiday Splendor Clusters 8 Ornament Set | Vintage Plastic Icicles | Shiny Brite Garland
I bought my mid-century sunburst tree topper at West Elm a year ago, and it is no longer available. But I found this one at Target that is practically identical to it.