What Christmas Looked Like the Year You Were Born
We wish you a very vintage Christmas! Take a look back at 60 years of holiday trends.
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year…
It’s full of traditions that we revisit every year. While we may have always baked Christmas cookies, wrapped gifts and trimmed the tree, the holiday looks a whole lot different now than it did decades ago! See how the holidays have changed through the decades.
A glittering, tinseled tree, sparkling lights and stunning Christmas garb? This elegant young woman shows us how the holidays should be done—all the way back in 1940. And look at all those presents under the tree…here’s our ultimate foodie gift guide.
These dapper young gents pose for a quick post-present pic back in 1941. Look at the height of that tree!
You know that feeling when you get exactly what you asked Santa for? We think this little girl captures it perfectly. Get on the nice list with these Santa-inspired treats.
That beater looks a little old-fashioned to us today, but kids in 1943 still loved making Christmas cookies. Get your little ones involved and try out some of our favorite Christmas cutout cookies.
During WWII, folks kept photos of deployed family and friends close by during the holiday season.
With WWII over, folks really had something to celebrate back in 1945. These girls look pretty pleased with their shiny red tricycle, too!
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas was published all the way back in 1823, meaning that this poem was already a Christmas classic when these little guys started to learn it here in 1946. Psst! These holiday reindeer cookies are the perfect pairing.
Get ready for the holidays with all your gifts and a pretty wreath for the door like this kiddo back in the ’40s. Need some wreath inspo? We’ve got you covered with these DIY Christmas wreath ideas.
We’re loving that super-flocked tree! This tree tradition really came into its own in the 1950s, but this 1948 family was ahead of the trend. Be ahead of the curve this year with these fun alternative Christmas trees.
Around the holidays, everyone gets into that festive spirit. We love that this gentleman opted for a poinsettia-patterned apron! Get into the spirit with our most festive Christmas recipes.
Got everything ready for your Christmas dinner spread? We think this family would have served up a few of these vintage Christmas dishes.
When it comes to holiday traditions, we think decorating Christmas cookies comes pretty close to the top of that list.
Hosting a coffee klatch or cookie exchange this year? Here’s hoping it’s just as fun and festive as this meet-up in 1954. And be sure to check out our cookie exchange tips and most in-demand cookie recipes.
Finding the perfect fresh-cut tree has always been a challenge, but it looks like these folks did well for themselves (even if the tree doesn’t quite fit inside). When you’re back from the tree farm, try stirring up some of these cute Christmas tree recipes.
Ride ’em, cowboy! We bet after a long day out on the range, this buckaroo would like a tall glass of milk and some cowboy cookies.
Too much tinsel? Never! We love this tree’s over-the-top Christmas decorations.
Baby’s first Christmas is always extra special. Look at the wonder in this little girl’s eyes!
Every kid wakes up on Christmas morning hoping to unwrap that wow gift. Looks like this little lady in her adorable holiday dress got that most-wanted present.
Photos of busy shops like this definitely make us grateful that online shopping is possible these days! However, we do miss those department store candy counters and lunch menus.
During the holidays, the kitchen always seems like the busiest room in the house. Looks like it was the same all the way back in 1963. And don’t think we’re not eyeing up that perfectly golden turkey! We’re sure Grandma followed a few of our tips for a flavorful and juicy turkey.
These coworkers posed while exchanging gifts at the Ilinois Federal Savings and Loan back in the ’60s. Setting up a Secret Santa exchange in your office? Here are a few snacks anyone will love.
Everything about this Christmas snap has us feeling all kinds of nostalgic. That perfectly decorated tree, the wonderfully ’60s toys plus that old tube TV all scream vintage Christmas to us. It has us wanting to mix up one of these delicious vintage Christmas desserts, too.
As long as there have been Christmas trees, there have been cats to knock them over. We can definitely relate to the dismayed pet owner who snapped this pic. If you need a cat-friendly tree, consider this.
Weeks before Christmas, these little elves got to work making holiday crafts in their classroom. Feeling crafty? Try these winter DIYs.
When it comes to Christmas trees, you may as well go big and bright! In the ’60s, many families opted for the charm of live spruces.
Having patience during the holidays can be hard! This little girl waits her turn for a slice of delicious pumpkin pie.
St. Nick hadn’t visited these boys yet, but we hope he filled their stockings with some tasty Christmas treats.
The ’70s brought along some pretty outrageous color combinations. Can you spot the lime green carpeting under this Christmas Day haul?
Cutting your own tree was hard work (and still is!). We give this kiddo props for doing it with a smile on his face. One you get that tree in the house, learn how to keep it fresher for longer.
Some things don’t change from year to year. Kiddos still love superheroes, just like this little boy enjoying his Batman mask back in 1974.
Who doesn’t like to show off their most-wanted gift? While we’re not asking for fire trucks these days, we definitely have some items on our wishlist. Bakers especially will want to add these gifts to their list.
Even back in the ’70s adult children were still relegated to the kids’ table. It happens! Here are some tips on how to make this year’s kids’ table more fun.
There’s nothing like finishing off Christmas dinner with a tasty and festive dessert. Looks like this family is opting for a sticky toffee pudding, but we’ve got a long list of other traditional Christmas desserts that are worth trying!
Sometimes Christmas gets the better of you. That’s OK! Nothing like a few peppermint treats to cool you down.
As long as gift exchanges have been around, so has last-minute shopping! This man brings in his holiday haul on Christmas Eve 1980.
There are definitely two schools of thought when it comes to decorating a Christmas tree: tinsel or no tinsel. We say the more sparkle and shine the better! This gal from 1981 obviously would agree.
When it came to Christmas wrapping, you could count on your department store’s gift-wrapping department back in the 1980s. If you want to learn how to wrap as well as one of these pros, check out our guide. And when all else fails, grab a gift bag and some tissue paper.
One thing we may not be nostalgic for is being a part of our school or church Christmas pageants. Remembering your lines? Making sure that halo is on just right? It’s a lot of stress—definitely deserving of some treats afterward, like these Christmas cakes.
We love unwrapping something sweet on Christmas morning, just like this little girl back in ’86. Give your loved ones a sweet treat this holiday season with these amazing food gifts.
One of the best parts of the Christmas season? The food! This spread looks amazing! If you’re looking to duplicate this casual, fun style yourself, explore these festive Christmas appetizers.
Even the tiniest tots have a wish list. In 1989, we bet this little girl was asking for a Little Tikes playhouse.
This woman has taken her love of gingerbread to the next level! We love her enthusiasm, and we’re positive she’s made a few of our gingerbread houses over the years, too.
Some kids are lucky enough to get a visit from Santa right at home. We bet if you leave a few eggnog treats by the fireplace, Santa might opt to stay awhile.
Donning festive aprons, this mother-daughter duo is ready to bake! Need a few Christmas cookie ideas for the current holiday season? We’ve got make-ahead Christmas cookies so you can get a jump on your holiday treats.
Even the littlest kids can get involved with holiday baking! Not sure which tasks are best for your littlest bakers? Check out our Cooking with Kids guide for a list of tasks appropriate for tiny tots all the way up to preteens.
No matter the year, wearing your Christmas best has always been a tradition. We appreciate that this family went full-on glam for the holidays—no ugly sweaters to be found (except maybe on the cookie tray).
Some families like to do things a little differently around the holidays, like this California family unwrapping gifts on the beach. If you want to stick to tradition, make these classic Christmas recipes.
Christmas card overload at USPS! Still have some Christmas cards laying around from years past? Put them to use with these upcycled crafts.
Mrs. Claus deserves some recognition during the holidays too! These girls line up to chat with the woman who’s really in charge. This has us thinking we should whip up some Mrs. Claus cookie pops.
When it comes to Christmas, some folks love to go all out. We admire this couple’s Christmas spirit!
Christmastime brings out the nostalgia in all of us. We’re always wanting to bring back a few retro decorations to make the holiday feel festive. Back in ’99, this little girl was admiring a ceramic tree, and today we’re still going crazy for this retro tree trend.
Finally, after reviewing 60 years of Christmas traditions, we come to the new millennium. And this couple here captures that nostalgic Christmas spirit perfectly: cozied up by the tree and paging through albums of Christmases past. Cheers to memories new and old—and Merry Christmas!
Don’t miss our vintage Christmas dishes worth trying today.