Old Fashioned Christmas Tree and Holiday Home Tour

Tips to mix old and new for an old fashioned Christmas vibe that feels welcoming, cozy, and reminiscent of past holidays!

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One of my fondest childhood memories is celebrating Christmas together as a family at my papa and nana's home in Canada. While the snow fell softly outside, sweet and savory smells filled the upstairs, and the basement was where the Christmas magic happened! Nana's tree was decorated with an assortment of shiny glass ornaments, tinsel, and an everything goes vibe. The presents were piled under the tree, and we all gathered as an extended family to share the day.

I'm sharing some easy tips to help you recreate the feeling of an old fashioned Christmas in your home, far from what's trending and viral on social media. Rather, it's all about comfort and family.

I'm delighted to be joining some of my favorite bloggers for the Bloggers Best Holiday Home Tours blog hop, hosted by Kelly of The Tattered Pew. No matter your decorating tastes or style, I know several of these home tours will resonate with you! Pick a few ideas to try out this year, and pin the ones that speak your language! You'll find all the links at the bottom of my post. If you hopped over here from Tammy at White Lilac Farmhouse, welcome!

Tips to Recreate an Old Fashioned Christmas

I wasn't lucky enough to inherit my nana's glass ornaments, but that's the look I wanted for my main Christmas tree this year.

Tip #1: Decorate an old fashioned Christmas tree

So how do you decorate an old fashioned Christmas tree with new ornaments? Two words...shiny baubles! None of my tree ornaments are antiques (or even vintage). I used a mix of dollar store ball ornaments, as well as mercury glass ornaments that I've collected over the years. To really give my tree that old fashioned vibe, I used reproduction Shiny Brites that I found at Marshalls.

My Christmas tree is the 7 foot King Noble Fir from King of Christmas. The branches are further apart, which gives some wonderful empty space for ornaments to hang and really shine! I loaded my tree up with shiny ornaments of all sizes and colors, which adds to that vintage vibe. My tree topper is a simple velvet ribbon bow in the palest blue.

My tree is sitting in an antique dough box, with a cozy chunky blanket wrapped around the base. If you want to see my hacks for when you don't want to use the tree stand that came with it (or your tree stand is broken), check out THIS post!

Tip #2: Unique vessels as tree stands

Get creative with the vessels you use to hold trees of all sizes! Try an antique ice cream churn bucket, a tarnished urn, a rustic crate or even your favorite antique dishes. Both teacups, bowls and even baking dishes can be used to hold a tree.

Here's a peek at my red and white Christmas bedroom. I used a striped bowl from my kitchen as a tree stand. I'll be sharing the full tour in a few days.

red striped bowl, tabletop tree, vintage white furniture

You could also use new items that look old. Go through your home with new eyes and grab a few items that you never would have thought of using as a tree stand. Things like galvanized buckets, baskets, small cabinet drawers, even a box wrapped in giftwrap can all be used as decorative tree bases.

Bottle brush trees are the perfect size to pop into an old tea cup! I used a little bit of excelsior to keep the tree in place.

A long, rustic wood crate is the perfect vessel for a forest of faux evergreen trees!

Tip #3: Add quilts

Whether your quilts are true vintage ones, inherited from grandma, or newer, give them a fresh wash and add them to your home. Pile quilts in a basket, toss them over a sofa back, even stack them in front of the Christmas tree. A soft quilt adds a cozy and homey vibe to your home. Wrap up in a quilt in front of the fire and you immediately feel at home.

What if your quilts don't match?

Actually, it's even better if they don't match! An old fashioned Christmas isn't about decorating a trendy home, it's about inviting others to get cozy. 

Mismatched quilts add a sense of being collected over time. If your quilts feel too perfect and new, wash and dry them a couple times to soften them. My kids always choose the slightly tattered quilt that is the softest! If you don't have any quilts, use your coziest throws.

Tip #4: Bring out the childhood favorites

One of the best ways to evoke an old fashioned Christmas is to decorate with older finds. If you're lucky enough to still have some of your childhood toys, books or decor, find a way to use them in your holiday decor. Devote an entire tree to favorite childhood ornaments, add that tattered teddy to a bed or basket, stack the childhood books somewhere visible, and enjoy them all over again! Use those Santa mugs you so enjoyed as a child!

Even those old ornament boxes make great decor when they're stacked up!

stack of ornament boxes

Tip #5: Mix old and new

Maybe not a tip, so much as a theme. Mix true vintage and antique pieces with new for a classic, old fashioned holiday feel in your home!

I've inherited and collected items like hob nail milk glass, tarnished urns, vintage books and crates. Find a way to use similar items in your holiday decor. Fill an old Coke crate with ornaments, add greenery to a tarnished urn, use vintage books to elevate favorite items, coffee or tea stain white thrifted doilies for a vintage look.

Tip #6: Display those old dishes

If you've followed me for any time, you've no doubt seen my vintage ironstone collection. I also collect blue and white transferware, and red transferware.

Pull out your grandma's dishes and display them in your hutch! If you don't have Christmas dishes, add fairy lights or small bottle brush trees, or even ornaments to add a little magic to the dishes in your cabinet.

Tip #7: Mismatch Christmas decor and colors

When all is said and done, decorate how you like; there are no rules when you're creating an old fashioned Christmas vibe in your home! Don't be moved by trends that will change from year to year! And don't worry about matching everything. I've had this tree, decorated with DIY paper ribbon, in my dining room since early November, and recently added the ornaments.

The blue tree ornaments echo the DIY decoupage ornaments hanging across the top of my pine hutch. Blue features in every season because it's my favorite color. My dining chairs are even covered in blue toile. But guess what?

I love red too, especially for Christmas! So my black hutch, across the room, is filled with my collection of red transferware.

My dining room features red, blue, white and green. An old fashioned Christmas is colorful and welcoming rather than trendy and perfect.

At the end of the day, my home feels warm and cozy, it's filled with nostalgic items that bring me joy, and it reminds me that family is the most precious thing!

I hope you can take some of my ideas for an old fashioned Christmas and make them your own this year!

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old fashioned Christmas

Please visit my friend Michelle of Thistle Key Lane next on the tour, she has a woodland Christmas theme. The rest of the tours are linked below!

Bloggers' Best Holiday Home Tours

This week I am thirty talented and creative women who are opening their homes up for you to tour all week long. You can visit each home tour by clicking the links below. Enjoy!

Monday's Tours

Bloggers' Best Holiday Home Tour Monday

The Tattered Pew // StoneGable // Worthing Court Blog

Southern Home and Hospitality // Our Crafty Mom // My Thrift Store Addiction

Tuesday's Tours

A Life Unfolding // Living Large In a Small House // Cottage On Bunker Hill

Bricks 'n Blooms // Cottage In the Mitten

Wednesday's Tours

Bloggers' Best Holiday Home Tour Wednesday

WM Design House // The Ponds Farmhouse // Shiplap and Shells

Simply 2 Moms // Robyn's French Nest // Amy Sadler Designs

Thursday's Tours

Midwest Life and Style // White Arrows Home // White Lilac Farmhouse

DIY Beautify // Thistle Key Lane

Friday's Tours

She Gave It a Go // Pasha Is Home // This Is Simplicite

Decor to Adore // Le Cultivateur // Peacock Ridge Farm

bringing beauty to the ordinary,


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  1. I think you have the right idea on how to decorate with an old fashioned theme Cindy! Your ornaments and decorations are so beautiful and I love the mix of colors! It's a wonderful Christmas tour that put a smile on my face! Happy Christmas!

    1. Thanks so much Michelle! And I forgot to add that I left lots of Christmas in bins this year!

  2. Cindy, you've captured wonderful nostalgic vibes with your old-fashioned Christmas tree and I really love the different vessels you used as stands. Wishing you a joyous holiday season!

  3. Oh, Cindy! I love your tour. I have a soft spot for vintage decor, and reading about your holiday memories at your grandparents house made me think of my own Christmas memories with extended family. Thank you for sharing so many beautiful ideas and great tips. I'm stashing some of them away to borrow for next year!

    Happy to be touring with you today! Pinned!

    1. Thank you Jen, the older I get the more I long for those nostalgic feelings!! So happy to have inspired you today xx Enjoy the season my friend!

  4. I adore your tree. You've done a perfect job decorating it to look like you've been dragging it out for years. Grandma would be proud! Your entire home looks magical and so festive. You always make things feel so inviting. Merry Christmas!

    1. Thank you Cindy, that is so sweet of you! Hope you're enjoying the season ♥️

  5. Cindy, your home is perfect! Your post spoke to my heart. I love an old fashioned Christmas and you captured it in your home. Love all of the vintage items and the container suggestions for trees. Love that Hobnail Milk Glass candle holder. I have never seen one like it before. Beautiful home for Christmas!

    1. Aww, thanks so much Tammy, that means so much! I'm old enough that I'm tired of chasing trends and just want to recapture the magic!

  6. Cindy your cozy holiday decor makes my heart smile. I love the red ticking paired with the green. So festive!

    1. Thank you Laura! Hope you're enjoying this festive season ♥️

  7. Cindy, your home is so cozy decked out for Christmas! I especially love all the unique ways you used various vessels for your trees.

  8. AnnMarie | Simply2MomsNovember 30, 2023 at 7:34 PM

    Cindy your home looks wonderful! The old fashioned and vintage look really makes everything feel so warm and welcoming for christmas time. Happy Holidays!!

  9. So beautiful, my friend. So warm and cozy, perfect for the holiday season. Merry Christmas.

  10. Cindy,
    You had me at old fashioned. Love your vintage style. Great tour.

  11. Love all the nostalgic touches! Beautiful!

  12. Cindy you are the vintage queen! I love how you incorporate it throughout your home and it’s even more magical at Christmas! Loved your tour and wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas! Kelly @thetatteredpew

  13. I love the vintage-y look you created! Everything is so pretty Cindy.


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