Today, while I was searching online for Shiny Brite-style Christmas ornaments in colors that match the Mondrian wall, I found a 7-foot silver tinsel Christmas tree for $60.
A 4-foot vintage aluminum Sparkler like mine, for which I paid $50 in 1998, IIRC, will run somewhere around $150 to $200 on Etsy these days. A 7-foot Evergleam like the one I passed up for $70 on that same shopping trip two decades ago will cost you $500 if you are very lucky and $800 or more if you aren’t.
Fairly convincing replicas of vintage aluminum trees can be found online for $200 to $250.
The tree I ordered is neither an original nor a convincing replica (it’s basically a shiny silver version of the green Walmart special I bought to decorate my first classroom in 1997), but to the untrained eye, it will look pretty good, and I didn’t have to listen to Ron grumble or sigh about the price. WIN.
When I bought my Christmas tree, I wasn’t dreaming of living in a tiny house. I didn’t even know tiny houses existed. I just wanted a cool retro tree that would fit in my apartment.
Seventeen years and four moves later, I appreciate my shiny, easy-to-assemble aluminum Christmas tree as much for its space-saving design as for its great atomic-era look.
I’m not suggesting everybody who’s considering a tiny house should rush out and buy an aluminum tree and color wheel, but as I was taking mine down, it occurred to me that of all the things I’ll have to shrink when we finally build that tiny house in northeastern New Mexico, my Christmas tree isn’t one of them.
I have a few other decorations, but they usually stay in storage; the ones I get out just about every year are the tree (with matching green and red glass balls hanging from its branches and a color wheel underneath to illuminate it) and the little plastic creche my mom bought for me at Ben Franklin when I was 3 or 4 years old:
In the featured image and the one below, you can see what the tree looks like when it’s packed into its box:
Below is the whole setup, packed and ready to be stashed in a plastic storage tub in the garage:
If your holiday decorations are taking over your attic or spilling out of the closets, I can wholeheartedly recommend a throwback Christmas tree, ca. 1958, for ease of assembly, disassembly, and storage.