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, starting in 1940.
A look back in time
Christmas is full of traditions that we revisit every year. While we may have always baked easy Christmas cookies from recipes anyone can follow, 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. These are the old-fashioned Christmas traditions we should bring back.
These dapper young gents pose for a quick post-present pic back in 1941. Look at the height of that tree! Learn the reason why people put up Christmas trees every year.
You know that feeling when you get exactly what you asked Santa for? We think this little girl captures it perfectly. These are the recipes everyone should know how to make before they turn 35.
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 one of our easy Christmas ornament crafts kids can make.
During World War II, 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! These are the Christmas stories about meeting Santa that will fill you with the holiday spirit.
“‘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! Here’s the surprising history behind your favorite Christmas Carols.
Polka dots abound! On dresses, scarves, and wrapping, this classic was all the rage in the 1940s.
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. This is the history behind your favorite Christmas traditions.
Anyone with sisters can relate to this photo. Matching robes, matching headbands and matching stockings—looks like a Christmas card photo op if we ever saw one! Here are some of the best family photos to bring joy to your holiday season.
Around the holidays, everyone gets into that festive spirit. We love that this gentleman opted for a poinsettia-patterned apron! This is the reason why poinsettia’s are the official Christmas flower.
So many kids wish for a puppy at Christmas. These three sisters were lucky enough to get one! Already have a pooch at home? Here are a few secrets that your pets won’t tell you.
The Christmas classic “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” was released in 1952. This family was right on trend with their holiday card that year! Don’t miss these rare photos of what life was really like in the 1950s.
When it comes to holiday traditions, we think decorating cookies comes pretty close to the top of that list. We like to spend our holidays baking up our favorite Christmas cookies.
When it comes to holiday elegance, this woman has it covered, but we secretly love how her kiddos snuck in their signature cowboy style for this holiday photo op.
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 our cutest Christmas tree snacks.
Ride ’em, cowboy! We bet after a long day out on the range, this buckaroo would like a tall glass of milk and a cowboy cookie or two.
Baby’s first Christmas is always extra special. Look at the wonder in this little girl’s eyes! Don’t miss these vintage Christmas ads from the past 90 years.
No playing ball in the house! Well, it looks like this family made an exception (at least for one day).
Matching pajamas on Christmas Day have long been a tradition. This 1960s family took the trend a step further than most, but we love the wild print!
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. These are some of the most inspired and meaningful holiday gifts ever received.
In the ’50s and ’60s, aluminum and metallic trees were all the rage. With mid-century style coming back in a big way, we can’t help but be jealous of this woman’s picture-perfect tree!
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 to get a flavorful and juicy bird.
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. Be sure to check out these vintage Christmas decorations that might be worth money.
Weeks before Christmas, these little elves got to work making holiday crafts in their classroom. If you’re looking to get crafty this Christmas, we have a few ideas for your table.
Having patience during the holidays can be hard! This little girl waits her turn for a slice of delicious pumpkin pie. Need a recipe for your holiday dinner? Check out our favorite family recipes.
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.
You’re never too young to celebrate! This little girl learns about the meaning of Christmas under the tree.
St. Nick hadn’t visited these boys yet, but we hope he filled their stockings with some tasty treats like these.
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.
Shoppers scope out the latest toys for the holiday season. Lots to see in this storefront! Boost the nostalgia with these vintage photos of Christmases past.
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.
Christmas can be a lot to take in! But this little guy looks like he’s just enjoying basking in the glow of that ultra-festive tree.
We love warm Christmas memories like this one. They make us want to cozy up with a cup of cocoa under the tree.
As long as gift exchanges have been around, so has last-minute shopping! This man brings in his holiday haul on Christmas Eve 1980. Here’s some Christmas trivia you probably didn’t know.
The holidays are all about the ones you love. Spending time with family has been (and always will be!) a tradition in our book.
Be it 1983, 1993 or today, we’re pretty sure almost all little girls love unwrapping a Barbie on Christmas morning.
Christmas morning, we all enjoy unwrapping the latest gadgets and gizmos. Back in the mid-’80s, this camera was peak technology.
Fashions come and go but the classic Claus ensembles are forever (and they look great on this 1980s couple). This is the real reason why Christmas colors are red and green.
We love unwrapping something sweet on Christmas morning, just like this little girl back in ’86.
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 our top Christmas appetizer recipes.
Ribbons and bow ties galore! Festive holiday ensembles have been around for ages, and we love these sweet kiddos’ styles.
Even the tiniest tots have a wish list. In 1990, we bet this little girl was asking for a Little Tikes playhouse. This is the reason why Santa wears red.
Some kids are lucky enough to get a visit from Santa right at home. We bet if you leave a few eggnog filled 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 some make-ahead favorites so you can get a jump on your Christmas treats.
Even the littlest kids can get involved with holiday baking! Not sure which tasks are best for your littlest bakers? We’ve got a list of tasks appropriate for tiny tots all the way up to preteens. These are the best Christmas sweaters you can buy.
The ’90s were prime time for matching sibling Christmas outfits. These girlies got it right with their adorable lace and floral dresses. These are the classic dresses every woman should own.
Who doesn’t love a good Christmas morning surprise? Looks like this young woman got the gift on the top of her list: a proposal! For the rest of us, there’s always cinnamon rolls.
Patterns galore! We’re loving this adorable ’90s family. Check out these timeless holiday traditions you should consider adopting this year.
If you ask us, it looks like this girl is whipping up some of our classic jam-filled cookies—just in time for Santa to come. These are the best Christmas cookies from every state.
When it comes to Christmas, some folks love to go all out. We admire this couple’s Christmas spirit!
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! You won’t want to miss these old-fashioned Christmas towns worth a visit.