• Supersize me, Santa: Vintage Main Street Christmas decorations from a small Georgia town

    vintage-downtown-christmas-decorationsIt isn’t quite Halloween yet, but a healthy supply of vintage Christmas decor can already be found on ebay. Our latest discovery: these vintage Main Street pole-mount Christmas decorations from sellers John and Mark (chefbryant0000) (*affiliate link). These tinsel-covered trees and candles were likely saved from certain dumpster doom after being replaced by a small town in Georgia. Each one is a piece of mid century downtown culture, and with a little refurbishing, any one of them would be a welcome holiday addition to a deck or porch.

    mid-century-city-christmas-decorFrom the ebay listing:

    We have about 35 of these cool old lighted Christmas decorations that are very large and heavy, about 7-8′ tall each and about 25 pounds each. They are from a small Georgia town that bought new ones, and no longer wanted to use them. They deserve a good new home!

    mid-century-tinsel-decorationThey are all in need of some refurbishing, replacement of light bulbs, add new color fringe, etc. I have seen a few that a friend purchased and renovated and they look awesome! They are located in Monroe, Georgia, and cannot be shipped without pretty hefty expense (previous estimates put it around $300) so you should buy a bunch. Contact us for info regarding the various styles that we have and how and where to pick them up or arrange for them to be shipped. We will take a best offer for multiple purchases or to take them all. Please note that the one that looks like a snowflake is no longer available.

    vintage-light-pole-ChristmasI asked the sellers if they could provide any more information about the history of these large scale decorations. They replied:

    These are from a small town outside of Atlanta which recently redeveloped its Main Street and no longer wanted to use them. We rescued them before they would have ended up in a landfill.

    retro-christmas-tree-decorThey are large lights made of a heavy metal. Some are over 6 feet tall. I believe we have about 40 left. A man from Kentucky is coming down in a couple of weeks to purchase several. The lights are located in Monroe, Georgia, where I currently have some booths at two antique shops.

    vintage-candle-christmas-decorationMy partner and I collect vintage Christmas items and have re-done a couple of these lights with new LED lights and they look great when lit. They were a nice added addition to our vintage Christmas collection which will be going up soon. Complete with a vintage Santa, sleigh and nine reindeer on the roof.

    vintage-tinsel-decorationMega thanks to ebay sellers John and Mark for allowing us to share these photos here on the blog and for saving these pieces of history to share with us all.

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    Comments

    1. Mary Elizabeth says:

      Wow! John and Mark are into Christmas BIG time! Afraid these wonderful vintage decorations would dwarf my little ranch house in the country (my Christmas tree is only 3 feet tall and sits in the bay window), but they will be a delight to those who have room for them and can refurbish them.

      Which one of you gets up on the roof to put up Santa, sleigh, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen, and Rudolf?

    2. You can get a glimpse of decorations similar to these in the movie “Prancer.”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7bj8si_oSQ

    3. John Wermuth says:

      Hello Mary Elizabeth. This is John and I’m the one on the roof Thanksgiving Day getting Santa and the reindeer ready and Mark is hanging the lights in the trees. Thanks for the post of our huge Christmas lights. These are vintage and once redone with new lights, they look great. Each one is about 6 feet tall so they are big.

    4. It would be great to dig up some historic photos of the lights in use. It’s a shame that these things just get chucked after years of use.

      My little town does this sort of thing every Christmas. We also have a permanent Christmas tree stand (it’s really a hole in the ground with anchor points) for the 40 ft. tree the city erects every year. There’s a tree lighting ceremony after Thanksgiving. It’s pretty special – Santa even shows up!

    5. Libby on the prairie says:

      These are great! I’m so glad that someone has saved them from a dump…I bet they look amazing all lit up =)

    6. June Cahill says:

      I LOVE these – and remember when we lived in a 1200 population town in KS in the late 60s. – they used something similar on the limited light poles in the town. We lived on “Main St.” in an old Victorian and I’d lay in bed at night, looking out the window at decorations which were very similar! I’m thrilled that you were able to save these – more ‘small town Americana’ that would be tossed away! I sometimes think of my own girls and although they’re childhood was pretty darn wonderful, I wish they would have been able to live in a time and place where “Be home by dark” would have been safe to say! Kudos to you and saving Christmas-past!:)

      • Mary Elizabeth says:

        Heck, my town is so small we don’t have a Main Street, sidewalks, a town green or any streetlamps to hang decorations from. We do have our own power company, though, so if we had streetlamps with decorations, we could light them. :-) We do have a Christmas tree every year next to the Town Hall, and we have a carol sing and go over to the Moose Hall and have cocoa. That’s about it.

        Pam, thanks so much for this posting. Would you consider having something in December about people’s mid-mod decorations and traditions? Maybe a downloader? Huh? Please? I’d love to see how people decorate their houses for the holidays. Oh, and Hanukkah comes a few days before Thanksgiving this year.

    7. AmyEbbertHIll says:

      This is my small town! Love this article!

    8. These make me so darn happy! Any downtown with lights gets a big gold star in my book. Hope they find their new forever home(s).

    9. Oh I wish I had some spare cash to buy a couple of these. I’m even in the Atlanta metro and wish I would’ve found the dumpster first! We’ve got a 50′s ranch and usually put up 2,000-4,000 lights all over since our special needs son loves them so much and we’re right across from an elementary school. Getting my hands on a few of these to refurb would be awesome. If only all our spare money wasn’t going toward our son’s surgery deposit this year I’d pick up a bunch of these.
      Do you have a way to contact the seller directly to see if they still have some in a few months when I’ll hopefully have the deposit money back?

    10. I wish I could have some shipped. :( I love them!

    11. Rebecca Madison WI says:

      John and Mark, thank you so much for saving these. I have fond memories of these types of lights as well. I see on ebay you are from Tucker, GA. I lived there in the late 60′s! Best of luck with finding good homes for these. They are really cool!

      • John Wermuth says:

        Thanks Rebecca. Tucker has changed. We now have a new Main Street, all cleaned up but no longer a need for these cool lights. They now use small Christmas wreaths which don’t have the same vintage look as these lights.

    12. LOL! Love these “vintage” Crhistmas decorations. The little town where I live still uses decorations that look just like these. I live on Main Street but unfortunately, there aren’t enough decorations to get quite as far as my house (I’m the last house in town). Wish I had a pocket full of money. I’d buy half a dozen of these!

    13. How nice that they saved them. I know, here in Kalamazoo, MI – a family saved the vintage decorations as well….and once in a while the city will ‘borrow’ put them back up. I sent pictures a couple years ago when they were last up for the holiday.

    14. Judi (Ware) Hurst says:

      Tucker, Georgia, my home town! Sure would love to have a couple of these. Oh, the memories they produce. I can still see them all lit up in my mind’s eye, Christmas personified!

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