Where to find vintage Christmas décor that'll evoke the spirit of holiday past
There’s something new in stores each year for the Christmas and winter holidays, but nothing ever seems to edge out vintage decorations. Whether you’re decking the halls of a modern home or one that’s more traditional, these eye-catching pieces always work.
They’re popular with a variety of age groups too — from mothers and grandmothers who see them as reminders of the good ol’ days, to younger millennials who see vintage as something new to them and Instagram-worthy.
On the most popular list are vintage or reproduction Christmas decorations dating to the 1800s, along with all-time favorites from the Art Deco and midcentury modern eras such as kugel, Shiny Brite and Soviet glass indented ornaments; bubble lights; ceramic, bottlebrush, flocked and aluminum trees; Putz houses, Santa mugs and snow globes; and popcorn, glass and tinsel garlands.
If you don't have a trove of handed-down vintage decorations but want to get in on this enduring trend, or you’d like to add to your collection, here’s a sampling of the Long Island stores with things that can help evoke the spirit of Christmas past:
ROSIE’S VINTAGE, HUNTINGTON
Opened in 2016, this store has become a go-to on Long Island since it’s known for being packed with almost anything vintage and having tons of fun kitsch items. It now has more things to choose from than ever — the shop was relocated in October from its original 1,500 square-foot store to a much-larger 4,000 square-foot space.
Christmas decorations here date from around the 1940s to the 1970s, with owner Thea Morales noting she considers anything 20 years old and older to be vintage. She says that for the last three years, light-up ceramic trees have been her most popular holiday items, followed by vintage ornaments.
“It’s the ease of use,” Morales says of the ceramic trees. “They can be used for someone who doesn’t have the space or ability to put up a tree, and it can bring a little taste of Christmas and be used as a tabletop tree for the elderly.” Other holiday pieces available are festive barware, Santa and elves figurines, collectible plastic candy holders, Putz houses and bubble lights.
The store is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
INFO 187 Park Ave., Huntington, 631-549-9100, rosiesvintagestore.com
THE TIMES VINTAGE, GREENPORT
This shop opened in 2013 and everything is authentic vintage. In addition to lots of holiday decorations, a real treat is that you’ll find a great selection of Christmas albums and holiday fashions that can make entertaining at home during the Yuletide season a complete throwback experience.
There are stylish holiday dresses, barware and oldies-but-goodies Christmas records from such blasts from the past as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and The Beach Boys.
Most of the Christmas decorations are from the 1950s to 1980s. “We try to sell decorations that are at least 30 years old,” store manager Janelle Butkevich says. “People love them because they’re unique things that they can’t get anyplace else.”
Hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
INFO 429 Main St., Greenport, 631-477-6455, timesvintage.com
BACK IN TIME, FARMINGDALE
A walk around this vintage home décor store is like taking a trip through the past, but most of its Christmas decorations are very convincing reproductions. The only real deals are sleds, toboggans, and ice skates from the 1960s and 1970s, and old repurposed picture frames used for art with holiday themes.
Many of the retro look items are made by local artisans, and among them are snowmen, Santas, cards that can be hung on a Christmas tree or wall, mugs, and wooden boxes. Owner Laura Napolitano says her top sellers are ornaments, “anything cardinals” and snow globes.
Shopping at the store, which opened in 2019, is “an experience,” Napolitano adds, since you can munch on pizza and sip on wine or hot chocolate while there. There’s a cafe, bar, a fire pit outside; and live music via a singer in the back courtyard on Saturdays between 1 and 4 p.m., weather permitting. Visits by Santa are scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. on Dec. 10 and Dec. 11.
Store hours are Wednesday and Thursday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
INFO 441 Main St., Farmingdale, 516-586-8443, backintimedecor.com