Photos Of Christmas Trees From A Century Ago

House Crazy loves old family photos because they give us a peek into the homes of the past. Christmas photos from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s show us what Christmas trees used to look like.

vintage Christmas tree photos

Not surprisingly, they were very different than the perfectly coiffed, perfectly shaped specimens we have on display today.

perfect Christmas tree

Historically, decorated Christmas trees originated in the northern European region of  Estonia, Latvia, and Germany. They didn’t become popular in North America until about the 1850’s.

vintage Christmas tree photos

The tradition of decorating coniferous trees with actual lit candles fell by the wayside after too many homes burned down.

vintage Christmas tree photos

Christmas tree decorations shifted to ornaments, tinsel, garland, popcorn strands, and eventually, electric strings of lights.

vintage Christmas tree photos

Of course there were no plastic from-the-box pre-made trees back in the early 20th century. They were all the real deal, imperfections and all.

vintage Christmas tree photos

What House Crazy Sarah loves about these historic trees is that they are so randomly shaped and even misshapen. Folks back then didn’t trim them down to a more aesthetically pleasing symmetry like we do today.

Nope, they kept it real back then.

vintage Christmas tree photos

Another funny thing about these old photos are the looks on the kids’s faces…

vintage Christmas tree photos

“Hurry up and take the picture so I can get out of these scratchy clothes and play with my new toys!”

And mom and dad are threatening the kids within an inch of their lives:

“Just stay still for 20 minutes while we take this damn daguerreotype!”

vintage Christmas tree photos

House Crazy Sarah appreciates the look on this poor lad’s face…

vintage Christmas tree photos

Hang in there little buddy… it’ll be over soon.


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