Sunday, November 25, 2007

eBay Find of the Day: Aluminum Christmas Tree

When I was growing up, our next-door neighbors had one of these aluminum Christmas trees, which they'd haul out every year and set up with a lighted color wheel turning its sparkly silver branches from neon red to yellow to blue to green and back again. I'm pretty sure my parents considered it the height of tackiness, but I thought it was absolutely magical.

I'd forgotten about it for years, and Christmas after Christmas my own family would drive out to the country to chop down a farm-grown tree -- or, if our December weekends were especially packed, simply pick one up at a local lot.

I do love the smell of a fresh evergreen, but I don't love vacuuming up its endless supply of fallen needles. And I always feel guilty and wasteful around January 2, when we toss the dried-out tree onto the curb for the trash pickup. (A living tree isn't a good option for us, since we don't really have a place to plant it once the holidays are over.)

I recently remembered our neighbors' space-age-style tree, and decided that I simply must have one. Not only will it work nicely with my favored holiday color scheme of silver and chartreuse with black accents -- it turns out that, despite its glorious artificiality, a vintage aluminum tree (as opposed to a new, nonrecyclable fake evergreen, which uses all sorts of toxic chemicals and petroleum products in its manufacture) is actually a fairly Earth-friendly option.

Plus, while new aluminum trees cost $300 or more, there are hundreds of vintage models on eBay starting at just 99 cents.

I'm quite taken with the circa-1960s tree above, for instance, which stands 6 feet tall and comes with 46 pom-pom branches.

Current bid: $10.

(P.S. Don't forget the color wheel!)


Homegrown {& the Bug} said...

I've always *loved* the vintage aluminum trees and a few years back my mom picked one up for me at a yard sale for like, 6 bucks. It's the only tree I've ever owned and I hate to think of actually putting up a 'real' tree in it's place. Mine's covered in vintage disco ball ornaments and it's not in the least bit tacky ;)

{Thanks for the color wheel link, we must have one of those so I don't set the house on fire with lights on the tree this year...}

Unknown said...

When I was growing up, we always had fake trees--not silver ones, I was a bit young for that, although I do remember a magical revolving tree stand--and I desperately wanted a real tree. Never got one, although my parents did have a very good fake. As an adult, I get real, and in this area, it's not a bad thing, they pick them up specially to chip into compost.

I do, however, love metallic trees. I have a 4' silver one, that I had as my only tree a few years ago when I was single and traveling Christmas week so didn't want a real tree, and I have a little 2' blue tree. Both of those get set up in different areas, along with a full-size real tree. What can I say, I love Christmas trees. However, in previous years, vintage silver, and especially colored metallic trees went for a good price on eBay, they weren't giving them away. Maybe there's more stock this year, or maybe the season is just getting started. But of you want one, bid soon, because the prices may go up, if previous yeas are anything to go by.

Anonymous said...

i have an aluminum one and i got it on ebay

Hoosier Mentality said...

My grandparents had an aluminum tree when I was a kid, decorated with red balls, and the color wheel!!! I loved it!

Anonymous said...

This is such a great idea, we just moved into a new condo and really don't have room for a tree. I have been debating a solution that kept thing merry, but not overwhelmed by a Frasier. This is great, I like the potential modern and traditional juxtaposition. Thanks for the inspiration.


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