Hubby and I have been busy beavers today after visiting family for Thanksgiving the past two days. This morning, I finished sewing a new jumpsuit pattern. In the early afternoon, we replaced our smoke detectors, which were well over 10 years old and in need of swapping out. In late afternoon, we put up our Christmas tree. This may be one of the earliest times we’ve ever set up a tree.
It’s a special tree. Though it is new to us, it’s a mid-century aluminum tree that we’re pretty sure was never used. Hubby found it several years ago when some good family friends were cleaning out their house. The full set was in two boxes in the attic. Even though he found it years ago (pre-pandemic), we hadn’t yet put it up, so opening the boxes was a bit like, er … Christmas for us. 🙂
Each branch of the Christmas tree was wrapped in a tube of brown paper. The instructions, which look a bit mouse-chewed, indicated that we needed to handle each branch by the bare wire rod at the end, inserting them carefully into the holes in the trunk of the tree before taking off the brown paper.
And, voila! Here is how our mid-century aluminum Christmas tree looks after removing all the paper sleeves.
This was not supposed to be the full end result. There was also a rotating color wheel that was meant to light the tree in red, blue, yellow, and green. However, though the lamp and rotating wheel appeared to be in pristine condition, we could not get the motor to rotate the color wheel. It’s probably seized up from age and lack of use. Here’s how the wheel and tree look when lit.
Included with the tree was a set of instructions on “How to Decorate Your New Aluminum Christmas Tree” from the Aluminum Company of America. The booklet is a study in mid-century design, from the title font to the ornament on the cover to the images inside. “Conny of Alcoa” created the designs and instructions for a variety of ornaments for the tree, including foil butterflies, birds, blue globes, and cone clusters, all made from Alcoa’s colored aluminum foil gift wrap, naturally.
Here are the pages of the booklet.
We’re not going to go all out and make aluminum foil ornaments for our tree. Instead, we’re considering using a small lamp with an LED bulb that changes color to replace the rotating color wheel. Until that happens, we’ll enjoy the silvery simplicity of the tinselly tree.