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Are your old Christmas decorations worth anything? 

Unboxing your Christmas decorations is a wonderful excuse to revel in nostalgia (as if you needed an excuse). Reliving memories of past celebrations and much-loved family traditions as you pull each decoration from the box. 

Undoubtedly, these decorations will be worth more in sentimental value than cold hard cash, but some might still earn you a pretty penny. 

Here, we look at the Christmas decorations that may be worth more than you realise. 


Kugel ornaments  

Kugel means ‘ball’ or ‘sphere’ in German, but when it comes to Christmas decorations, it refers to a type of glass ornament first sold in the US in the late 19th century. 

Characterised by thick glass with a fixed decorative cap and hanger, Kugel ornaments come in various colours and shapes. The most popular versions today are shaped like clusters of grapes in colours such as red and amber. 

If you’re lucky enough to find one of these in your loft, it could fetch you up to £800. 


Shiny-Brite baubles 

As the name suggests, Shiny-Brite ornaments were made to outshine all others! 

The man behind the ornaments, Max Eckardt (who, like the Kugel creator, was also German), came up with the idea to coat glass ornaments with silver nitrate to keep them shiny for longer. 

Initially, they were only produced in silver, but later, the range was expanded to include red, green, gold, pink and blue. 

In 1939, you could pick up one of these baubles for as little as two cents in Woolworths, but you can expect to pay a lot more today. Ornaments with an unusual shape or colour and those still in their original packaging are worth the most. 


Aluminium Christmas trees 

This type of artificial Christmas tree became popular in the United States during the mid-20th century, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s. This tree is made from aluminium (sometimes other metallics) and has a futuristic look. 

So, how much is it worth? That depends on its condition, size, and whether it comes with its original packaging or accessories. 

Prices range from around £40 to several hundred pounds for rare or highly sought-after trees.


The best of the rest 

These three examples are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to vintage Christmas decorations worth more than you paid for them. You might also find there’s value in: 

  • Antique mercury glass ornaments, particularly those from the late 19th and early 20th century 
  • Hand-blown glass ornaments by Christopher Radko
  • Decorations made from Bakelite (an early plastic) in unique designs or vibrant colours 
  • Kitschy Santa mugs and flocked Santa decor 
  • Holt Howard Christmas ornaments 
  • Christmas blow moulds 

If you find any of these tucked away at the back of your loft, you may be able to sell them for some extra Christmas cash. Lots of reproductions have been made since the originals launched, so it’s worth having your decs authenticated before you list them.