EDMOND, Oklahoma -- Maybe you had one, or maybe it was your grandma that had one, but either way, that old aluminum Christmas tree is worth some serious cash these days.
It seems that "retro" Christmas is all the rage in 2008.
Pam Grammar, who owns Edmond Antiques, has been dealing in the unique trees for the past seven years. "I think it's reminiscing mainly," Grammar said. "And younger people who do not remember the tree, they like it because it's shiny and sparkly."
"I'm always amazed at how many I sell," Grammar continued. "I look for them all year long."
Aluminum Christmas trees are a uniquely American product. They were introduced to the masses in 1959, and during the decade or so that they were in vogue, were sold by at least a dozen manufacturers. Four-foot tabletop models up to full-size 8-footers were available.
And a must-have accessory for every aluminum Christmas tree was a color wheel, mainly because lights and aluminum Christmas trees didn't mix well.
"You can decorate them any way you'd like, just don't put lights on 'em," Grammar warned. "They will arc, and cause a fire hazard."
To avoid any electrical miscues, color wheels were developed to change the color of the trees. A multi-colored wheel mounted on the front of a spotlight changed the tree's color every few seconds, from red to green, yellow, or blue.
And just like a good wine, the value of aluminum Christmas trees and color wheels increases with age, providing they're in good condition, of course.
"Absolutely, and they go up each year, because they're getting harder and harder to find," Grammar said. "I have seen some reproductions of them, and they just don't have that appeal, they don't look old, and that's part of the charm."
Although Pam Grammar spends months searching for aluminum Christmas trees, she usually sells them as soon as she puts them out. Your best bet is to call Edmond Antiques at (405) 471-5555.