Sentimental Christmas Décor Southerners Will Always Love, Even If It’s Not Trendy

Old-fashioned, not outdated!

Bauble Stockings
Photo: Kathryn McCrary

No matter how many glitzy, trendy Christmas decorations pop up on the aisles of T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods, Southerners will always be partial to the decorations boxed up in the attic at their parent’s or grandparent’s house. For most, finding holiday cheer each year comes from the childhood memories and traditions that we remember and honor as we get older—and that includes  how we decorate everything in the house, from our Christmas tree to our fireplace mantle. 

Amongst the fancy wreaths and remote-controlled LED lights, there’s always a place in the South for sentimental and passed-down holiday décor, no matter if they’ve been dubbed “outdated.” To us, these classic Christmas décor items only get better with age. Which do you still pull out from the attic every holiday season?

Needlepoint Stockings 

Needlepoint stockings hanging over the fireplace are a common sight in a Southern household during Christmas, especially those featuring personalized names or initials for each family member. We have always loved a monogram, after all. In many families, these stockings are even made by someone in the family, such as a mother or grandmother. (Jenna Bush Hager even divulged that her grandmother made extra stockings for future grandchildren that might arrive after she’s gone.) Nowadays, you can find these online if you’re wanting to start a new collection—such as from Atlanta-based Bauble Stockings—or if you’re not into learning the craft. 

Needlepoint Christmas Stocking Hung on Fireplace
Alison Gootee; Styling: Elizabeth Demos

Sterling Silver Ornaments 

Perhaps the most classic kind of Christmas ornament, sterling silver is what many Southern families give as future heirlooms for their children and grandchildren. As a kid, it might not feel like the most exciting gift, but it easily becomes the most treasured holiday possession as we get older. Watching the collection grow on the Christmas tree is a fun marking of the memories made and years that have passed. Even better, it’s an easy tradition to start with your own family. 

Grandma’s Cookie Jar

It’s not scientifically proven that cookies taste better when they were made by your grandmother, but we’d bet on it. Same goes for when a cookie is eaten out of the same old-fashioned Christmas cookie jar that you’ve been sneaking extra cookies from for decades. Grandma’s cookie jar might become chipped or less vibrant over time, but it wouldn’t be baking season without it. This year, fill it with our pecan-studded Cream Cheese Christmas Cookies.

Santa Collectibles 

Decades and decades ago, it was “the more Santa collectibles packed into one house, the better!” While some of these retro Santa figurines can be harder to mix into newer Christmas décor, they’re wonderfully nostalgic. (Even if, after a glass of spiked eggnog, it feels like their eyes follow you across the room.) A creative way to use a passed-down collection of Santa figurines is by grouping them all together on a shelf or mantle. 

Red and White Small Christmas Tree
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty

Tree Icicles 

With all the glitzy and glittering ornaments out there today, it’s easy to forget about these simple tree trimmers. The sharp-as-a-needle tree icicles were once a popular addition for a cozy winter feel, and no matter if they get a little less clear and glasslike as the years go by, we’ll always find room on the tree for the passed-down baubles, if only as subtle nod to the snowy Christmases that the South often skips. 

Ceramic Trees 

Luckily, this one has come decidedly back into fashion. Leading up to Christmas, vintage-style ceramic trees sell out on Amazon faster than you can say “Old Saint Nick.” Perhaps, people are wishing for a nostalgic holiday season? For those who grew up with these gracing the countertop, nothing makes it feel like Christmas time quite like a light-up ceramic tree. 

If you still use these classic and passed-down Christmas decorations each year, you probably have a Southern grandmother. Make her proud! 

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