Shiny Brite Ornaments

Well written Cassandra. I learned things even though I thought I knew all about shiny brites! Thanks for allowing me to share this with my blog on Cheers!

The New Collector

Shiny Brite Reproduction bulbWhen I was a kid, my parents (being antique dealers) always had a hodge podge of different antique decorations for the holidays. Tiny plastic choir boys, a somewhat weary looking elf, a flapper styled angel, and an abundance of colourful metallic glass bulbs adorned our tree. To this day, when I think Christmas I think of those cheerful glass ornaments. They were from the 1940s and 1950s. Although ours were from a variety of companies, the most popular of these vintage glass ornaments was made by a company called “Shiny Brite”.

Shiny Brite ornaments were created by American businessman Max Eckardt in 1937. Shiny Brites were proudly made in the USA (a selling point during WWII as previous to this many glass ornaments were imported from Germany). They were mass-produced in a process that started with unadorned glass bulbs supplied by the Corning company that were then hand decorated and machine lacquered in Eckardt’s factories. The inside of the…

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How Do I Select The Perfect Retro Christmas Card?


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Retro Record Player, TV Santa, Retro Toy Monkey By Whatsbuzzin.comHere are a few fun guidelines to help you in your quest for the very best Christmas Card for the special friends and family on your list.

Choose a Christmas Card that is an expression of yourself – How fun to find the perfect card that when opened the recipient will say “This is just so them“! Express you love of your hobby, your passion, your home… you get it, a card with your personality written all over it. They will know it came form the one and only you.

Swing Dance, Scooter, Surfers Retro Christmas Cards

Swing Dance, Scooter, Surfers Retro Christmas Cards

Choose a Christmas card especially for the recipient – Shared experiences are what makes us a community, a family a circle of friends. Choose a card that brings a knowing smile, the inside joke, the warm memory that ties you to that individual.

Choose a Christmas card that is symbolic of the year that was – Was this the year that you or your friend finally got that new or vintage car that they always wanted? Discovered Jazz? Moved south to live on the coast? Learned to dance? Started collecting antiques? Look for designs that your Christmas card recipient will totally “get”.

A Retro Christmas Card that is a reflection of this wonderful holiday season – Our Retro Christmas cards have a very special way of being true to the traditions of Christmas. What would Christmas be without Grandmom’s Gingerbread Men? Would it really feel like Christmas if you did not remember Mother as you hang the bubble lights and vintage ornaments on the tree? Recalling a special childhood Christmas of that one Christmas toy that will never be forgotten and made that Christmas extra special. Retro Christmas Cards with Toys

Tin Toy Robot, Retro Model Train and Red Wagon Kid
Christmas Card from The Retro Christmas Card Company

We always try to create Retro Christmas Cards for you that will bring a smile, stir a memory and bring about that warm nostalgia of Christmas’ long ago. Have fun choosing your Retro Christmas cards this year!

Holiday Recipes, Really Retro Style!


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Vintage Signs Christmas Cards by WhatsBuzzin.comAt this time of year I am watching my weight, so I can splurge on all of the holiday treats that are right around the corner. We are officially in the Season Of Eating. Soon there will be family dinners, Christmas parties, Cookie Swaps, Christmas Cookie Swap Party InvitationsCocktail Parties, and more! It is also the time of year when I dig out my Mother’s recipe box and tattered cookbooks. We have family favorites and Christmas tradition demands that certain foods are ever present. Today I will share a few of our favorites, that happened to inspire a line of Christmas cards as well!

Ginger Bread Modern HouseAlma’s Gingerbread Cookies – OH! the fantastic smell of it all… and the inspiration that follows! Not just for Gingerbread men anymore  – this flexible dough has been known to create whole families of Gingerbread people as well as mid century modern split levels! Here is a proven recipe from Taste Of Home that will create wonderful holiday treats.

Fruitcake Christmas Card

Fruitcake Biscotti – OK don’t turn up your nose yet! Over the years Fruitcake has gotten a bad rap. We even make fun of it at The Retro Christmas Card Company… check out the verse my husband wrote for this one, “Liquor soaked fruits and nuts… sounds like Christmas at our house.”  Get this seasonal favorite back into rotation when you adapt it to a filling biscotti that goes wonderfully with a mug of Egg Nog. Here is a wonderful recipe from

One of my favorite childhood memories was the making of the Polish Christmas Cookies that were my Dad’s favorite – CHRUSCIKI (Kris-cheeki). It was a real undertaking for my Mom and I, mixing the ingredients, rolling the dough, cutting out the delicate ribbons, tossing the (but gently) into the fry bath. Oh and eating one warm from the cooker, DE-Lish! Here is a recipe that takes me home again. Wishing you happy holiday eating! Polish Christmas Cookies recipe, ChruscikiRetro Christmas Cookies Card

What To Wear To A Christmas Party – In Retro Style!


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Fashion Christmas Cards From whatsbuzzin.comCan you feel it? The momentum is building. Thanksgiving upon us and following right on it’s heels is the Holiday Party Season. Truly, it IS the most wonderful time of the year! Perhaps you have either got a handful of invitations that fill your December calendar, or you are the hostess to what you hope is the “Event Of The Season”. Either way, you need to have at least one knock-out party outfit ready to light up the night. We are very lucky to have a dear friend that will help us out on the hot topic of what to wear, she is the Diva of Dressing to the Nines in Retro Style, Theresa Campbell of Let’s chat with Theresa and get her thoughts on festive and fun party wear with a vintage vibe.

When I get invited to a party I always want to be sure to dress according to the occasion, and make the most of the opportunity to dress in vintage style too.
What do I wear to a casual party at a friend’s home that will be fabulously festive but not “over the top”?

Fab Christmas Party invite from WhatsBuzzin.comFor a casual house party one of my favorite looks is a pair of cigarette pants,  known as skinny pants today, or a pencil skirt worn with a 1960s sleeveless beaded sequined sweater.  Worn with a pair of kitten heels of course!

Let’s talk about the decades of style as far as evening wear for a Holiday Soiree.
Since the remake of “The Great Gatsby” is coming out soon, we can discuss the 1920s flapper style as an idea starter. What are your thoughts on a Christmastime 1920s outfit?  The 1920s look is really hot right now  and its looser fitting silhouette is flattering on a wide range of figures.  Most people think of  short fringed flapper dresses when they think of the 1920s.  But there were many other different styles in that decade. Most were below knee to Blue Velvet Vintage jazz baby Dressankle length. Formal events call for dresses with lots of beading. Art deco motifs were prevalent.  For a 1920s holiday look, you would need a straight  sheath style dress, perhaps with a dropped waistline or a pointed, handkerchief hem.  Accessorize with cloche hats, feathered headbands, long strands of pearls, T strap or Mary Jane heels.    Here’s link to my fashion guide on how to put together a 1920s look.

The 1930s and 1940s were a wonderful time in Old Hollywood. Inspire us on this theme for a glamour girl look from these eras. For a 30s or 40s Old Hollywood theme, you need to think sensual, slinky and sophisticated.  More body conscious than the fashion of the 20s.   Think Rita Hayworth and Jean Harlow. Blue Velvet Vintage Hollywood Dress

English: Publicity still

Gowns made of satins, taffetas and  crepes with low backs, draping, swags, and gathers.   Ankle strap, platform heels, long gloves, glitzy hair flowers,   jeweled hair combs.  Here’s a fashion guide to creating an Old Hollywood Glamour look. 

Blue Velvet Vintage Bettie Page Dress

_Of course the 1950s was a super fun time in fashion, if I want to sweep into a party and wow ’em with a look where do I start?
The most popular silhouette from the 50s was inspired by Dior’s New Look, which consists of tight fitting bodices with very full, tea length skirts.   It is ultimately flattering and feminine.   Wear with a petticoat beneath for a true 50s look.  This red dress from Bettie Page Clothing would be a perfect 50s look for a holiday party. Don’t forget the red lipstick!Retro Rock And Roll Christmas Party Invitations

We are now all mad, mad mad for the 1960s. A current trend in vintage fashion has been inspired by AMC TV Program “Mad Men”. How do I pull off my best mid century modern look?  The clothing worn by the ladies of Mad Men is classy and ladylike, but still Blue Velvet Vintage Brocade Dresssexy. That’s why it holds such appeal.  For a fab mid century party look, go with curvy, pencil dresses a la Joan Holloway or brocade shifts or mini dresses inspired by the fashions of Meghan, the new Mrs Don Draper.Blue Velvet Vintage Silver Metallic Dress

_One way to determine what to wear to a Christmas party is the invitation that was sent to you. It will hold clues to your attire for the evening just in it’s design. Your host may also add the line, “vintage attire requested”, then the fun begins!Mid Century Modern Christmas Party invite by WhatsBuzzin

How To Throw A Mad For Mid-Century Holiday Party


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Mid Century Modern House Holiday Card by WhatsBuzzin.comThe most popular parties are ones that build the anticipation of your guests with the promise of an event that they will want to take part in. If you, like me, have a penchant for all things mid century modern, and adore the AMC TV Show “Mad Men” this idea will be just the ticket.

Today I will combine my two loves: Mid Century Fabulousness and Christmas Parties!

We are pleased and proud to have KOOP KOOPER, the cocktail universe’s high priest of all things hep, swingin’ and swank, and cyber disc jockey of his radio show the ‘Cocktail Nation’ as our special guest on this weeks Holiday Party entry.

We want to throw a Christmas Soiree in the theme of AMC’s “Mad Men” TV Show and all things
Mid Century fabulous,
what would your recommendations be…

For music? I personally like the more swingin’ material you can get from the Ultra Lounge Series. There are three albums that are worth getting. Lots of great songs so Ultra Lounge Christmas Cocktailsyou can plug and play and get down to the serious work of entertaining your guests and of course digging the Egg Nog. Yes, I agree! and the Ultra Lounge Christmas Collection is well, the ultimate!

For Cocktails? Naturally you should always have the Egg Nog on the go, it’s always a favourite and I would think that it’s almost expected.  Mulled Cider is a popular drink as is the Candy Cane and the Champagne Cocktail is a standard that you should always have ready for your guests.  I do believe that at any party, to be a good host you must always have a wide variety of drinks to please the various tastes of your guests so never forget the basics…beer, wine and spirits. You don’t ever want to run out so always over cater, you can always use the additional booze at your next event. For authenticity try this Cocktail Guide presented by the AMC/Mad Men website.

retro holiday party invitation by WhatsBuzzin.comFor Food? You know what? I’m not much of a fan of the dinner party. I always feel that the food gets in the way of good times, great laughs and fantastic stories. For my party this year I will be offering a variety of finger food. The ease of the preparation and the lack of a need to get the timing right is perfect. These days most people struggle to make appointment times so why bother. Set your time for your party late in the evening and let the guests arrive when they feel like it and plan for a late night!  Good thoughts, I would go for trays of appetizers, including dips and tapas, prepped in advance so I can enjoy the party too!

Fab Christmas Party invite from WhatsBuzzin.comAttire? Since all of my friends are Retrophiles who love the fifties and sixties I can always count on them to turn up in spectacular style. If you want to encourage people to dress up then make sure you put it on the invitation and when you talk to your friends in the weeks leading up to the event make sure you tell them what you are wearing. It plants a seed and gives them an idea of what they should wear. Studies say that 82% of people stress about what to wear to an event. I can guarantee they actually want some direction on this matter. For ideas of clothing style check out the photos of my swank friends on my book Koop Koopers Cocktail Nation, The Interviews.

Decor? I wouldn’t worry about what you have in your pad, it’s the way you place it. You may need to shuffle some things around to open Aluminum christmas treethe place up for maximum social activity. The last thing you want is people not having an open physicality about their position in party. Think of it as party Feng Shui. Place things in such a way that people can easily mill about and that they can enter and leave conversations easily.  Got a new piece of artwork or gadget? Place it in a prominent position in the room. A talking piece is always a nice opener for people who might not know each other. And at this, the most wonderful time of the year, we all want to display our retro Christmas decorations, so plug in the color wheel, point it at the aluminum tree and rev up the Lionel Model Trains!

How To Throw An Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, Retro Style!


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When first designed our “Don We Now…” Christmas card
and the Festive Holiday Christmas Sweater party invitations,
we had NO IDEA it was such a popular concept! The things you learn online… Don We Now Our...Christmas CardHoliday Sweater Party Invitations

Turns out, I am not the only recipient of unfortunate Christmas apparel.
Recently while researching the popularity of this trend I stumbled upon These guys (Brian, Adam & Kevin) have been spreading tacky Holiday cheer since 2009! My request for an interview with them was cheerfully responded to by Brian Miller, one of the members of “Team Ugly”. They are the definitive experts on the subject, so much so that they wrote a book on it. Ugly Christmas Sweater Party BookHere are some tips and party ideas for your very own “Ugly Christmas Sweater Party”…

“Ugly Christmas sweaters have gone from a tacky gift that rarely saw the light of day, to the treasure of everyone’s holiday garb!” said Kevin Wool, Co-Owner of, the online store that boast one of the largest collections of vintage, fun and overly festive Christmas sweaters.
“We’ve watched the tradition of wearing ugly Christmas sweaters grow from a one-time annual event, such as a Halloween party, to a month-long celebration. We hear from folks all over the globe that tell us they don their ugly apTeam Uglyparel typically to kick-off the season on Black Friday and keep the party going through New Year’s Eve. Added fellow Co-Owner, Adam Paulson. They’re even hosting Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K runs!”
“The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party can fit every occasion.” said Brian Miller, the third member of the founding trio, often dubbed ‘Team Ugly’. From the office holiday party, to a pub crawl or just a great excuse to bring together close friends and family during the holidays – ugly Christmas sweaters bring out the joy and fun that we’re all supposed to relish in this time of year.”
The founding members have attended their fair share of ugly sweater parties and also host an annual ugly Christmas sweater party fundraiser, so their advice is spot on. 
“If it’s a large gathering, the top priority should be involving a contest for ugliest sweater” said Wool.
“Determine who the judges will be and if it’s a large enough gathering, you should reach out to local well known personalities to help be guest judges.”
“Food and drinks are crucial, and by food and drinks, I mean anything wrapped in bacon and booze” added Miller.

Eartha Kitsch Mod Christmas Decor at

Eartha Kitsch Mod Christmas Decor at

“Get everyone involved – the night before, hold a special get together to put the final touches on your party; decorations are so important because it gives the party environment the ambiance that will determine if guests immediately get into the party mood or require a few beverages to loosen up” concluded Paulson.
“When possible, include a fundraising angle to your event. After all, it ‘tis the season of giving and even if your hosting a small get together, there’s no reason why guest cannot be expected to bring non-perishable foods or a spare warm coat that may be donated to those in need” said Miller.

Special Thanks to for the great interview. Like we always say “Tain’t what ‘cha do – it’s the way that ‘cha do it!”… now get out there and plan that party!

How To Throw A Really Retro 1950s Christmas Party


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Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree InvitationEveryone has a mental image of life in the 1950s and early 1960s based on movies like American Graffiti and TV shows like Happy Days and Leave It To Beaver. Those fuzzy concepts of what life must have been like back in America’s boom days are just perfect for conceptualizing a fun and memorable Really Retro 1950s Christmas Party.

To get everyone ready to “Rock Around The Christmas Tree” start with an invitation that will set the tone for an unforgettable vintage experience. has super cool Christmas Party Invitations that will have your group checking off the days until the big event. Be sure to customize your invitations to request your guests dress in 1950s attire and the hostess should be seen in her best holiday apron, retro housewife style!

Retro Rock and Roll Christmas Party InviteThe first thing to get set is the music! Of course the 1950s had some spectacular examples of fun holiday music. From Rock And Roll To Jazz there are classic tunes to raise everyones spirit. For my Really Retro Christmas Parties I usually hire a DJ. Get one that understands the “Happy Days Style” soundtrack, but set in the Christmas spirit. Suggestions?
Santa Baby..Recorded by Eartha Kitt in 1953
Jingle Bell Rock… by Bobby Helms in 1957
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree…by Brenda Lee in 1958… you get the idea.
Next up, now that you have the tunes tuned in, hire a couple of dance teachers to give a Swing Dance Demo and lesson. How much fun is this!? Local dance teachers will be thrilled to come to your event for an hour or so and get everyone moving. A simple East Coast1950s Christmas Party Invitation Swing lesson will have the floor filled in no time. If your floor is delicate, like our hardwood, be sure everyone dances in their socks! It’s A Christmas Sock Hop! That will warm them up on a cold winters evening.

By now we need some refreshments. How about setting up a Soda Shop at your kitchen counter or bar? Buy cases of Classic Coca-cola and serve up shakes and ice cream floats. Be sure to build the atmosphere with striped straws and tall soda shop glasses. Standard 50s diner fare can be served up with the menu posted on a chalkboard. Hot dogs, hamburgers and all the toppings keep it simple and fun.

To set the scene, decorate this year in retro 1950s Christmas Decor. Here is a list of vintage Holiday decorations that will make your guests feel as if they time traveled.
An Aluminum Christmas tree – Lit by a revolving color wheel and decorated with sputnik shaped ornaments.
Vintage Blow-Mold Yard Decor – These delightfully tacky festive holiday decorations scream 1950! I go for the floating Santa Face, snowman or Santa’s sled with reindeer.
Bubble Lights – On a traditional tree or a white flocked tree from the mid century these fascinate and tell a story of Christmastime past.
Vintage Ornaments – Shiny Brites from the local antique store displayed in a big glass bowl.

Retro Bubble Lights Party Invitation

To wrap up the evening have a friend make a surprise entrance – dressed as “Fonzie” with a Santa Hat on. He can carry a bag filled with gifts for your guests, Wrapped boxes of Christmas cookies are a nice touch.
Ho, Ho, Ho, Daddy-O!

How To Plan A Really Retro Christmas Tree Decorating Party


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We all love being invited to a party, and when the party has a theme and it’s The Holiday Season, well, Katy bar the door! I cannot wait for the parties to begin. To make your party memorable you can plan it in a retro style. Let’s explore the first of many fun ideas.

Retro Bubble Lights Party InvitationVintage Christmas Tree Decorating Party – First of all  – A perfect invitation to set the mood. Build the anticipation with your vintage invites – Bubble Lights, a retro classic is an enchanting card, or choose the Vintage Tree Invite from, Customize the message for your gathering.

Vintage Tree Christmas Party Invitations

“The Tree” – be sure to get a nice big tree (well over 6 feet tall) and place it in the center of the room so that everyone has room to move around it getting access to all sides. Have the lights already in place and perhaps a bit of the garland on before the guests arrive. Have boxes of decorations arranged within easy reach, and be sure that they all fit the theme. I suggest Shiny Brite ornaments that are retro reproductions of the originals or find vintage ornaments in antique stores or on Ebay. shiny brite ornament reproductionOf course no vintage tree will be complete without the icicles. Pop some Popcorn and allow for big bowls for eating as well as a popcorn and cranberry stringing station. A few of the girls will always gather here for stringing and gossip. Be sure to have the seasonal grog, a big punch bowl with Cranberry Cider matching cups within easy reach, and spread the cheer with fancy finger foods and Christmas cookies. Don’t forget the holiday soundtrack, to keep everyone’s toes tapping. Be sure to end the evening with a thank you parting gift, boxed cookies for each guest is a nice touch.

Tune in next time when we explore more Really Retro Christmas party ideas including- 1950’s Swing Dance Party Mid Century Modern Cocktail PartyFunny Sweaters Christmas Theme party…

Keeping Christmas Spirit Year-Round And In Any Climate


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Vintage Tropical Christmas Cards

We here at The Retro Christmas Card Company are pros at getting the holiday spirit pumping even though it may be 80 plus degrees outside. We fully expect a warm tropical Christmas this season. Since we are located in Florida, it is not unusual to have Christmas dinner in shorts, followed up by a walk on the beach. While this sounds just like paradise to some, I personally had a tough time of it at first as a child moving from a clime with white Christmas’, and not the sandy kind. Over the years I have learned to adapt and embrace all of the signs of the season without putting chains on my tires. We have also mastered getting in the holiday spirit in May, June and July, while we are conceptualizing our cards for the coming season on the back porch with pina coladas in hand. I’ll let you in on a few secrets of getting that old-time Christmas Spirit flowing all year-long.

Retro Christmas Cookies CardFirst off – Fill the house with wonderful fragrances. Bake some Snickerdoodles, loaded with cinnamon. This cookie is a treat Christmastime or not and it scents the house beautifully. OH and take a batch next door. If you cannot muster the time to bake, just purchase a scented candle, with a cinnamon and apple base. It will be the perfect year-round, scent, just enough to conjure up holiday spirit but not as overwhelming as a pine scent. We place ours on a candle warmer that is plugged into a switched outlet, so the scent is wafting through the house every time we turn on the lights.

A visual reminder of the season. We have a rule that all holiday dec is out of sight by the first day of the new year. However, we make a habit of keeping around vintage toys tucked into bookshelves. It reminds us ofTin Toy Robot Christmas Card that childhood Christmas morning thrill of finding a special something under the tree and knowing that Santa got it right. I have also tucked away into my curio cabinet a crystal bowl filled with a few very special shiny bright antique ornaments. A tiny sparkling whatnot to say, keep the spirit in the everyday.

A surprise retro Christmas selection in our ipod playlist. We listen to jazz music almost exclusively and the swing era has some of the most fun-loving Christmas music ever recorded. I like to work in a few holiday tunes – even in July. It give me goosebumps to hear Bing Crosby sing “Let It Snow” – no matter the time of year. Besides, the looks we get from friends around the cookout is priceless.

Warm Winter WonderlandHave you ever noticed how everyone seems to smile a bit easier, and is a bit more jolly at the holiday season? Never underestimate the power of a kind word or deed, year ’round. Don’t forget a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. Smile, a lot. It costs nothing and is beyond price. Really – I know this sounds a bit Pollyanna, but I think if you will try an unexpected kind word in everyday places, the grocery, the post office, the dentist, you will find that you will be having more fun – wherever you are, whatever the time of year.