The Aluminum Christmas Tree Fad Was Cut Short By?
Answer: Charlie Brown
Artificial aluminum Christmas trees (if you’ve never seen one before simply imagine an artificial tree made from shiny tinsel instead of fake pine needles) were all the rage in the late 1950s and 1960s. Sold by the tens of thousands, Americans adopted the shimmering space-age design in droves. Between 1959 and 1969 the primary producer of the trees, Aluminum Specialty Company, manufactured over one million of them to meet consumer demand.
That consumer demand, however, was brought to a screeching halt by the the 1964 Christmas special, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Wrapped up in the anti-commercialist message of the Christmas special was Charlie’s dismay over the commodification of the Christmas tree and how far we’d come from the true meaning of Christmas. Apparently, the message hit home and more than a few Americans took note, stepped back, looked at their shimmering metallic Christmas trees and saw Charlie Brown’s disappointment in their purchase. Within a year or so of the Christmas special, sales of aluminium artificial trees had tanked, and the fad was dead.
Image courtesy of CBS/United Feature Syndicate.