6 How We Celebrated Christmas in the 70s: Groovy Traditions You Forgot About

Christmas in the 1970s was truly a unique experience, filled with a blend of traditions from the past and modern touches that made the decade stand out. You could feel the magic of the season everywhere, from the dazzling decorations to the catchy holiday tunes that filled the air. It was an era when Christmas TV specials were a must-watch event, and the presence of Santa Claus in popular culture was more enchanting than ever.

Even the gifts back then had a special charm, with toys and gadgets that are now considered vintage treasures.

Whether you were building a snowman in the yard or simply enjoying the warmth of a decorated living room, Christmas in the ’70s had a way of bringing families together in the most memorable ways.

1) Bell-bottom Jeans and Platform Shoes

In the 70s, fashion was all about making bold statements.

Bell-bottom jeans and platform shoes were at the forefront of this trend.

The jeans, snug at the thighs and dramatically flared from the knees down, were impossible to miss.

You probably saw these jeans on TV shows like “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.” Both men and women wore them, making them a unisex sensation.

Paired with these jeans were platform shoes, which both guys and girls rocked.

Platform shoes had thick soles and added a few inches of height.

They were especially popular in discos, giving you that extra bit of flair while dancing.

Even though they were trendy, walking in platforms could be a bit challenging.

Bell-bottoms and platforms became symbols of the 70s, capturing the decade’s wild and free-spirited vibe.

Whether you were out for a casual day or a night at the disco, these fashion items were a go-to choice.

2) Disco-Themed Christmas Parties

Back in the 70s, Christmas parties often took a funky turn with a disco theme.

Picture it: shiny disco balls, colorful lights, and groovy music that got everyone dancing.

Your living room would transform with simple decorations like lava lamps and bead curtains.

Guests wore their best bellbottoms, wide-collar shirts, and sequined outfits, ready to boogie the night away.

The music playlist was essential.

Classic disco hits from artists like Donna Summer, the Bee Gees, and KC and the Sunshine Band were must-haves.

These tunes kept the dance floor packed and the energy high throughout the evening.

Food and drinks also added to the 70s vibe.

Finger foods like cheese and pineapple skewers (a.k.a. pineapple hedgehogs) were popular, along with cocktails like Harvey Wallbangers and Tequila Sunrises.

These retro snacks and drinks kept the party fun and nostalgic.

To cap it off, decorating with neon colors and hanging tapestries or even vinyl records on the walls gave the party an authentic disco feel.

You simply couldn’t have a disco party without these iconic touches.

3) Decorating the Aluminum Christmas Tree

In the 70s, aluminum Christmas trees were all the rage.

These shiny, metallic trees gave homes a futuristic feel.

They were super easy to set up and didn’t need any water.

You could decorate these trees with simple ornaments.

Glass balls, tinsel, and lights added sparkle.

Pearl garlands made the tree look elegant.

Color wheels were also popular.

You could place one at the base of the tree.

It rotated to cast colored lights on the branches.

This created a cool, changing color effect.

Some people loved adding homemade ornaments.

This made each tree unique.

Aluminum trees were great for showing off personal holiday style.

4) Hanging Out at the Roller Rink

In the 70s, roller rinks were one of the coolest places to hang out.

You’d lace up your skates, hit the wooden floor, and glide to the sound of disco music.

It was like being in your own personal music video.

You could spend hours with your friends, skating in circles and showing off your moves.

It wasn’t just about skating; it was a social scene where you could meet new people and maybe even find a holiday romance.

Roller rinks had a special vibe, especially during the holidays.

Some rinks would add festive decorations, making the place even more magical.

Roller skating under twinkling lights with a bit of tinsel around added to the fun.

Whether you were a skating pro or just there for the laughs, the roller rink was a great spot to celebrate the festive season.

5) Listening to ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ on Vinyl

Back in the ’70s, one of the highlights of Christmas was playing your favorite holiday songs on vinyl records.

Bobby Helms’ “Jingle Bell Rock” was a big hit during the festive season.

It brought a special vibe to Christmas gatherings with its catchy rock ‘n’ roll rhythm.

You likely remember the warm crackle of the vinyl as the needle hit the record.

You’d bop around the room to “Jingle Bell Rock,” its upbeat melody setting the perfect mood.

Families gathered around the record player, sharing smiles and laughter as the music played.

The song originally came out in 1957, but its charm remained strong in the ’70s.

Many people had it as a must-play during their holiday celebrations.

Kids and adults alike enjoyed its joyful tune, making it a staple on Christmas playlists.

Pulling out that vinyl record each year brought out a sense of nostalgia.

It reminded everyone of past Christmases and created new memories.

Listening to “Jingle Bell Rock” on vinyl brought a unique sound experience, different from today’s digital music.

It made Christmas feel special and unforgettable.

6) Watching ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ on TV

You probably remember the joy of watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on TV during the 1970s.

It was a treat every December, gathering around the set with family.

The iconic music by Vince Guaraldi and the touching story of Charlie Brown searching for the true meaning of Christmas made it a yearly tradition.

Back then, you didn’t have streaming services or DVDs.

You had to catch it when it aired, usually on CBS.

Missing it meant waiting another whole year.

The excitement would build as you anticipated its annual airing, usually announced well in advance in TV guides and commercials.

Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts gang brought a special charm to the holiday season.

The simple yet profound message resonated with both kids and adults.

The show was a cultural event, sparking conversations in schools and workplaces.

The 1970s were a time when family TV time was special.

Watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” together was about more than the delightful animation and soundtrack.

It was about family bonds and shared experiences, making memories that lasted long after the credits rolled.

The Spirit of 70s Christmas

The 70s were a great time for Christmas celebrations, full of family traditions and unique decor trends.

People embraced the festive spirit in many special ways.

Family Traditions

You might remember gathering around the TV for classic holiday specials.

Popular shows like A Charlie Brown Christmas and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer were must-see events for kids and parents alike.

Opening presents was usually a big, exciting event.

Gifts often included popular toys like Star Wars action figures or Barbies.

Families also enjoyed making homemade ornaments and decorations together, strengthening bonds and creating lasting memories.

Singing Christmas carols door-to-door or attending church services were also common traditions that brought communities together.

The sense of family and togetherness was at the heart of these celebrations.

Decor and Ambiance

Homes in the 70s were often decked out in bold and colorful decor.

You’d find shiny tinsel, big bright bulbs, and sometimes even aluminum Christmas trees.

These unique decorations helped to create a warm and festive atmosphere.

People loved using garlands and wreaths to adorn their homes.

Color schemes typically included bright reds, greens, and golds.

Inside, families often lit up yule logs and arranged nativity scenes, setting a perfect holiday ambiance.

These decor choices reflected the creative spirit of the decade, making every home look lively and inviting during the season.

Popular 70s Christmas Shows

During the 1970s, Christmas TV specials and movie marathons became beloved traditions for many families.

These festive shows brought people together, offering heartwarming stories and lots of holiday cheer.

Classic TV Specials

The 1970s featured some of the most cherished Christmas TV specials. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” continued to be a holiday staple, highlighting themes of friendship and the true meaning of Christmas.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer also took center stage, charming audiences with its stop-motion animation and memorable songs.

“Frosty the Snowman” was another hit, introducing viewers to the magical tale of a snowman coming to life.

Don’t forget about Bing Crosby’s Christmas Show, where Bing’s soothing voice and festive songs made it a must-watch for many families.

Movie Marathons

Televised movie marathons were another way to enjoy Christmas in the 70s.

Networks would often air classic holiday movies back-to-back, making it easy for families to settle in and watch together.

Popular films included “It’s a Wonderful Life,” inspiring viewers with its heartwarming message.

“Miracle on 34th Street” was also a favorite, blending magic with the real spirit of the season.

These marathons created hours of entertainment and gave families a chance to relive timeless holiday stories year after year.

Holiday Music of the 70s

In the 1970s, Christmas music captured a blend of traditional sounds and new, innovative styles.

Iconic songs and artists from this era continue to spread holiday cheer every year.

Top Christmas Hits

The 70s brought some unforgettable Christmas songs that we still enjoy today. “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono mixed holiday vibes with a strong anti-war message, making it both festive and meaningful. Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” is another standout, with its upbeat and catchy tune perfect for any holiday playlist.

“Step Into Christmas” by Elton John added a rock flair to holiday music, while The Jackson 5’s Christmas album gave classic songs a Motown twist.

Don’t forget The Eagles’ “Please Come Home for Christmas”, which became a Christmas classic with its soulful, bluesy feel.

These hits are just a few examples of how the 70s reshaped Christmas music forever.

Iconic Artists

The 70s saw many talented artists putting their spin on Christmas music. John Lennon and Yoko Ono led the way with their powerful message in “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).”

The Carpenters brought their unique, soft rock sound to Christmas with songs like “Merry Christmas Darling,” creating warm and comforting holiday tunes.

The Jackson 5 added energy and groove to traditional carols, making them favorites for dance parties. Kenny Rogers provided a country flavor to the season with his charming holiday releases.

Johnny Cash also made his mark with heartfelt Christmas songs that resonated with many.

These artists gave us some of the most memorable holiday music, making the 70s a golden era for Christmas tunes.

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