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Plastic Blow Mold Christmas Decorations: A Holiday Photo Album

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Blow Mold Christmas Decorations: Plastic Memories Continue to Glow
blow mold soldier

A toy soldier lights up a yard during the holidays.

Photo © Megan H. Freeman
The soft glow illuminating from plastic blow mold Christmas decorations reminds many of us of our childhoods. Blow molds are those lighted holiday figures like Santas, snowmen, choir singers and reindeer. Displayed outdoors year after year, they had a tendency to become faded or scratched from the December weather -- snow, rain or sun. Because they were made by injection-molded plastic, they looked pretty, well...plastic. But when they were plugged in and lit-up the lawn at night, they were magical.

Midcentury Blow Molds

Smaller Christmas tree decorations made by blow-mold injection have been around since the 1930s, but it was after World War II, when everyone was getting married, having children and moving to tract homes in the suburbs that "frivolous" things like plastic lighted Christmas figures became popular. Along with the large-bulbed C9 and C7-sized holiday light strands, families would decorate their lawns, porches and entries with the illuminated Christmas characters.

Blow molds have never been considered sophisticated. But, like most decorations or toys from another era, the plastic angels and gingerbread boys are nostalgic and have joined the ranks of silver aluminum Christmas trees and color wheels in becoming vintage chic and collectible. Most of the holiday blow mold manufacturers have closed up shop or stopped production. Only a few, like General Foam, have not thrown out the molds and continue to manufacture the plastic decorations.

Some holiday decorators inherit the blow molds from their parents or grandparents, while others have ignited their collection by picking up one or two at yard sales or flea markets. A smattering of full-blown enthusiasts boast collections that number in the hundreds.

Pile into the station wagon, crank up the Christmas tunes on the car radio, and join us for a tour of lawns, porches and homes decorated with beautiful blow molds.

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