Growing up in the late 1950s and 1960s our tree didn't look like something from a magazine or store display, all matchy-matchy and color coordinated. Thee was no overarching theme - it was truly eclectic. It had - personalty.
Lights: In my youngest years, we used the large bulb strings of light. As the years passed, we moved into the small twinkling lights; always multicolored and never the plain white strings of light. With our tree, the more colors, the better was the rule. But my favorites by far were the strings of bubble lights. I could watch them for hours. We even had a candelabra in the front window that was outfitted with bubble lights.
Most of our ornaments were a mish mash assortment of the old blown glass balls and figuruals. Many of the balls had indents with kaleidoscope patterns in the indents. There were glass balls that looked like berries and birds, Santas and bells. We had many glass ornaments that looked like Chinese lanterns. The tree lights would reflect upon all these ornaments and really make them sparkle and come alive.
The rest of the tree was outfitted with homemade ornaments and whatever caught our fancy. Of course, back then there weren't cartoon or TV character decorations. A favorite for many years were ornaments my sister and I made in Sunday School one year. They were stars made from wagon wheel pasta glued together, spray painted (mine was silver, Sis's was gold), sprinkled with glitter and had a mini Christmas ball glued to the center. How those lasted intact for so many years was a tribute Mom's packing abilities when everything was taken down and put back into storage for the next year.
When I was a kid, I wanted a "designer" matchy-matchy theme tree (what I imagined were rich peoples' trees). Now that I am older, those trees seem so sterile. So it is a hodge podge, eclectic, theme free tree for me. Long live Personality!