This article – Christmas Ornaments – Modernistic – from the Prescott Evening Courier (December, 1946) provides details of people’s changing tastes from the 1930s to the mid 1940s.
What has happened to the angel the Christmas tree? Many Prescott residents can remember her angels beyond the days of modern Christmas tree lights, when her gauze skirts caught the trembling light of candles. The angel is gone now and a search of Prescott stores reveals that post-war improvement of the ornament supply has omitted the angel and her companions of other years.
A recent issue of a national women’s magazine contained colored photographs which reflect the present trend in Christmas decoration. If the tree itself retains its natural green color, and is not sprayed red or white, it is hung with simple ornaments, some of which may even be surrealistic in design.
Prescott adults may wonder at the ornaments their children will see on Christmas morning, and some old-timers grow nostalgic when they think about the angel and other ornaments of days past, only scattered remnants of which remain on modern Christmas trees.
Describing the angels, one woman said she remembered that she had used them for dolls after the tree had been taken down. Made usually of hard pink wax, the angels wore tiny silk wigs of white or yellow and silk wings sprinkled with metallic dust.
Other trimmings which have disappeared, but which were evident until the war included imitation fruits which clipped to the branches, large clusters of glass grapes strung with silver wire, brightly-colored birds with dyed plumes for wings and tails, and miniature ships or horns children could actually blow.
Some decorations were edible, hard red candy cherries and marshmallow mice being among the favorites.
Returning from war-time scarcity, ornaments for 1946 are more plentiful and also more expensive. Christmas tree lights remain scarce enough to be the objects of thefts, in which whole trees and their strings of lights have been carried off from public buildings or displays.
One Prescott store displays lights which contain moving air bubbles similar to those seen in the lighting of some juke-boxes, but the wax angels are gone.