What was Christmas like in the 50’s? Back to Golden Days. The safety of tinsel: During the 1950s, tinsel and tinsel garlands were so popular that they were often used more than Christmas lights — because tinsel was less of a fire hazard than electric lights. Sparkle bright: Lead foil was a popular material for tinsel in the 1950s, because unlike silver, lead tinsel did not tarnish and retained its shine. What did you think? Please tell us in the comment section below and remember to sign up for our free newsletter.