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The History of Christmas Tree Decoration

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The history of Christmas tree decorations date back to the early 19th century, where in Norway a fir tree was considered an important part of the celebration of Christmas and the tree was hung with cakes, small toys, sweetmeats and bags of sweets such as bonbons and sugared almonds. Around 1865, the branches of the trees would sometimes be adorned with glass trinkets and silver ornaments which was a tradition that followed their German origin where many of the trinkets were obtained. By 1880, Woolworth’s began selling commercially produced Christmas tree ornaments.


Tinsel is also a popular Christmas tree adornment, and in the history of Christmas tree ornaments, wafer thin silver tinsel was used in the early 17th century for decorative purposes. This type of tinsel originated in Germany and it was used up until the 1950s until tinsel was made from a light weight material which didn’t have the drape of the old tinsel. The tinsel which we use today on our Christmas trees is made from aluminium foil which is sandwiched between two layers of clear plastic.


The history of Christmas tree ornaments also date back to the Victorian times which Victorian ladies of the house would spend many hours making small decorations from twists of colored paper which were then filled with stuffed dates and other treats. They also used silk and feathers to make pouches to hold sugared almonds, as well as silk thread which they made into snowflake style doilies which were soaked in dense sugar so that they snowflakes would become dried and hung onto the tree.


Prince Albert actually helped to make Christmas tree ornaments popular in Britain and as early as 1800, Queen Charlotte makes a present which was surrounded by a candle lit tree. The lights which you now find on Christmas trees were originally candles which were used to light Victorian Christmas trees. Martin Luther was the first person who began the popularity of putting lights on a Christmas tree when he wished to show worshippers the effects of the wonder of stars twinkling through a forest. After the invention of electricity in 1879, many people invested in electric fairy lights instead of candles and by the 1920s, candles were beginning to wan and fairy lights were becoming more popular.


Traditional Christmas decorations used to consist of handmade ornaments, paper chains and candles. But over the years themed Christmas tree decorations have become more popular, with ornaments such as icicles, baubles, fairy lights, tinsel and more. Lots of people have also adopted more modern color themes as apposed to the more traditional gold’s and reds, now Christmas tree ornaments and decorations can come in all colors, from green and gold, silver and blue to even black and pink! The history of Christmas tree ornaments dates back hundreds of years, but we have still carried on this tradition adapting it into our own throughout the passing decades. You can find out more information about the history of Christmas tree ornaments by running a simple search on the internet.


This article was published on Monday 21 September, 2009.

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