A Christmas tree is beautiful because of the ornaments and lights on it. An undecorated Christmas tree would hardly be a welcome sight inside a home. If at all, an undecorated tree will only make the room darker. But a Christmas tree hung with ornaments and lights beautifies the whole room and expels the gloominess of the winter. It is the most important insignia of the Christmas season.
Christmas tree decoration is best done by someone who has an artistic eye. If you have it, well and good. If you do not have, it will be good to enlist the help of another family member who is more artistic than you. Or family members can pool their talents to come up with good decoration ideas. You can decorate a tree with many things like candles, glass balls, bells, paper flowers, paper garlands, stringed beads, toys, chocolates, dolls, mirrors, and anything that you can innovate.
A Brief History of Christmas Ornaments
St. Boniface, the 7th century saint who is the patron saint of Germany, is credited with introducing the practice of decorating an evergreen tree during Christmas. He is said to have suggested that the fir tree, because of its conical shape pointing heavenward, is symbolic of the Holy Trinity. This suggestion had probably led to the tree getting adorned with candles and nuts and colored objects. The practice developed through the centuries and by the 19th century, all types of painted artifacts and glass ornaments were used for Christmas tree decoration.
It is in the 19th century that the practice of Christmas tree decoration became firmly established in America. In the beginning, fruits and popcorn were predominantly used as decorating items. Towards the end of the 19th century, F. W. Woolworth Company, the retail company that has now evolved into the sporting goods company Foot Locker, started importing Christmas ornaments. These ornaments became so popular that by the beginning of the 20th century its business resulted in about $25 million turnover for the company. By the time of the Second World War, the Corning Company, one of the leading manufacturers of glass and ceramic products, started producing Christmas ornaments. They mass-produced the ornaments and got it painted through other sources. The resultant products started selling well during the Christmas season and entrenched the practice of Christmas tree decoration which continues even now.
Christmas Tree Ornaments
The tree topper, which sits on top of a Christmas tree and crowns it, is the most important of Christmas tree ornaments. It is often seen as an independent unit by itself, rather than as a part of the Christmas tree. In olden days the tree topper always used to be an angel or a Christmas star, commemorating the birth of Jesus. This practice has changed with time, and now Santa Claus and snowman and Cinderella and wine bottles all make good tree toppers.
You can decorate the rest of the tree with small ornaments and candles and beads and bells. You can decorate it according to a theme, if you like. You can have a doll theme, chocolate theme, or forest theme in your home. An office can use a decoration theme based on the work that is being done there. Or you can just decorate the tree random, to produce a bright colorful effect. Many families have their own set of ornaments that they use year after year. Some of these ornaments will have stories behind them that the family members recount as they decorate the Christmas tree. Besides these, people like to add something new to their collection every year and also to use perishable goods like nuts and chocolates to decorate the tree.
Many people love to handcraft ornaments for their Christmas tree. Small ornaments can be made with wool and beads using a crochet or knitting needle. Those who can draw and paint can make animals and birds for decorations. Animals and birds and fairies can also be stenciled on cardboard and painted. During the Christmas season, all stores shelves will be full of stencils and ornament kits that will help you to produce decoration pieces easily.
You can also make ornaments out of cookie dough. First prepare the dough using the ingredients like flour, sugar, butter, egg etc. in the proportion in which you normally mix it for any of your cookies. Then flatten the dough and cut it out into fancy shapes. If you have the skill, you can also twist the dough into various shapes with your hand. After shaping it, punch a hole on the shaped dough and bake it. When fully baked, you can suspend it on your Christmas tree, passing a colored string through the hole you have punched on it.
All the decoration methods listed above are the ones that are routinely used. You can always try to find new methods for decorating.