Since Mid-October (and to be honest, likely before) – there have been Christmas decorations adorning the shelves of stores, enticing customers in a hasty fashion. “Hurry! The Holidays are here and before you know it, everything will be gone and sold! Buy in advance or else!” An interesting concept, as most people these days frown against the practice of skipping over the remaining two months of holidays to rush into the end of December. However, this brings up a thought: when did it become normal, almost a necessity, for someone who celebrates Christmas – to buy trees, ornaments, garland, etc.? When and where did the concept of decorating come from? Is it a mixture of cultures? Where and why did it begin?
Christmas Decoration – Early Beginnings
The actual holiday of Christmas and its traditions have been explored for years, according to Ultimate History Project. Researchers and scholars have correlated the origins of Christmas to several different pagan festivals, which are all in close proximity of the winter solstice. (Dec.21st) The Roman holiday Saturnalia, as well as a second Roman holiday which celebrates the birthday of the unconquered sun, and even the Scandinavian holiday of Yule are thought to have some link to Christmas celebration.
Photo Credit: Ultimate History Project
Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree
Christmas trees and the practice of decorating them with ornaments have been around for centuries, with several theories about how these practices came to be. One of the most popular theories of the start of tree decoration customs was allegedly begun by a monk who came to Germany around the 8th century A.D. by the name of Saint Boniface, the Apostle of the Germans. According to various sources, Saint Boniface brought a fir tree to the German people to decorate, as its shape represented the Holy Trinity – God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. At this time, the main decor for a Christmas tree was candles. As time progressed, other decorations were created and so began the traditions of decorating the tree with a wide array of objects. Glass beads, hand-sewn objects, candies, bows, roses, and other objects were added to the modernizing Christmas tree.
To show how far ornaments have come, visit this news story about the dazzling Swarovski 2015 edition ornaments. (Sneak peek below).
Photo Credit: Senatus.net
Creating New Christmas Decorations and Traditions
Regardless of how one decides to decorate their Christmas tree or put up their Christmas decorations – the main thing is sharing the process with friends and family. As time progresses, certain ornaments may gain special meaning, and eventually, ornaments will be handed down once new generations begin to have Christmas trees of their own. In the spirit of the Holiday season, Merry Christmas!