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Christmas Decorations - Ideas For Your Tree And Home
Start Your Christmas Decorations Collection
Christmas decorations: stowed away for eleven months of the year, then brought out to shine for the Christmas season. Ornaments are generally reused year after year, and family collections often contain a mixture of shop bought ornaments and decorations made by family members, passed on and added to from generation to generation.
Santa Claus, candy canes, baubles and streamers, glittering orbs, strings of lights - and, of course, the fairy at the top. Or a star.
Christmas Decorating Ideas
Hang a wreath
- Use a 3M hanger, adhesive backed so you don't need to use a nail.
- Bake some Christmas cookies using Christmas themed cookie cutters and use them to decorate the tree.
Hang a stocking
- Over the fireplace. Where else? But make it a big stocking. Maybe crocheted squares, multicoloured. I'm talking impressive stocking.
Baubles are one of the most popular Christmas ornament designs, and they've been in production since 1847, first made in Lauscha, Germany, by Hans Greiner, who first produced them.
Before baubles came along, the first decorated trees were hung with apples, strings of popcorn, candy canes and pastries shaped like stars, hearts, and flowers.
Handmade Christmas Ornaments
Lauscha, a small town in Germany, became known for its glass-blowing when Hans Greiner and Christoph Müller set up the town's first glassworks in 1597. The Thuringia region where it was located had been home to glassmaking since the 12th century.having a fortunate confluence of those elements necessary for glass-making: timber, for firing the glass ovens, and sand.
In 1847 another Hans Greiner, descendant of that Hans Greiner who had established Lauscha's first glassworks, began to make glass ornaments shaped like fruits and nuts.
His artisans heated a glass tube, inserted the tube into a clay mold, and blew the heated glass to fill the mold. The inside of the ornament was silvered using a compound of silver nitrate and sugar water, a technique developed in the 1850s by Justus von Liebig. Afterwards, the ornament was painted by hand and had a hanging hook attached.
Queen Victoria's Christmas Tree
Soon, the whole of Germany began buying Christmas baubles from Lauscha, and other glassblowers began to follow the trend, and make them in a wide range of designs.
On Christmas Eve, 1832, a young Queen Victoria wrote of her delight at having a tree hung with lights and ornaments, with presents placed around it. In the 1840s, after a picture of Victoria's Christmas tree had appeared in a London newspaper, decorated with glass ornaments and baubles from Germany, Lauscha began to export its glassware throughout Europe.
In the 1880s, American F. W. Woolworth discovered Lauscha's baubles during a visit to Germany, and made a fortune importing the ornaments to the still wider market in the USA.
Outdoor Christmas Decorations
Outdoor Christmas lights
- This is where you compete with the neighbours. Not that it's going to get hostile, or weird. No sir. Nothing unhealthy going on here.
- See the nothing weird ruling above. Ah heck, go to town with the lights and inflatables. 'When it comes to inflatables - GO BIG, OR DON'T GO AT ALL.' That's my motto. It's on my family crest.
Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas
- Go eccentric. It doesn't have to be an angel or a star. There are options.
- Well, why not? Everybody likes feathers.
- The Christmas tree style statement. Try gold on its own, with no other colour. Or silver. Silver's good.
'And At The Very Top, A Large Star...'
Although glass baubles are still produced, many are now made from plastic, available worldwide in a variety of shapes, colors and designs.
'And at the very top a large star of gold tinsel was fixed.'
- From 'The Fir Tree', by Hans Christian Andersen.
In American English, this star is known as a 'tree-topper', and is often the prize item in any collection of Christmas decorations. Tree toppers are often electrified and light up. Various Christmas icons, such as Santa Claus, have been used as electrified tree toppers. The angel or star are still the toppers of choice for most people.
Christmas Table Decorations
- Because it's Christmas.
Holly centre piece
- Get the real thing from the garden. Or steal it from someone else's.
- Because relatives become almost bearable when they're wearing party hats.
More Christmas Decorations
A Great And Persistent Christmas Tradition
And that's it. A great and persistent Christmas tradition which provides harmless pleasure to families all over the world today. Have you got a Christmas decorations collection? It's a good time to start one, and a great gift to leave your children.