From the tree of sin to the Christmas tree
Hanging real apples on a Christmas tree would be considered fancy Christmas tree decorations again these days! Nevertheless, it is probably the oldest custom of decorating a Christmas tree and, according to research, goes back to the Old Testament tree of paradise in the history of paradise: the apples hanging from the conifer symbolized the notorious apple of knowledge, because of the enjoyment of which Eve, Adam and all later people were excluded from paradise. In the Middle Ages, attempts were made to educate people religiously through plays such as the Paradise Play. The Evergreen Tree of Paradise was a theatre prop! Its connection to the New Testament feast of the Nativity of Christ developed later.
The decorated conifer did not play a leading role at Christmas until the 15th century : apples were joined by gingerbread and "Springerle" (model pastries). Chocolate was wrapped in glittering paper and hung on the branches. Walnuts painted in silver and gold, strung on a string, were slung around the fir tree as garlands.
Of course, people could not resist decorating the coniferous tree with symbolic, Christmas figures. Many older people are familiar with classics such as shiny metallic Christmas balls made of coated glass, wooden or straw stars, wonderful gold foil angels and mouth-blown kingfishers with clips. Since the Christmas tree tradition first spread in cool climate zones of Europe, winter motifs were added: icy glittering tinsel, snow pollination, poinsettias, reindeer with loaded sleighs, little Santa's on skis, crystalline snowflakes: first lovingly handcrafted, later also from industrial production - entire branches of production became famous for their Christmas tree decorations.
Unusual Christmas tree decorations - global
Christmas tree is popular worldwide today . Many countries have adopted the traditional tree ornaments, albeit often made of plastic. But some country-specific tree decorations stand out as particularly unusual Christmas tree decorations :
- Denmark: The "Kræmmerhus", a bag of candy, nuts and Christmas cookies decorates Danish Christmas trees as a sweet promise.
- Spain: In Spain, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar hang - festively wrapped - from chocolate in the tree and are eaten on January 6th. There is a highlight of the Christmas festival on Epiphany. The Christmas tree itself is a new custom for the Spaniards, which has only found its way into their homes since the end of the 20th century.
- Mexico: Cheerfully, brightly coloured star piñatas made of papier-mâché with paper flags waving on the prongs are immediately recognizable as a Mexican custom. Piñatas are a must at any party where children are the focus. However, the little star piñatas on Mexican Christmas trees don't contain the obligatory candy filling - and aren't smashed as usual to get at the tasty contents!
- Africa: In Africa, where the colonial powers introduced the Christmas tree in many places, cypresses are often decorated due to the lack of Christmas trees. The Africans also develop imagination when creating artificial Christmas trees: For example, a mini Christmas tree from South Africa, handmade from glass and beads, is commercially available.
- Thailand: Today, even people in countries that are not predominantly Christian love the Christmas tree. However, sometimes misused for the feeling of a devout Central European. You often no longer recognize the tree because of the sheer decoration: In Bangkok (Thailand), for example, a huge tree in a public square was completely decorated with basketballs and footballs, entwined with wide garlands, modelled on the perimeter advertising in sports stadiums. Only the pyramid shape hints at the idea of the Christmas tree behind it.
- America: From America, where, by the way, people also prefer shrill, overloaded Christmas trees, the preference for personalized, medal-shaped pendants has spilled over to Europe. These round ornaments with souvenir photos of dear relatives and good times, with individual dedications, also dangle on the Christmas tree between rich tree decorations. Beloved pets are also considered.
Elegant and unusual Christmas tree decorations
The trend is to decorate the Christmas tree decorations in a uniform style or as a motto tree:
- Victorian Christmas tree decorations look nostalgic and noble. Today's production comes from, among other things, an old glass blowing tradition in Thuringia. With these beautiful jewellery elements, some of which are decorated with pearl necklaces, you can dream yourself into the past.
- Contrary to the traditional, on the other hand, themed Christmas trees often have an effect: today you can express every preference, every hobby in tree decorations. Disney figures, trendy mythical creatures such as unicorns, vintage cars, an oriental ambience or Swarovski crystal - almost everything is also available as a tree decoration edition. Motto decorations are always unusual Christmas tree decorations that attract attention.
Unusual Christmas tree decorations made from natural materials
- If you like it elegant and simple, you might love handmade ornamental Christmas tree decorations made of olive wood.
- On the other hand, hand-felted woolly animals as pendants look funny and colourful. They are decorated for winter: a red woolly fox with a decorated tip of its tail and a silvery snowflake that it is carrying in its mouth is particularly cute. These are unique!
- You can find instructions on the Internet for paper decorative ornaments based on Christmas tree balls. If you're clever, you can decorate the whole tree with tasteful homemade decorations. We also have a paper Christmas decoration tutorial on our blog.
Macabre and oddities
- With all the celestial splendour, it might come as a shock to you to learn that in some places, gold-plated miniature grenades adorned the Christmas tree instead of gold pine cones in some places during the First World War. Submarines, fighter planes, battleships and airships also reflected the events of the war - on the Christmas tree ! This is unusual Christmas tree decorations - but disregarding Christ's message!
- After this shock, the glitter-decorated little "Sixpack beer Christmas tree pendant" appears as a forgivable taste aberration!
- Some can't get away from it even under the Christmas tree: You can also enjoy the charming emojis when you've all put down your cell phones to celebrate together. Just make sure there are enough emoji baubles in the tree!
- Last but not least: an unusual Christmas tree decoration from America, really bizarre when you suddenly see "them" peeking out from between the greenery of the fir trees - a pickle! Greenish iridescent, naturalistic design made of plastic, tin or glass: Whoever discovers them first will be lucky next year and will be rewarded with an additional gift! Americans think the custom originated in Germany - but no, we didn't invent the Christmas pickle, did we?
With all the overabundance of some Christmas trees, it might be nice to have this picture in mind at the end: How a group of children from a home with their carers go into the forest on Christmas Eve and decorate a small fir tree in the twilight, with carrots, apples and nuts for the animals. The most beautiful does not always have to be an unusual Christmas tree decoration. How about these DIY Christmas shakers for your Christmas tree, for example?