An Ornamental History
Every year in December, many of us buy Christmas trees and hang little ornaments. Decorating the tree together as a family has become a tradition over the generations...but how and where did it all start?
It wasn’t the United States, contrary to popular belief. Correct answer is Germany!
Although many historians believe that the idea of using evergreen trees to celebrate the winter solstice can be traced back to ancient times in Egypt, the “modern day” Christmas tree is believed to have originated from Germany in the 1500s. Small evergreen trees were adorned with fruits, candles, and nuts and used in church plays. Also known as “paradise trees,” eventually Christian families began to include these trees in their own home during the holidays. After that, the tradition spread throughout Europe.
As Germans emigrated to the United States in the 1700s and 1800s, they continued the tradition in the United States. Many Americans rejected the practice believing it was a pagan ritual. However, German families kept practicing it in secret. Everything changed in America when a photo of Queen Victoria and her German-born husband Albert were shown with a lavish Christmas tree in 1840.
Who doesn’t want to emulate a queen right? Eventually, many American families started adopting the practice. Businesses realized the potential for profit in selling ornaments to decorate trees...and the rest is history!
By the 1890s, Woolworth’s Department Store was selling $25 MILLION dollars in German-imported glass ornaments. Fast forward to 2019, many businesses make their own ornaments and sell them in November and December annually. Glass, tinsel, yarn, silk and wool are often used to make ornaments. Although the historical and religious significance may have been lost over the centuries, culturally, Christmas tree decorating has become a staple.
We at Axiom Print make acrylic ornaments where you can print a photo of yourself or a family member!
It’s our newest product and we are excited to offer it this year! Make the ornaments on your tree extra special with personalized acrylic ornaments.