Traditionally, Christmas trees were decorated on Christmas Eve and stayed up until the day after Twelfth Night, January 6th. Ironically, decorating an evergreen tree for Christmas supposedly started as the Protestant counterpart—as a symbol of the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden—to Catholic Nativity scenes which are now often displayed under a tree.
Early decorations were foods such as sugared plums, gilded apples, white candy canes and strings of popcorn and cranberries. Woolworth’s was one of the first retailers to sell glass ornaments imported from Europe, and later made in the US, as the tradition made it’s way across many lands and down the social ladder from royalty.
Today, ornaments are made of glass, paper, wood, porcelain…most of us reminisce as we put up favorites from Christmases past and add new ones each year. Hosting a tree decorating party can be a quiet evening visiting—creating new memories while the work gets done—and before guests are off to a second or third party of the night.