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Christmas decorations & ornaments

The History and Symbolism of Christmas Ornaments

Christmas ornaments have a rich history and carry a variety of symbolic meanings. These decorative items are an integral part of the celebrations and are typically hung on trees or used to adorn homes during the festive season.

Let's delve into the history and symbolism of Christmas decorations...


The tradition of decorating trees during winter festivals dates back to ancient times. Pagans used to bring evergreen boughs indoors as a symbol of life during the cold winter months.

The concept of Christmas trees can be traced back to Germany in the 16th century when devout Christians started decorating trees with candles and small items like apples, nuts and wafers.

The custom of using actual ornaments as we know them today is believed to have originated in the 19th century.

German glassblowers began creating handcrafted glass shaped like fruits, nuts, and other festive symbols.

These items quickly gained popularity and spread across Europe and eventually to North America.

Symbolism of Ornaments:

  1. Stars: Often placed at the top of the Christmas tree, stars symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, which according to the biblical account, led the Three Wise Men to the birthplace of Jesus.

  2. Angels: Representing the heavenly messengers, angels symbolise the announcement of Jesus' birth to the shepherds.

  3. Baubles: These round ornaments represent the fruits of the Garden of Eden and represent the gifts of God to mankind.

  4. Candy Canes: Shaped like shepherd's hooks, candy canes are said to represent the shepherds who visited baby Jesus. The red colour symbolizes the blood of Christ and the white represents purity.

  5. Bells: Capturing the essence of joy and celebration, bells are reminiscent to those rung by churches.

  6. Wreaths: Often displayed on doors or hung on walls, wreaths represent eternity and the circle of life.

  7. Snowflakes: Associated with the purity and the uniqueness of each individual, snowflakes are a popular ornament during the winter season.

  8. Candles: Originally used to light up trees before the advent of electricity, candles represent the light of Christ illuminating the world.

  9. Nativity scene: These figurines depict the birth of Jesus in the stable, along with figures of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the animals, serving as a reminder of the religious elements.

Throughout the years, these types of decorations have evolved to include a wide array of designs, materials, and styles, but their underlying symbolism remains tied to the religious and festive aspects of the holiday season.

They not only add beauty to the home but also serve as visual reminders of the spiritual significance of Christmas.