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From Halls Decked With Holly to Tacky Christmas Lights - Why We Decorate at Christmas

Aug 22, 2008
At Christmas time, being tacky and filling our homes with kitsch, is excusable. Colourful lights, various ornaments and mistletoe provide a joyful environment for us to hide our Gifts under the Christmas tree. Above all, preparing for Christmas feeds our anticipation for when it finally arrives - along with the gifts! Decorations create an atmosphere that makes us feel warm and at home with loved ones. Hanging ornaments on the Christmas tree is often considered an enjoyable activity with the family. In some cases, people will create their own decorations or gifts, with the help of their artistic skills! Different households have different methods of decorating their homes. Some rely on typical objects such as lights, ornaments and Santa figures while others shy away from them. They may wish to be less over-the-top and subtly decorate their homes with a few vintage ornaments. However one question remains, why do we decorate in the first place? After some research we have come to the following conclusions:

Why people decorate their entire homes beside just the tree has several interpretations. Most of these traditions originate from hundreds of years ago when winter time was viewed as a time for celebration. The Christmas tree for example derives its history from the Germans who honoured these evergreen trees. The first time a tree was decorated inside, was by Martin Luther who displayed it with lights and put Christmas gifts underneath it. Holly is another example of am evergreen plant that is utilised for decoration and given as gifts at Christmas time, but some people believe that it also has religious connotations. Originating from the Pagans, mistletoe represents elements of the Christian religion and still symbolises fertility. Christmas Cards are considered to have originated from Britain in the 19th century due to increasing speed in mail delivery and flourishing technology. Over time the idea of Christmas decorations and gifts expanded. This means Christmas trees and Holly are not all that is displayed during the winter holiday period. Stockings, figures, banners, candles, seasonal gifts from previous years and the likes are brought out as well. Besides being for appearance purposes, such decorations may also be hand crafted by many creative individuals. If you have children, making Christmas decorations and hanging them up will help keep them busy and entertained as they wait to unwrap their Gifts

Christmas decorations whether bought or crafted do not always have to be tacky or old-fashioned. They can be tasteful, contemporary or classic. For example ornate Christmas decorations made from polished glass, such as the 12 Days of Christmas. Not only do they make lovely gifts but can be hung on a Christmas tree as well. Being made from glass, makes these precious ornaments special and unique to be re-used every year or given away to loved ones as Christmas gifts.

For those who are more creative minded, you can create your own Christmas cards to give along with your gifts. To make it easy, gift card materials can be acquired in sets and kits with different themes such as Santa's Grotto, Vintage Moments, 'Noel Noel' and so on. Each of them include 5 cards and envelopes with appropriate decorations that can be assembled in any way you like

Similarly a kit to make your own Christmas Crackers is a useful way to disguise some gifts at Christmas time. It provides a fun way to unwrap gifts and keep the family entertained in the evening. It makes up to 6 crackers with snaps, ties, coloured hats and labels. They are easy to make and therefore provide another opportunity to do something creative with your friends or relatives during Christmas time. Novelty gifts such as these are always well received

A Vintage Christmas Stocking allows for further classical Christmas decorations and gifts. Made of cotton, it has an embroidered message and plenty of room for gifts and toys. Particularly for impatient children, it can be used for some preliminary Christmas gifts a few days in advance.

We may never know what exactly made human kind decide to decorate the way we do at Christmas time. Perhaps it really was religion and history that sparked these traditions. None the less, we must admit that we love these tacky ornaments, colourful kitsch and millions of lights that we must dig out of our cellars and display annually. Let us not forget the fun we have when creating our own Christmas decorations, cards and Gifts from various materials. It gives us another reason to spend some time with our friend and families during the hectic winter holidays.
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