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Tinsel Through Time: The Changing Face of Christmas Decorations

The festive season brings with it a tapestry of decorations that light up homes and hearts around the world. The tradition of adorning our spaces during Christmas is as ancient as it is joyful, with each ornament hanging on the tree or each wreath adorning a door carrying centuries of history and a sprinkle of magic.

A Historical Perspective

The roots of Christmas decorations are deeply entwined with history and cultural evolution. In ancient times, during midwinter, people would decorate their homes with evergreen boughs to ward off evil spirits and to symbolise life amidst the cold, barren winter months. The Romans would celebrate Saturnalia, a festival in honour of Saturn, the god of agriculture, by decorating their temples and homes with greenery.

Fast forward to the 16th century, when the tradition of the Christmas tree as we know it began in Germany. It was believed that Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, was the first to add lighted candles to a tree, mimicking the starlit heavens that he admired one clear winter night. The Christmas tree tradition spread throughout Europe and later to America, with each era adding its own touches. The Victorians popularised lavish decorations, incorporating intricate handmade ornaments and gilded nuts

The Evolution of Ornaments

In the 19th century, with the advancements of the Industrial Revolution, Christmas ornaments began to be mass-produced. This led to a shift from handcrafted decorations to store-bought baubles, which were often less personal but more convenient. Glassblowers in Germany created the first glass ornaments, and their popularity soared. By the 20th century, electric Christmas lights had replaced candles, and decorations became increasingly elaborate.

However, in recent times, there’s been a resurgence of interest in homemade decorations. This brings us to the heartwarming joy and unique personal touch that comes with DIY Christmas décor.

The Delight of Making Your Own

Creating your own Christmas decorations is a wonderful way to inject a bit of personal flair into the festive season. There’s something inherently special about spending time crafting something with your own hands, whether it’s a simple paper chain, a hand-stitched stocking, or an intricately painted bauble. It connects us to the rich history of the holiday, reminding us of a time when each decoration was made with care and had its own story.

Homemade decorations also offer a canvas for creativity and togetherness. Family and friends can gather to create pieces that will not only beautify the home but will also serve as cherished mementos for years to come. Workshops like Create98 in the Southend area offer the perfect setting for such creative endeavours, providing a warm, friendly environment where the community can come together and craft beautiful, personalised Christmas decorations.

In the act of making something by hand, there’s a sense of accomplishment and an opportunity to slow down and reflect on the meaning of the season. Moreover, it’s an eco-friendly alternative to the mass-produced decorations that dominate store shelves, allowing for a sustainable celebration that honours the spirit of Christmas.


From the evergreens of ancient winter solstice rituals to the twinkling lights of modern-day homes, Christmas decorations have always been a beacon of hope and celebration. As we look back on the changing tides of history, we find that the true essence of Christmas decor lies in the joy it brings to our hearts and homes. And perhaps this year, amidst the jingle of bells and the whispers of the winter wind, you might decide to start a new tradition – one that involves rolling up your sleeves and creating something beautiful that’s uniquely yours.

So, this season, why not gather some supplies, maybe even take part in a local workshop, and start crafting? The happiness and pride that come from hanging your very own handmade decoration are unmatched. It’s a tradition that’s timeless, personal, and most importantly, filled with joy.