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President Johnson's 1967 White House Christmas...Image via WikipediaChristmas is a time for decorating your home and your neighborhood and bringing a sense of joy and warmth to your family and others. From tinsel to trees, ribbons to wreaths, and ornaments to gingerbread men, the holiday season is full of colorful Christmas related décor.

There are some interesting facts about some common Christmas decorations you may not know.

For example, the shiny ribbons of silver we put on our tree called Tinsel originated from Germany in the early 1600s. The first real tinsel was actually made from real silver and cut into very thin strips. Machines were used to cut the sheets of silver, and then the resulting strips were hung on the tree. Of course, the newer version does not turn colors due to rust or tarnish, is much lighter, and much less expensive.

You may enjoy buying a new, fresh live Christmas tree each year, but some people prefer to buy the artificial version. These "fake Christmas trees" also came from Germany. They used to be constructed of metal wires with goose or other birds' feathers attaches to represent the branches. At one point, these trees were made of brushes, much like toilet brushes, until finally in the 1950s, artificial trees started to be manufactured that looked much more realistic. These were manufactured in America and have remained a popular décor item to this day.

During the snowy winter months, you probably see snowmen all over the neighborhood. It may be surprising to learn that the first snowman known as Arktos came from Greek legend. Ever since then, the snowman has become the thing of legend. Some of the most popular nicknames for snowmen include Jack Frost and Frosty the Snowman. People love to build these frozen men in their front yards and top them off with a hat, scarf, carrot nose, and eyes made of coal. They are a comforting and friendly sight throughout the Christmas season.

In the 1830s, an Englishman by the name of John Calcott Horsley began sending beautiful photos and cards as a way to express holiday cheer for others. This is when the Christmas card was born. Today, it is one of the most common ways to celebrate the holiday and to share your love for others during the season.

Most of the Christmas decorations we use today have a long and storied history that many people may not know about. It is amazing to see where these traditions came from and how much they have evolved over the years since they first began.

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Jen said... @ 12/05/2008 12:40 PM

Thanks for the info. I just blogged about memories of the christmas tree recently and wish I had known some of this then.

Cascia said... @ 12/06/2008 6:54 AM

Very interesting. I love Wikipedia! I also use that site to look up facts for my blog. Thank you for sharing!

Stacy's Random Thoughts said... @ 12/07/2008 1:30 PM

Great post! I just linked it on my blog, because I read it earlier yesterday then lost the page due to browser troubles...it was bugging me for HOURS until I finally found it again! :) Thanks for a great post - I enjoyed it very much! :)

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