Top 5 facts: The history of Christmas decorations

(Image credit: Svetlanabar/Pixabay)

1. Baubles

The first glass Christmas tree ornaments were made by glassblower Hans Greiner in the 16th century as he couldn’t afford to decorate with real apples.

2. Tinsel

Tinsel was introduced to Christmas in 1610. The original decorations were arguably more impressive as they were made of strands of pure silver. 

3. Candy canes

The invention of candy canes dates back to 1670, when a choirmaster provided the treats to choir boys with the aim of keeping them quiet throughout a ceremony. Their design is based on traditional shepherds’ sticks.

4. Christmas trees

Christmas trees are believed to have been used to celebrate winter for around 1,000 years. Throughout winter, the fir tree branches were used to remind people that spring would be next to arrive. 

5. Christmas lights

The first electric Christmas tree lights were invented in 1895, as the candles that were previously being used were causing too many fires.


For more science and technology articles, get your Christmas subscription to How It Works for as little as £7.15 on our website now. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you can also download the digital version onto your iOS or Android device. To make sure you never miss an issue of How It Works magazine, subscribe today!