Decorating homes for the holidays is a longstanding tradition that has grown grander with time. The most popular holiday that people enjoy decorating for is Christmas. These decorations have grown in popularity and abundance with people choosing to decorate their homes inside and out. The exact year outdoor decorating became popular seems to be up for debate. Currently, some neighbourhoods adopt a decorating theme then put on quite a display for others to enjoy.
Being a fan of decorating for most holidays I found myself wondering how it all got started in the first place. With Alexa and Google at my fingertips, I began my research. I was surprised to learn that decorating indoors using trees was an incredibly ancient tradition.
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The earliest account I found was in 1600 with Germany being credited with using trees indoors when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. Some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles.
The earliest information I found on commercially constructed artificial trees was in the 1800s when goose feathers were dead green and used to cover the branches of a fake tree. Artificial trees have taken on many forms throughout the years.
One, not so fondly, that stands out in my mind introduced in the late 1950s, was the silver aluminium tree with a colour wheel shining on the tree with bright changing colours. With the popularity of decorating homes for the holidays, many businesses seized the opportunity to sell enticing decorations creating a multibillion-dollar industry.
Decorating for the holidays is still popular with Easter being the second most popular holiday. The Germans seem to get credit for this holiday, too. When German immigrants arrived in America in the 1700s, they brought with them the tradition of giving children brightly decorated baskets filled with eggs, candy and prizes.
As the tradition caught on things became even grander with lavish parties and Easter egg hunts. In the early 1900s, wealthy New Yorkers would dress in their finest and stroll down 5th Avenue on Easter Sunday with locals turning out to see the latest fashions. This perhaps could be the start of the ever-popular Easter parade.
As people’s collections of holiday decorations grew over the years there are those who collect expensive and elaborate pieces such as porcelain and Crystal while others such as me preferred to bargain shop for their treasures. I get a thrill browsing thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales and even dollar stores. I have bought so many cute and inexpensive items this way.
If you too are a bargain shopper, remember to look for items in the off season when they are likely marked way down. Another tip is to shop retail stores shortly after a holiday when prices are slashed up to 90%. I enjoy browsing thrift stores locally and when travelling. If you are wondering if there are any thrift stores near your location, I suggest you give TheThriftShopper a try. You never know what treasure is waiting for you to find.
Written by Londie Jones