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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Decorating the Christmas Tree

Decorating the Christmas Tree

History: Some historians contend that decorating the Christmas tree extends back to the 7th century to a monk who went to Germany. He brought a tree for the people to decorate with simple, white candles. It wasn’t until 1610 that tinsel (made with pure silver) was added to the tree.

Eventually, the Christmas tree made its way to England where decorations became more ornate, with glass beads and hand-sewn snowflakes. In the 1800s, the tradition of decorating the tree crossed the Atlantic and became a staple in American homes ever since.

A few tips for decorating a Christmas tree:

  • Use two sets of lights. The shorter set will spiral around the trunk of the tree from top to bottom, while the longer version will spiral around the branches.
  • Use two color schemes: Place the main color on the tips of the branches and the secondary color deeper into the tree, giving depth to the display.
  • Use a unique, as well as elegant ornament at the top that symbolizes the spirit of Christmas. (Stars and angels have been some of the popular choices in the past).
  • Keep you tree fresh and green: It’s important to check and refill the water level several times a day for the first week. You can cut down on frequency later.
  • Try prolonging the life of your tree by mixing up a concoction of 1 quart water, ½ cup light corn syrup, and 1 teaspoon of liquid bleach.

Decorate for the winter! Find helpful tips on ways to decorate not just for the holiday but for the season here.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.