Why Do We Decorate Christmas Trees?

History, Decorating Tips & More!

Christmas tree at Easthampstead Park in Wokingham

Ever wondered why we decorate Christmas trees? It’s believed to have begun with trees being decorated in biblical and nativity plays. 

As these plays became more rowdier, they were banned in the 16th century. This led people to shift their focus to decorating their homes instead, with the Christmas tree taking centre stage. 

The tradition continued to grow and eventually churches also began displaying them too. 

At Easthampstead Park we love filling our country hotel with beautifully decorated Christmas trees during the festive season. And that got us curious about the history behind it. 

Keep reading to learn more on why we decorate Christmas trees!

christmas tree decorations at easthampstead park in berkshire

History of Christmas tree decorations

Long ago before Christmas trees became holiday decorations, they were just pleasant-smelling evergreens that brought joy to people during the cold winter months.

In ancient times the winter solstice was heralded a sign of brighter days to come as the Sun God was getting stronger.

The tradition of Christmas trees as we know it today began in 16th-century Germany. Christians there started to decorate trees or if they couldn't afford one, they'd make simple pyramid-shaped wooden structures inside their homes.

These early Christmas trees were adorned with fruit, nuts, and sugary sweets, while parents would also hang toys and gifts from the branches. Some even placed lit candles on the trees, although that was quite risky.

However, in most parts of the country people were still unsure about decorating Christmas trees. 

It wasn't until Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (who had German roots) were pictured in a popular newspaper in 1848 standing around a Christmas tree with their family. 

This made the tradition more widely accepted as the Queen was very influential in her time. 

Decorations like ornaments became popular in the late 1800s. People also made their own decorations which included cookies and garlands.

By the 20th century technology had advanced and homemade decorations were replaced by twinkling lights and materials like tinsel.

christmas tree at easthampstead park in berkshire

How do you decorate a Christmas tree?

Here are 5 simple tips for decorating the perfect Christmas tree:

1. Choose a good artificial tree and fluff its branches for a fuller more natural look.

2. Decide on a theme and colour scheme before adding decorations.

3. Start with the lights if your tree doesn't come with them.

4. Spread out decorations and start from top to bottom for a balanced look.

5. Get various decorations like baubles, tree picks, ribbons and scented ornaments.

christmas tree in bar at easthampstead park in berkshire

We hope you enjoyed reading our article on "Why do we decorate Christmas trees?" 

If you're interested in more Christmas related reads check out our articles on "What is Twixmas?" and "Who invented the Christmas wreath?"

For those in Berkshire seeking a fantastic way to celebrate the festive season, don't miss the opportunity to explore our wonderful offerings here at Easthampstead Park.

snowy easthampstead park in berkshire

Frequently Asked Questions Related to: Why do we decorate Christmas trees?

Q: Who introduced Christmas trees to UK?
A: Many believe that Prince Albert (Queen Victorias consort) brought the first Christmas tree to England in 1840. However, it was Queen Charlotte (who was married to King George III) that set up the first known tree in Windsor at Queen's Lodge back in December 1800.

Q: Is decorating a Christmas tree a family tradition?
A: Many families have the tradition of decorating the Christmas tree together. But you can also decorate it alone, with friends, or with your partner if you like.

Q: Who brought Christmas trees to Christmas?
A: Germany is credited with beginning the Christmas tree tradition as we know it today. In the 16th century devout Christians started bringing decorated trees into their homes.