Ourdoor Christmas Ornaments - History


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The Evolution of Outdoor Christmas Decorations
For many of us, decorating the outside of our home at Christmas is just as important as decorating the inside. Perhaps it has something to do with our competitive spirit, or maybe it’s nobler—the wish to have everyone feel as excited about this time of year as we do. Regardless of the reason, the explosive popularity of outdoor Christmas decorating means that choosing outdoor Christmas ornaments has become more and more of an important decision.


The experience of decorating with outdoor Christmas ornaments isn’t new, mainly because the very first Christmas trees were outdoor ones. In medieval Germany, every year on December 24th the townspeople would get together and decorate a “Paradise Tree” in the town square. This tree was then used in a play that depicted Adam and Eve’s fall by eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. That’s why outdoor Christmas ornaments were placed on an evergreen tree—the tree that symbolized eternal life. Eventually, the tree moved from the outside in the town square to the inside of houses.


The process of decorating the outside of a house with outdoor Christmas ornaments and lights didn’t really catch on in popularity until the late 1940’s, when electricity was cheap enough that outdoor lighting was practical. Every year it has become more and more elaborate. Most people aren’t simply content to hang a few outdoor Christmas ornaments on some bushes or place a strand of lights on the roof. Outdoor Christmas ornaments and decorations stretch to the front and the back yard, the roof and the porch, the sidewalk and the trees.


Along with the diversity of what gets decorated, the decorations themselves have become increasingly elaborate over the years. Take Christmas lights. You can get small bulbs that twinkle in a pattern, large bulbs that glow bright and steady, small white lights intermeshed in net or icicle patterns, and large flood lights in red or green. You can get metal and plastic frames in the shape of a reindeer or Santa’s sleigh and attach lights to it, giving it a charming silhouette against the dark night.


In recent years, a growing trend in outdoor Christmas ornaments and decorations includes lighted plastic figurines. These hollow plastic figures are usually in the shape of nativity figures such as Mary, Joseph, the wise men, or baby Jesus. A light bulb is then placed inside, and these outdoor Christmas ornaments glow from within, creating a very pretty and tranquil scene. While most lighted plastic figures are religious, you cn still find ones in nondenominational styles like Santa, reindeer, or elves.


Another popular way today’s neighbors are using outdoor Christmas ornaments is with decorating plants and trees with bulbs and other decorations. While the lights look wonderful in the nighttime, they are a comparative let down during the day, when all that’s visible is the house with a few sad looking plastic figures waiting for their nighttime radiance. It’s at times like these where outdoor Christmas ornaments can be particularly useful. Many companies such as Bronner’s specialize in selling shatter proof glass, plastic, and resin outdoor Christmas ornaments that can be hung on bushes, tree branches, and other outdoor plants. That way, the outside of your home can look stunning in the day or in the night.