Evolution of the Christmas Tree

Logo with LayersMemories of Christmas Past is now open at The Arms Family Museum!  Don’t miss this exhibit of one of a kind vintage holiday decor!

Here are some of our own Memories of Christmas Past highlighting the Evolution of the Christmas Tree:

The White Tree

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The White Tree tradition originated in Pennsylvania with settlers on the frontier who, rather than cutting down good trees, would cut down a “waste” tree, usually a sassafras tree, and wrap it in cotton batting to make what appeared to be a snow covered tree.  Traditionally it is adorned with fruit, nuts, cookies, and other confectionaries.

The Feather Tree

IMG_3661The German Feather Tree is made of actual dyed goose feathers, wrapped around a wire branch. These trees were made in several shades of green, white, blue and even red. The feather tree was more of a conservation issue at the time: people thought trees were being wasted so they invented the feather tree as a way to conserve real trees. Glass ornaments and beaded garlands are featured on this tree. The ornaments on the tree represent what was typical during the 1880’s and 1890’s.

Victorian Era Tree

IMG_3679On this Victorian Era balsam tree is a representation of the traditional candles that were lit to illuminate the tree, as well as “Fairy Lamps” which were filled with oil and a wick and were lit for a short period of time. The ornaments on the tree are authentic Dresden ornaments, made in Germany, and are embossed cardboard and tinsel.

American 1950’s-1970’s Era Tree

IMG_8119This tree is a representation of  1950s, 60s, and 70s era eclectic decorations, from lighting to ornaments. The 9 foot tree is dressed with over 300 American “Shiny Brite” ornaments and other ornaments.

Bonus:  The Bubble Light Tree

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The “Bubble Light Tree,” another novelty item in representation of a Christmas tree. Each vial is filled with a liquid with an additive that will bubble from the heat of the light bulb.