Why Do We Hang Ornaments to Celebrate Christmas?

Stringing up the lights, buying gifts, going to a market, singing carols, and visiting Santa. In the lead-up to Christmas, there are many traditions we take part in to get us in the festive spirit. But there’s one tradition that no Christmas would be complete without — decorating the tree.

Lladró’s Christmas Tree figurines add some extra festive cheer to your home.

Whether you cut down a living evergreen each year or are a diehard believer in the artificial tree, there’s no denying that decorating the Christmas tree is one of the most beloved traditions of the season and a surefire way to get in the Christmas spirit. So it may come as a surprise that decorating the tree was originally not a Christian tradition at all but a Pagan one!

In ancient Europe, evergreen trees were revered as a symbol of life and hope as they stayed green throughout the year and were decorated with fruit and nuts around the time of the Winter Solstice, the longest, darkest time of the year, as a reminder of the coming Spring. But in the 1500s, Martin Luther, the founder of the Lutheran Church, was so awestruck by the beauty of these trees while traveling through Germany that he decided to bring one of the trees inside and decorate it with fruit, flowers, and candles as a reminder of the beauty of God’s creation. The idea of decorating a tree inside quickly caught on and spread throughout Western Europe. And in the 1800s a rush of German migration and a picture of Queen Victoria decorating a tree caused a massive uptake of the tradition across Europe and the US.

But modern decorations as we know them, although they were invented at around the same time, didn’t become popular until the 1900s when F.W. Woolworth began selling them in his American stores. Originally these ornaments were blown from glass and made to imitate the winter fruits like apples and berries that were hung on earlier trees, but as the tradition of decorating the tree spread, the types of ornaments available also changed to represent more specific elements of the Christmas story.


One of the most common types of ornament to hang on a Christmas tree are ones that are shaped like angels. These decorations can be hung amongst the other decorations of the tree, like Lladró’s Christmas Angel ornament, but are also often used as tree toppers. They represent the angel Gabriel, who appeared in Bethlehem in the Bible to tell Mary that she would give birth to Jesus, as well as the choirs of angels who, in the nativity story, appeared to announce the birth of Christ to the shepherds and the Wise Men.

Lladró’s Christmas Angel ornament (left) reminds us of the angels who celebrated at Jesus’ birth. The Holiday Joy Tree Topper (right) is the perfect finishing touch for any holiday tree.


The stars that are commonly seen atop Christmas trees also have a religious significance. The Christmas Star is an important part of the nativity story, an unusual star that led the Wise Men to the inn in Bethlehem where they presented their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus. The stars that decorate our trees are a reference to the original star of Bethlehem, which is why they are most often seen at the top of the tree, and sometimes even light up!


Christmas ornaments that are personalised with a date or name, like this 2023 Bauble, are a great way to capture festive memories

In modern times, the idea of personalised ornaments has grown increasingly popular. Christmas is the time of the year when most people are spending time with their family and friends, making new memories and reminiscing on days gone by, and having a tangible way of commemorating that time spent together is appealing to many people. Plus, a bauble or ornament is one momento that you’ll actually have a reason to use and remember each year. Lladró’s 2022 and 2023 Christmas ornaments are the perfect ornaments to commemorate this special time of year, and can be collected each year for a matching set of baubles to celebrate Christmases past, present, and future.

For more festive decorating and gifting ideas, contact our team or visit us in-store.


Back to blog