Red apples in France
Hundreds of year ago, real fruit was used to decorate trees across France. However, it’s said that after a bad harvest one year there was a lack of fruit to decorate with, so glass ornaments were made to recreate them. Hanging red apple decorations are especially used on French Christmas trees as they are also linked to religious symbolism from Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Sparkly spiderwebs and spiders in Ukraine
One of the more unusual Christmas tree decorations from around the world are spiderwebs and spiders which are regularly seen on Ukrainian trees. Not a hangover from Halloween, these pretty spiders and webs are used to celebrate a famous folktale. There once was a poor family who couldn’t afford to decorate their Christmas tree, a Christmas spider was said to have decorated the tree with spiderwebs that tuned to gold and silver on Christmas morning meaning that they were never poor again. Glittery webs and spiders are seen nestled in trees across the Ukraine in the hope to bring similar good fortune.
Popcorn on a string in the USA
Retro images of American families decorating their Christmas tree often include delicate strings of popcorn draped across the branches. This decoration was very popular in the 50s and 60s, though many American still adorn their tree with these lines of popcorn today. The origin is said to be from when outdoor Christmas trees were decorated with food for birds and other wildlife, but Americans liked the look so much that they continued to use them even when Christmas trees were brought indoors.
Shell ornaments in Australia
Due to the summer season in Australia, decorations for the nation’s Christmas trees tend to have much less of a wintery feel with less of an emphasis on snow and ice. For example, you’ll often find shells adorning the branches of Christmas trees down under. These can be in varying styles, either kept simple or made more festive with glitter and embellishments.
Straw ‘himmeli’ in Finland
These geometric structures have been a staple in Finland for generations. Traditionally made from rye straw, they were hung above dining tables at Christmas and remained there until Midsummer as they were said to bring a good harvest. They have stayed popular over the years and can be seen on the trees of many Finnish homes, in a variation of different materials and colours. In fact, the chic and minimal look means that they have become particularly popular on Pinterest.
Homemade paper hearts in Denmark
Known in Danish as julehjerte, these classic decorations are made simply by pleating and plaiting red and white paper to create a heart. These can then be filled with nuts or sweets and hung from the tree. The oldest known example of one of these hearts was made by none other than Hans Christian Anderson, and can still be seen today at the museum of his name in the city of Odense in Denmark.