Christmas Tree-Toppers - Finials... a Tradition

Posted on December 06, 2014 | 0 Comments

The tippy-top position (or "crown"), on our Christmas trees invites a very special treatment. Decorative Christmas ornament tree-toppers (treetoppers or finials) have their origin in the Victorian era, when Christmas trees became popular in England. Wikipedia notes that in 1848 The Illustrated London News published a picture of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and their family around a Christmas tree topped with an Angel. Thus the Christmas Angel became the most common tree-topper. Christmas stars are very popular, as are elegant Christmas reflectors. Santas, and Snowmen are also commonly used. My Growing Traditions offers some of each from Inge-Glas of Germany (the oldest Christmas ornament company in the world).


Left to right: Spirit of Christmas Dreams, Twinkling Star Tree Top, Vintage Poinsettia


Left to right: St. Nikolaus' Tannenbaum and King of the Hill

These glass finials and the elegant, simple, wooden Spanbaum (also known as span trees, wood shaved trees, chip or chipped trees, twilled trees, and curled trees) tree topper from the Erzgebirge (Germany's Christmas Center) that we happily carry this year for the first time, all require some special care when it comes to decorating your tree. - provides some useful "Tips for Topping the Tree"

  • "When using glass finials, extra care must be used when attaching them to the tree. It can be difficult to attach and/or slide the finial onto the top branch of the tree, although it's a bit easier with an artificial tree. When using a finial on a live tree, one suggestion is to wire or attach a wooden dowel to the top of the tree and slide the finial onto the dowel.
  • Be careful when adding the finial to the dowel or top of tree, make sure it is securely attached and is straight. (... a small amount of cotton batting around the wooden dowel will cushion the glass).
  • If the finial has a reflector in the mold, they can be easily damaged by the dowel or even the tree top branch.... Make sure the dowel/tree branch doesn't reach the spot where the reflector is in the glass.
  • Although the perfect scenario is having a beautifully decorated tree, with the top put on at the very end, in reality it's much easier to put the finial or tree-topper on first!" 

Posted in Angels, Christmas Traditions, German Christmas, German Folk Art, Inge-Glas, Trees



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