The History of Houston Christmas Decorations
There are many types of decorations associated with the Christmas holidays that you will see displayed in Houston, From homes to banks, hotels, and retail stores there is no shortage of wreaths, trees, poinsettias, and Christmas lights but have you ever stopped to wonder what the story is behind d the displays you add to your home or commercial property in Houston? Where does all this holiday décor originated from? Today I thought Houston Christmas Lights would share how some of the décor became such a popular tradition.
The History of Christmas Wreaths
One of the most cherished pieces of Christmas decorations and comes in each of the Christmas light packages we offer is a Christmas wreath. There are several kinds including fresh boxed wreaths, Emerald Lace, Eucalyptus wreaths and pinecone wreaths but the first used was an evergreen wreath.
The origin of the wreath can be traced back to German folk practices. During the bitter months of the winter the Germans would design evergreen wreaths as a way to symbolize continued life. The circular shape of the wreath shows the continuous cycle of the changing season. When we stop to think of it the fall season does not end until December 21st just days before Christmas. In some regions of the world the wreath is not hung on a doorway or window but is laid on a flat surface such as a table and in the center, people could add bowl of candies, mixed nuts or pinecones that has been rolled in spices to add aroma to a home. Christians used wreaths to display candles, there would be a candle in the center and four other candles set on the edges. These wreaths are referred to as an advent wreath.
If you are unfamiliar with advent season this serves as a way for Christians to celebrate the birth of Christ, but this is not all. The word advent is a Latin word meaning “adventus” or “coming” by the 6th century Roman Christians had tied advent to the coming of Christ but prior to this in the 4th and 5th Century advent was a season to prepare for baptism. Now fast forward to today advent which is celebrated (2021) on November 28th and end on Christmas Eve. Christians celebrate advent as the “last days” while we wait for Gods return to earth. “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” a favorite Christmas carol is the is a perfect way to summarize what advent means to born again Christians.
The History of Mistletoe
Another commonly used Christmas decoration that seemed to be sparingly until the 1700’s was the mistletoe. Mistletoe is a evergreen plant with smooth green leaves and berries. In Houston you can find mistletoe on water or Spanish oak trees, hackberry trees, and elm trees.
According to the holiday tradition, when two people meet under the mistletoe they are required to kiss. The first time I ever saw a piece of mistletoe was as a little girl. Dad was cruising down the street in our Buick station wagon when he spotted mistletoe and pulled the car over. Dad climbed the tree, pulled down a piece of the plant and walked over to the passenger side of the car where Mom was sitting about as bright and red as Rudolph nose but following tradition, she planted one on him, while my brother and I snickered from the backseat.
The mistletoe tradition extends past the holidays as many Houstonians believe hanging mistletoe in your office can usher in good luck.
Why Tensile Is Hung In Christmas Trees
Another piece of holiday décor that was used to adorn homes and Christmas trees is tensile. The first tensile was made in 1610 and was made from shredded silver. The reason people placed it on Christmas trees was to enhance the flicker of candles that light up Christmas trees prior to the invention of Christmas lights. However, tensile was fragile and very expensive so only the wealthiest of families could afford to have this holiday décor. In the 1900s as tensile continued to become more and more affordable it quickly became one of the most widely used Christmas decorations. It began to be used for more than just Christmas trees, but homeowners draped tensile across fireplace mantels, wrapped it around staircases, and used it anywhere that they wanted to add holiday decorations.
Holiday Decorating With Poinsettias
Poinsettia also commonly referred to as the Christmas star came out in 1825 when the United States ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett brought this beautiful bright red plant back to the US. The poinsettia is of course named after him. When the poinsettia arrived, it became an instant Christmas decoration because of its traditional Christmas colors and beauty. Today the poinsettia remains a favorite cherished part of our holidays that you will find in homes, churches, and businesses. When stacked correctly poinsettias can even be shaped exactly like a Christmas tree. If you want to learn more about Poinsettias read this great article from Buchanan's or if you are a business owner or homeowner who wants to add poinsettias let Houston Christmas Lights share some tips.
Tips For Holiday Poinsettias
1. These plants need at least 6 hours a day of light they do best in nighttime temperatures that are 55 to 65 degrees and in the daytime below 70 degrees, this is why so many of the poinsettias are artificial in our area,
2. If you do decide to use real poinsettias their leaves have a sap that can be harmful to animals such as dogs and cats if they were to digest them however, they need to digest a significant amount for death to occur
3. If you want to turn them red again then you should place them in total darkness for 14 hours each day starting eight weeks before you want to display them
Houston Holiday Decorating
These decorations and many others will surely continue to be a part of Houston Christmas decorations for many years to come, If you would like help decorating your home or business this Christmas with a custom wreath, a poinsettia or Christmas tree, or if you are looking for Christmas light installation then look no further than Houston Christmas Lights. We serve Harris and Fort Bend County including Katy, Sugar Land, and Missouri City. Our deign consultation are free, please book early by visiting us online or calling 281-545-7740. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas!