The History & Manufacturing Behind Christmas

The winter holidays have arrived and during this time everyone is in good cheer and celebrating by decorating their homes! You’ll see trees adorned with beautiful ornaments everywhere. However, as you appreciate the decorations, have you ever stopped to think about its history and how it’s created?

The tradition of using conifer trees and branches in homes began during Egyptian and Roman times to wish for wellbeing and everlasting life (The History of the Christmas Tree Goes Back Farther Than You Might Realize, 2019). It wasn’t until the 12th century, in Germany, when conifer trees began being used for Christmas and in the 16th century the trees were replaced with artificial ones due to mass destruction (Travers, n.d.). The first-ever artificial tree was produced using goose feathers but was later replaced with the same material that the Addis Brush Company, an American manufacturer, used for their toilet brushes (Travers, n.d.).

In the present day, Christmas trees are made in several different ways. One manufacturer starts the process of making the tree by first creating a metal skeleton (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). Two large steel tubes are rolled into an arc and merged to create the base of the frame
Screenshot by: "How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made." Science
Channel: How It's Made, Insider, 20 Dec 2018.
(How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). Vertical supports are welded onto the base and created in parts (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). The metal is then coated with polyester powder and baked (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). After the frame is cooled, the tree is assembled together using bolts (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). The pine needles are created using thin PVC plastic that is cut into four-inch wide strips and rolled into a shredder that cuts the sides (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). The machine leaves enough room in the middle for a metal wire and to layer other plastic that are different colors (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). The different colored needles and a thin strip of brown PVC are then winded up and layered through tension control guides (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). Afterward, a metal wire is placed in the middle and twisted with the PVC (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). The greenery is cut in specified lengths and then clipped together branch by branch (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). Garland is fastened on specified parts of the tree and the branches fill in the rest of the space (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). Finally, the manufacturer bolts the different parts of the tree together and hook the rest of the green structures onto the tree (How Artificial Christmas Trees are Made, 2018). Once the tree is fully assembled, ornaments and lights are then placed onto the tree.

It is unknown when the tradition of placing decorations on a tree began, but the first ever object to adorn the trees were bright red apples (History of Christmas Ornaments, 2014). Since food was scarce and apples were known to be easily stored, they were used in celebration during the winter solstice (History of Christmas Ornaments, 2014). However, as time passed, new ornaments were added that were more intricate and unique. The more common glass ornaments that we use and see today were actually created by a German glassmaker in the 16th century who was unable to afford the more elaborate ornaments at the time (How Ornaments Are Made, 2010). The production of figurine glass ornaments begins with a design, which is turned into a mold using plaster (How Ornaments Are Made, 2010).  After the mold is created, the manufacturers then heat up a cylinder that is more bulbous at the center until it has an oval shape (How Ornaments Are Made, 2010). Then, the glass is quickly blown into the mold and heated up again to remove one of the pipe ends (How Ornaments Are Made, 2010). For circular ornaments, manufacturers heat up the wider end of a glass cylinder and blow into the pipe end while spinning the cylinder to create the shape (How Ornaments Are Made, 2010). Glass ornaments can shatter if they cool down too quickly, so they are heated using a less intense flame before being put onto a cooling rack for the next process.

After creating the shape of the ornament, they are put through a shining process where silverine solution is placed into the ornament and put underwater (How Ornaments Are Made, 2010). The active silverine is then swished around inside the ornament to create a reflective coat inside (How Ornaments Are Made, 2010). Excess silverine solution is poured out for recycling and the ornament left upside down to dry (How Ornaments Are Made, 2010).

To color the ornaments, they are either dipped or airbrushed using lacquer paint (How Ornaments Are Made, 2010). Detailed designs are brushed using lacquer. Ornaments with glitter, are painted with glue and then quickly dipped into a large bowl full of glitter. Finally, an incision is made to remove the stem of the ornament and a metal cap with a loop covers the stub (How Ornaments Are Made, 2010).

Now that you know the history and process to make trees and ornaments, do you see them in a different light? The most convenient part is that Christmas trees and ornaments can be appreciated right in your home or at several different events occurring around Florida!

Here are some amazing places to experience the holiday!

Tropicana Field's Enchant Christmas!
This year, Tropicana Fields has brought Floridians their first-ever “Enchanted Christmas” project! The Enchanted Christmas project includes the world’s largest light maze that covers 90,000 square feet and has an 80-foot tall tree at its center.  In addition to the wonderful light displays, Enchant Christmas also contains a winter market, ice skating, and a “Nook and Cranny” where you can make your own gift for your loved ones! Tickets for Enchanted Christmas are available to purchase from November 22 to December 29th, 2019!

Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park
Celebrate Christmas with animals by attending ZooTampa at Lowry Park’s Christmas in the Wild! Starting at 4PM, you can now enjoy the millions of lights that decorate Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park and visit their 5 foot tall Christmas tree covered in 12,000 lights, 2,000 ornaments, and an 8-foot tall star. Meet mingling animals and enjoy their new show featuring furry and winged animals. Christmas in the Wild is only available on the following dates: December 6-7, 13-15, 20-23.

Bok Tower Gardens
Every year, Bok Tower Gardens offers a featured tour of the Pinewood estate decorated for the holidays and carillon concerts that starts from 1:00PM to 3:00PM every day! Experience Holidays at Bok Tower Gardens from November 29, 2019, to January 5, 2019, from 10:00AM to 5:00PM!

Butler, Anne. “Christmas Ornaments: History & Meaning.”,, Accessed December 6, 2019.

“History of Christmas Ornaments.”, 30 June 2014, Accessed December 6, 2019.

“How Artificial Christmas Trees Are Made.” Science Channel: How It’s Made, Insider, 20 Dec. 2018, Accessed December 8, 2019.

“How Ornaments Are Made.” Science Channel: How It's Made, Discovery Communications, LLC, 7 Dec. 2010, Accessed December 8, 2019.

Narishkin, Abby. “How Artificial Christmas Trees Are Made.” Business Insider, Insider,Inc., 25 Dec. 2018, Accessed December 6, 2019.

“The History of the Christmas Tree Goes Back Farther Than You Might Realize.” Country Living, Hearst Magazine Media, 4 Sep. 2019, Accessed December 6, 2019.

Travers, Philip. “History of the Artificial Christmas Tree Article.” Artificial Plants and Trees, Artificial Plants & Trees, Accessed December 6, 2019.

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