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Christmas Decorating Ideas
& Fun Christmas Facts

Did you Know? Fun Facts About Christmas Traditions

The best part about Christmas is celebrating family traditions. Many of our favorite Christmas traditions have been around for so long we can't imagine the holidays without them. But have you ever wondered why we decorate with Christmas lights, holly wreaths and candy canes? Would you have guessed that many of the first Christmas ornaments were edible? Did you know America has an official Christmas tree, and that it's not where you'd expect? Learn some fun facts about Christmas while you explore LTD's fantastic selection of affordable Christmas decorations!

Christmas Decor

DID YOU KNOW America has an official Christmas tree? No, it's not standing in Rockefeller Center. It isn't at the White House either, but it does have something to do with one of our former Presidents. Calvin Coolidge announced in 1926 that a giant sequoia, famously known as the General Grant Tree and located within Kings Canyon National Park in California, would be America's official Christmas Tree. And for good reason — It is one of the largest trees in the world, measuring in at approximately 267 feet tall!

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Christmas Ornaments

DID YOU KNOW the first Christmas ornaments were shaped like fruits and nuts? Before glass ornaments became popular in 18th century Germany, it was common to hang a variety of fruits and nuts on evergreen trees. Symbolically, the decorations were added with hopes of a bountiful spring after the long winter. When German glassmakers, specifically Hans Greiner in 1847, started creating glass ornaments, the first ones they made were glass versions of these nuts and fruits to honor the German tradition.

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Christmas Gift Wrap

DID YOU KNOW the origin of Christmas gift wrap started with two brothers in Kansas City, Missouri? After selling out of traditional plain tissue paper during a frantic holiday season in 1917, local stationery store owners J.C. and Rollie Hall replaced it with a fancier paper from the stockroom that was originally intended to line envelopes. This "strange" paper sold out in a flash, so the Hall brothers started making a wider variety of decorative gift wrap for Christmas to be sold in the store named after them.

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Indoor Holiday Decor

DID YOU KNOW most people were afraid to hang the first Christmas lights in their home? Thomas Edison was stringing Christmas lights together as early as 1880, and his business partners, most notably Edward H. Johnson, were using them safely in their own homes only two years later. However, early generations were skeptical about the safety of electricity. In what Americans probably viewed as a brave move, President Grover Cleveland added Christmas lights to the White House in 1895, easing the minds of many and changing the way we decorate during the holidays.

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Outdoor Christmas Decorations

DID YOU KNOW that decorating with wreaths is an ancient tradition? In Ancient Rome, evergreen wreaths were exchanged to bestow wishes of good health and fortune upon friends and family. In Ancient Greece, wreaths were awarded to Olympic champions and became a symbol of victory. It's believed that early Christians preferred using holly branches because the pointed leaves and berries better symbolized the Crown of Thorns, and credit for the invention of the now popular Advent wreath goes to Johann Hinrich Wichern, who used the wreath in 1839 to illustrate the meaning of Christmas to children.

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Christmas Entertaining

DID YOU KNOW cookies were invented by accident? According to culinary history, bakers used to put a small amount of batter in the oven to test the temperature. It's unknown exactly when cookies began to be treated as more than sweet baking accidents, but some of the earliest European cookbooks (as early as the 15th century) feature types of cookies similar to the ones we enjoy today during the holidays. Other fun dates in cookie history include the invention (by popularity) of the gingerbread man by Queen Elizabeth I around 1560 and the invention of the chocolate chip cookie (also an accident) in 1938.

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