For the Christmas Tree Festival at St Leonard’s Church this year, WCAG decided to do something different and displayed an alternative willow structure to celebrate nature at Christmas. Based on traditions worldwide, natural materials adorned the obelisk to create a glowing beacon of warmth and togetherness.
Here’s a full overview of the decorations we used and the story behind them.
The Chinese celebrate Christmas as a non-religious holiday and hang paper lanterns on Christmas trees called the ‘tree of light’. In America, it has been a tradition in 1842 to make garlands from popcorn to hang on Christmas trees and it was quite the trend in the 1950s and 60s. In the UK, regard for mistletoe is deeply rooted in legend and was historically associated with fertility, which is where the kissing tradition came from. Australians who live by the beach often decorate Christmas trees with nautical-themed decorations, including seashells. Stemming from a rural tradition, the French often decorate Christmas trees with dried citrus fruit and red apples. A popular decoration used in Germany is stars made from straw. Straw ornaments are closely tied to Jesus being born in a bed of straw. Originating from an old legend, Ukrainians decorate Christmas trees with spider webs to usher in good luck and fortune. Based on an ancient tradition stemming from pagan rituals, it is common to decorate trees and homes in the UK with natural foraged items. Argentinians often decorate Christmas trees with cotton wool balls to recreate the snow of the Northern Hemisphere. In Japan, Christmas trees are often decorated with origami cranes which are symbols of peace, good fortune, and good health.
We hope that you enjoyed seeing our tree. It is a fantastic annual community event, and our thanks go to the organisers and volunteers who make it possible. We look forward to next year’s challenge.
Jules Bishop and Andrea Brewer