With the holidays finally here, it is really fun to continue to decorate.  If you make the items yourself, you can save money and use your imagination to make beautiful holiday crafts.  On a snowy day, making holiday decorations will keep you busy.  Using Christmas chenille stems, I made a colorful holiday tree.  I bought the chenille stems, that come in pack of 45, for just $4.99 on eBay with free shipping included.  This is a real bargain, for most decorations that you buy at the store will exceed $4.99.

I started to make my colorful holiday tree by creating a pole using the chenille stems.  After making the pole, I made each branch and attached it to the pole.  Starting from the bottom, later on I attached branches to the top.  The last step was twisting the chenille stems into small circles to make the ornaments.  Since I have a unique colorful holiday tree, in my home, the effort that it took to make it was worthwhile.

For thousands of years, both pagans and Christians have used Evergreen fir trees.  During the winter solstice, pagans used trees to decorate their homes.  Christians uses trees, and still do, as a sign of Christianity to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

The tradition of using Christmas trees began in Northern Europe.  During Christmas, the first people to use a tree, during Christmas and the New Year, were the Estonians and Latvians.  In Estonia, they used a Christmas tree in the city of Talinn in 1441.  In Latvia, they used a Christmas tree in the city of Riga in 1510.

During the 16th century, Martin Luther, a German preacher, may have been the first one to bring a Christmas tree into his home.  In Germany, the first Christmas trees were decorated with edibles such as gingerbread and gold covered apples.  Imagine how pleasant the aroma of those Christmas trees must have been!  Later on, they made glass ornaments that we use to adorn our Christmas trees.

In 1841, Prince Albert, who was Queen Victoria’s German husband, made Christmas trees popular in the UK and US when he brought one to Windsor Castle.  A drawing of the Windsor Castle Tree became so well known that it was published in the Illustrated London News.  Since the Windsor Tree became famous, the drawing of the royal tree was republished in Gody’s Lady’s Book Philadelphia in December 1850.

Using some elements of the holiday past, today each of us decorates a Christmas tree in our own unique way.  Beyond purchasing the tree and ornaments, we can give it our own personal touch by making decorations.  Gather the family together and start the tradition of making a colorful holiday tree from chenille stems.  You will be surprised at how fast the hours will pass as you create your holiday crafts.