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Christmas Trees

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1270083.  Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:26 am Reply with quote

I'm new to the forum but just watched the Christmas episode and wondered if you would please explain something for me. Please correct me if I'm wrong but the show said that we have angels on the top of Christmas trees as Victoria and Albert were German and could not use the flag. But if they introduced the tradition of Christmas trees to Britain with angels on, when were they topped with flags? Also having watched the Christmas special of Victoria and admittedly using that as a reference please can you explain why the trees were hung from the ceiling?
Thank you in advance. Karen.

1270100.  Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:49 am Reply with quote

Hi Karen, welcome to the forums.

I can't find the exact research that lead to this fact, so I've poked an elf or two and hopefully someone might be by in a while to explain further. However, off the top of my head I'd suggest the following:

While it's often stated that V&A "introduced" xmas trees from Germany, that's not strictly true. Indeed, I think QI was careful to state that they "popularised" them. As I understand it, xmas trees were already a thing in the UK before V&A were on the scene, but weren't as massively popular as they are today. It was a picture of the royal couple decorating their tree published in a popular periodical that really ignited interest among the wider population in having an xmas tree.

So I guess the answer to your first question would be that, before V&A, fewer people tended to have xmas trees, but those that did would put a Union Jack on top of it.

1270107.  Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:38 am Reply with quote

Thank you for your very fast response. That does make sense...we used to have an angel, then a star and for the past few years we've put a snowman at the top of the tree! It's really interesting how traditions adapt over time and how they can be different for every family. Thank you again, Karen.

1270111.  Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:46 am Reply with quote

We have a star on top of our tree, but I have at least one friend who regularly puts a rubber duck on top of hers :)

1270116.  Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:08 am Reply with quote

Angels, stars, etc are just a modern fad in Cloggieland. We used to have (and often still do) what you see in the picture, a christmas tree top.
Haven't come across those in the UK, but that may have been a local (Northumberland) aberration.

Alfred E Neuman
1270121.  Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:17 am Reply with quote

Id call that a finial.

1270123.  Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:30 am Reply with quote

Could well be. Since I never saw one in the UK I could 't ask what it was called, and my otherwise great N-E dictionary gives the 'top' option in relation to yule trees.
Better contact them for their next edition. Ta, Alf :-)

1270135.  Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:18 pm Reply with quote

Thank you everyone. The tree looks lovely. X

1270145.  Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:10 pm Reply with quote

We had a variety of tree toppings. An angel, a star and a thing exactly like what Yorz has shown. They took it in turns to surmount our main tree. Perhaps my parents learnt that when they spent several years in Germany.

1270151.  Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:18 pm Reply with quote

One of my friends, who is the biggest Star Wars nut I've ever met*, either has Yoda or Darth Vader on top of his tree.

*the man who proposed to his girlfriend with a Millenium Falcon shaped ring and had his two best men dress as stormtroopers at their wedding.


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