The tradition of using the Christmas tree angel for decoration is very popular and is being used as a ritual from the past many centuries. The decoration of the tree on the eve of Christmas every year is said to be incomplete if this angel is not installed at the top of the tree.
Christmas Tree Angel is said to be a symbol for the representation of the birth of Jesus Christ as it is also mentioned in several verses of the Bible that the angels played a very important role in the birth of Jesus Christ and also the visiting and hinting scenario of Joseph in the dream.
History and Folklore
In the initial years, the Christmas Tree Angel was used in the form of a tree topper which represented some of the angels which were present in the nativity scene of Jesus Christ.
But the majority of the people believe that the Angel Gabriel is depicted on every Christmas tree. The following lines are taken from the Luke 1:26-27:
“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.”
— Luke 1:26–27 (KJV)
Some people also used a star in the place of a Christmas tree Angel for decorating it. The use of the star represents the Star of Bethlehem from the story of the birth of Jesus Christ, which is mentioned in the Matthew verses:
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.'”
— Matthew 2:1–2 (KJV)
The use of the Christmas tree Angel is traced back to be originated from the Victorian era, with the response to the rise in the popularity of the Christmas tree in the country of England.
The London news published a big and beautiful picture of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert along with their family around the Christmas tree which had an angel sitting on the top.
This particular picture became so influential that the majority of the people all around the world started using the Christmas tree Angel instead of the star of Bethlehem as the most common tree topper.
Early Christmas Tree Traditions
The early traditions of the Christmas tree are not very complex or hard to perform.
The evergreen trees are considered to be a symbol of life and happiness for many centuries before the people of the Christian religion adopted them as the main attraction for the eve of Christmas.
Ancient people prayed and worshipped this particular tree and also decorated their homes using its branches and leaves during the months of winter and a few weeks before and after the eve of Christmas.
After the Roman Emperor Constantine selected the date of 25th December as the auspicious day for celebrating the eve of Christmas, this particular holiday fell during the winter vacations for all of the continents of Europe.
It needed a lot of sense that the Christians would adopt this particular regional ritual associated with the winter season for celebrating the holiday.
During the time of middle ages, the Christians began decorating this particular tree in the form of Paradise tree which was considered to be a symbol of the tree of life and was present in the garden of Eden.
They used to hang fruits from the branches of these trees for representing the story given in the Bible about the fall of Adam and Eve and also hang Wafers, which are made up of pastry for representing the famous Christian ritual of communion.
It was recorded for the first time in the history that a Christmas tree was decorated specifically for celebrating the eve of Christmas in the year 1510 in the city of Latvia.
The people who are living at that particular place placed a large number of roses on the branches of a Fir tree.
This tradition quickly gained a lot of popularity in the nearby region and then in no time spread all around the world as the people began to decorate the Christmas tree in the churches and at the town square.
People also begin decorating their homes with other natural materials like nuts and fruits along with cookies which were baked in a variety of shapes.
The Christmas tree angel is considered to be very significant in the Christian religion. It is considered to be the protector and the guardian of all the people, especially children.
This particular angel is placed at the top of the Christmas tree because it is believed that it will guard the family against all the evil forces and bring happiness and joy during the time of Christmas every year.
The Christmas tree angel is sometimes switched with the star of Bethlehem because both these masterpieces have a connection with the birth of Jesus Christ.
People decorate these angels by attaching ornaments and beautiful clothes on their bodies and also decorating the Christmas tree using beautiful lights.
Traditions Related to Christmas Tree Angels
The tree topper angels or the star of Bethlehem is used as a common decorative piece that is placed on the top of the Christmas tree.
The people of the Christian religion eventually made it a practice & habit of placing the figure of the Angel on the top of their Christmas tree for symbolizing the significance of the angels who appeared over the town of Bethlehem, for announcing the birth of Jesus Christ.
If these people do not use an angel in the form of an ornament on the top of the tree, then they replace it by the star which is considered to be symbolic of the star of Bethlehem, which appears during the time of the birth of Jesus Christ.
According to the story which is mentioned in the Bible about Christmas, a very bright star appeared in the sky for guiding all the people to the place where Jesus Christ was born.
By placing the Christmas tree angels on the top of the tree, some of the Christian people also gave the theory that it signifies the faith for removing the evil spirits away from their homes and their loved ones.
Streamers and Tinsel Angel ‘Hair’
After the people who follow the Christian religion started decorating their Christmas trees during the eve of Christmas, they would sometimes also pretend the fact that the guardian angels were the real decorator of the trees.
This was a common Hoax which was spread all around the world for making the festival of Christmas full of happiness and fun for the children.
People use to pack the paper streamers around the trees and told their children the story that this particular streamer was the pieces of the hair of the angel which were caught in the branches of the tree when the angels were leaning too closely while decorating the tree.
After some decades, people figured out the fact that how to ham out silver and then finally aluminium for producing the shiny streamers which are called tinsel.
These were used on the occasion of Christmas eve for decorating the trees and for representing the hair of the Angel.
The first ornament of the Christmas Tree Angel is believed to be handmade. They were in the shape of the angel cookies or even the Angel ornaments which were made out of natural materials like jute or straw.
By the early 1800’s, the glassblowers in the country of Germany work manufacturing glasses for Christmas ornaments and also glass angels for the eve of Christmas and decorating the Christmas trees throughout the world.
After the industrial revolution, it became possible for producing mass Christmas ornaments which were different in styles and Complex in designs.
These ornaments were there in the shape of Angels for the best film star and were sold in large departmental stores present in every City.
The Christmas tree Angels remain popular Christmas tree decoration even in the present time.
The Hi-Tech angel is implanted with microchips, which provides the additional features of singing, talking, dancing, and playing music through the Angel.
The Christmas tree angel is believed to be the guardian of the children and all the people, especially Christians. She is placed at the top of the Christmas tree and is decorated with beautiful clothes and ornaments.
The angel is also believed to be the remover of all the evil forces from the vicinity and also considered to be a symbol of happiness and joy as it marked the birth of Jesus Christ (Gabriel Angel).
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Why is the Christmas tree angel significant?
The Christmas tree angel is considered to be significant as it is believed to be the symbolism of the birth of Jesus Christ and also the protector of the friends and family from the evil forces.
What can one use instead of the Christmas tree angel?
One can use the star in place of the Christmas tree angel. The star is considered to be the symbol of the star of Bethlehem, which appeared in the sky during the time of the birth of Jesus Christ.