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The Christmas tree timeline

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how did your decorations come to be?

You can find out exactly where all your favourite festive trinkets and ornaments came from by following the Christmas tree timeline.

In this Christmas cracker of a chronology, you’ll see why the tree and tinsel became so popular. You’ll also find out about the history of baubles and the origins of fairy lights.

Christmas tree

So take a look at our guide and find out something new about Christmas.

And then get in the festive spirit by sharing the Christmas tree timeline with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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The tinsel trail

1610: Originates in Germany, where it’s first made using shredded silver

1848: Tinsel adorns Queen Victoria’s Christmas tree and makes headline news

1900: Aluminium replaces silver

1914 – 1918: Production is halted because metal is needed for the Great War

1950s: Peaks in popularity, topping lights as the number-one decoration

1970s: PVC tinsel becomes the norm

The branches of your Christmas tree’s past

1500s: Martin Luther puts candles on a fir in his home, creating the first Christmas tree

1832: A young Queen Victoria writes about Christmas trees in her journal

1848: Christmas trees surge in popularity after a picture of Queen Victoria and family is published in the press. Baubles, tinsel and candles feature as decorations

1933: The Rockefeller tree becomes an annual tradition in New York, USA

1950s: Silver-coloured aluminium trees are imported from the USA

2012: A 27.5m-high Christmas tree goes up in Cheshire, setting a UK record

An illuminating history of fairy lights

1500s: Candles light up the first ever Christmas tree

1848: Candles hit the headlines after lighting up Queen Victoria’s Christmas tree

1882: The first electric ‘fairy’ lights are put on a tree by Edward Johnson, USA

1900: Electric lights are available, but so expensive renting is a popular option

1970: The mini-light is invented, revolutionising the industry

2013: 502,165 Christmas lights adorn a home in Australia, setting a world record

From beads to baubles …

1600: Glass beads are produced as Christmas decorations in Germany

1710: The first baubles become available

1848: Baubles make the news after a picture is published of Queen Victoria’s Christmas decorations

1850: Silver nitrate is swirled around a glass bauble, giving an added decorative touch

1971: Plastic baubles rise in popularity

2000: In the Netherlands, an eight metre-wide bauble becomes the biggest ever made