Christmas ornaments are decorations (usually made of
glass, metal, wood or ceramics) that are used to festoon
a Christmas tree.
Ornaments take many different forms, from a simple round
ball to highly artistic designs. Santa Claus is a commonly
Tinsel and several types of garland or ribbon are commonly
used to decorate a Christmas tree. Delicate mould-blown
and painted colored glass Christmas ornaments were a
specialty of Czech glass factories from the late 19th
century, and have since become a large industry, complete
with famous-name designers.
Lighting with candles or electric lights (fairy lights)
is commonly done, and a tree topper completes the ensemble.
Strands of tinsel may be hung in groups from longer
branches to simulate icicles, though this trend has
gradually fallen off since the late 1970s. Baubles are
another extremely common decoration, and usually consist
of a fairly small hollow glass or plastic sphere coated
with a thin metallic layer to make them reflective,
and then with a further coating of a thin pigmented
polymer in order to provide colouration.
Individuals' decorations vary wildly, typically being
an eclectic mix of family traditions and personal tastes;
even a small unattractive ornament, if passed down from
a parent or grandparent, may come to carry considerable
emotional value and be given pride of place on the tree.