Popular Products That Originated From Christmas

stuffed Christmas stockings hanging above fireplace
Jose Luis Pelaez/Getty Images

Christmas is filled with traditions and unique decorations not seen throughout the rest of the year. Many Christmas favorites also have nonreligious roots. Here is the origin of many well-known Christmas items.

Christmas Tinsel

Around 1610, tinsel was first invented in Germany made from genuine silver. Machines were invented that shredded silver into thin, tinsel-sized strips. Silver tinsel tarnishes and loses its shine with time, so artificial replacements were eventually invented.

Candy Canes

The origin of the candy cane goes back over 350 years when candy-makers both professional and amateur were making hard sugar sticks. The original candy was straight and completely white in color.

Artificial Christmas Trees

Towards the end of the 1800s, another variation of the traditional Christmas tree appeared: the artificial Christmas tree. Artificial trees originated in Germany. Metal wire trees were covered with goose, turkey, ostrich or swan feathers. The feathers were often died green to imitate pine needles.

In the 1930s, the Addis Brush Company created the first artificial-brush trees, using the same machinery that made their toilet brushes! The Addis "Silver Pine" tree was patented in 1950. The Christmas tree was designed to have a revolving light source under it and colored gels allowed the light to shine in different shades as it revolved under the tree.

History of Christmas Tree Lights

Learn about the history of Christmas tree lights: from candles to inventor Albert Sadacca, who was 15 in 1917 when he first got the idea to make safe Christmas tree lights.

Christmas Cards

Englishman John Calcott Horsley popularized the tradition of sending Christmas greeting cards, in the 1830s.

Christmas Snowman

Yes, the snowman was invented, many times over. Enjoy these whimsical pictures of snowman inventions. They are from actual patents and trademarks. There are also a number of snowmen designs seen on Christmas trees and ornaments.

Christmas Sweaters

Knitted sweaters have been around a very long time, however, there is one certain type of sweater that delights us all during the holiday season. With lots of red and green colors, and reindeer, Santa, and snowman decorations, the Christmas sweater is both loved and even despised by many.

History of Christmas

On December 25, Christians traditionally celebrate the birth of Christ. The origins of the holiday are uncertain, however by the year 336, the Christian church in Rome observed the Feast of the Nativity (birth) on December 25. Christmas also coincided with the winter solstice and the Roman Festival of Saturnalia.

While Christmas is a centuries-old tradition, it was never an official American national holiday until 1870. The House and Senate passed a bill introduced by Rep. Burton Chauncey Cook of Illinois that proposed making Christmas a national holiday. President Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill on June 28, 1870.