Idabel, OK (November 13, 2018)—The Museum of the Red River will hold a free ornament-making class on December 1. Participants will learn how to make their own Christmas decorations out of salt dough. Attendees may take their decorations home or hang them on the Museum’s Christmas Tree. (Ornaments hung on the Museum tree can be picked up after January 1st, 2019.) Families can drop in and drop out of the class anytime between 10 am and 3 pm.
The use of evergreen trees and wreaths to celebrate eternal life during the winter goes back thousands of years. For example, during the New Year, some Scandinavian groups would decorate their property with evergreens to scare away the Devil. The first modern Christmas trees probably originated in western Germany, sometime in the 16th century. These first trees were decorated with wafers (symbolizing the Eucharistic host) and later, cookies. Candles—which also symbolized Christ—were added later.
By the 19th century, the practice had spread to England’s royal family, thanks to Queen Victoria’s German husband, Prince Albert. Unlike earlier trees, this one was decorated with toys, popcorn strings, paper chains, and ribbons. Thanks to the royal family, Christmas trees became the height of fashion and quickly spread to the rest of the world. Today, secular and religious families decorate their trees with all manner ornaments—including salt dough.