The first recorded reference to the decorated Christmas tree dates back to the 16th century. Families gathered in Strasbourg, Germany and decorated fir trees with colored paper, fruits, and sweets. Trees were also used to display presents on Christmas morning. Small toys, candies, and other goodies hung on the tree, waiting for their owners to claim them. The first glass ornaments were “kugels,” a kind of glass ball shaped to remind us of the apples which decorated the tree of Paradise. Kugels were intended to protect houses against evil spirits.


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