Why do people hang baubles on Christmas trees?

What is the point of people hanging baubles on a Christmas tree?

Keep away bad spirits?

Distracts the Grinch?

Picture of Why do people hang baubles on Christmas trees?
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caarntedd6 years ago
I think it has something to do with bringing a tree into the house to sort of keep spring/summer "alive" through the dormant winter months. The decorations were originally edible nuts and berries and such, which again perpetuated the living tree/food idea, and could of course be eaten.
I think this idea was probably Germanic/Nordic in origin. Pagan beliefs which used to be considered an outrage by followers of Christianity, but eventually became accepted.
There are many different stories from all over the world. The origins are for the most part lost, and they are all sort of homogenous these days, but this is what I remember (vaguely) learning as a kid. Google is your friend at Christmas time. Ho ho ho.
aeray caarntedd6 years ago
But eventually was co-opted, you mean.
mole1 caarntedd6 years ago
If you've seen apples hanging on trees in winter, it makes sense.
acidbass6 years ago
because when you have a tree it looks scrawny but once you hang the spheres on them it fills out the tree more
This tradition of decorating pine trees is a gesture that may have come from an earlier tradition of gathering hallucinogenic mushrooms, and placing them in the boughs of a pine tree, to help dry the mushrooms, and to gather them together in one place.

Another way to dry mushrooms is to put them in a sock, and hang this sock up next to your fireplace.

BTW, you can see/hear more about this cultural hypothesis, here:
The Pharmacratic Inquisition

The part about amanita muscaria mushrooms and Christmas begins at about 58 minutes in.

The link where I found the picture of the Christmas tree with AM mushrooms on it:
AM=not my cup of tea. Although I do like tea...
orksecurity6 years ago
"Oooh! Sparkley!"
lemonie6 years ago
It is what people do

Kids grow up with this every year, and it becomes ingrained-behaviour, that is what we do / what is done. So people do it every year.

craftyv6 years ago
Wow what a good question. I think that the things hung on a tree were ..... Actually I don't know. I look forward to someone who does.
Mike73 craftyv6 years ago
Now that it's mentioned, I would love to know, tooo..... :-)