Some of the first decorations that people put in their homes during the Christmas season were the branches of Holly trees and the Mistletoe that they found on the trees during this winter season.
The changing of the seasons ruled the lives of most people in the early days of Europe. During the cold winter months, most people stayed inside their homes, and to pass the time used their hands and tools to create things out of wood, straw, glass, metal, stone and other materials they could find. These creations, ranging from hand carved wooden figures to straw angels were used to decorate the home and, since most of the population were poor peasants with very few possessions, these items were displayed, treasured and handed down among the families.
One common set of figures that were carved were those of the Nativity. Once the basic Nativity was complete, carvings of animals, angels, and stars could be added until dozens of these figures could take up a significant part of their home!
It was a natural evolution to display these figures on the Christmas tree that many used to decorate their homes during the winter Christmas season. They were hung from branches, and new figures and creations were added each year.
As the celebration of Christmas spread and families were able to afford to buy things instead of having to make them, they began buying decorations for their homes and Christmas trees instead of making them. Lights were added to the tees and then to the houses, and even outdoor decorations began to be used in front yards, bushes, and trees.
Many people choose to use the image of family around the Christmas tree for their photo Christmas cards. A very traditional and beautiful image to share with friends and family.