1900.1909 extravagant decorating

      In reaction to the gaudy and extravagant decorating style of the

Victorian period, families sought to return to a more “natural” tree

decorating approach. Rather than crowd the tree with loads of edibles

and various brightly colored decorations, artists and writers of the time

suggested that no color be put on the tree. They recommended only glit-

tering cotton, angel hair, tinsel, clear or silver glass ornaments, imitation

snow, pinecones, and only white candles. This style was very popular, as

seen by photographs from this period. This “white tree” prevailed up to

the start of World War I. Gradually; all the beloved items of earlier days

snuck back in, but many times not in their original forms. Santas, bells,

birds, and other figural ornaments were used on trees, but they were all

white. Many shrewd families saved money by washing the lacquer off the

ornaments they had previously purchased. Frugal Americans would strip

the needles  off their trees and then use them for lnany years after Cotton

was employed to simulate snow on an evergreen. Thus, an inexpensive

artificial tree was quite simple to obtain.

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