What do Germans put on top of Christmas trees?

What do Germans put on top of Christmas trees?

In Germany, the festive season is marked by a unique blend of traditions that create a magical atmosphere. A prominent and cherished element of German Christmas celebrations is the Christmas tree, beautifully adorned with an array of ornaments. One intriguing aspect that captivates both locals and visitors is the distinctive item placed atop these trees. In this article, we delve into the captivating question: What do Germans put on top of Christmas trees?

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Historical Roots of Christmas Tree Toppers

Origin of Christmas Tree Decorations

To understand the significance of tree toppers, we must first explore the historical roots of German Christmas tree decorations. The tradition of adorning trees with decorative elements dates back to the 16th century in Germany. Initially, these decorations were primarily edible, featuring items like fruits, nuts, and sweets.

Evolution of Tree Toppers

As the tradition evolved over the centuries, so did the decorations. The concept of placing a distinctive item on the top of the tree emerged as a symbol of the celebratory spirit of the season. It evolved beyond the edible ornaments, transitioning into more elaborate and symbolic tree toppers.

The Symbolism Behind Christmas Tree Toppers

A Heavenly Presence: The Angel Tree Topper

One of the most common and cherished tree toppers in Germany is the angel tree topper. Adorning the tree with an angel holds deep symbolic meaning, representing the spiritual essence of Christmas. The angel is seen as a messenger of joy, embodying the spirit of goodwill and peace that the season brings.

Read Also- What Is The Traditional Top For A Christmas Tree?

Shining Bright: The Star Tree Topper

Another popular choice for Germans is the star tree topper. This timeless symbol represents the Star of Bethlehem, guiding the way for the Wise Men. Placing a star atop the Christmas tree signifies the hope and light that the festive season brings into homes.

Regional Variations in Tree Toppers

Diverse Cultural Influences

Germany, known for its rich cultural diversity, exhibits various regional variations in Christmas tree toppers. In some regions, you might find a crown-shaped topper, symbolizing royalty and the birth of Jesus as the King. In others, a Santa Claus figure may grace the top, adding a touch of whimsy to the traditional decor.

DIY Tree Toppers: Adding a Personal Touch

Crafting Your Own Christmas Magic

In recent times, there has been a growing trend of crafting personalized tree toppers. Many German families opt for DIY projects, creating unique toppers that reflect their creativity and individuality. From intricate handcrafted ornaments to family heirlooms passed down through generations, these personalized toppers add a touch of warmth and sentiment to the festive display.

Read Also- What Did People Traditionally Put On Top Of A Christmas Tree?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1: Are there specific rules for choosing a Christmas tree topper in Germany?

A1: While there are no strict rules, common choices include angel tree toppers symbolizing joy and peace, or star tree toppers representing the guiding light of Bethlehem.

Q2: What is the significance of DIY tree toppers?

A2: Crafting personalized tree toppers allows families to add a unique touch to their Christmas celebrations, expressing creativity and sentimental value.

Q3: Are there regional variations in Christmas tree toppers?

A3: Yes, different regions in Germany may have unique preferences, ranging from crown-shaped toppers to Santa Claus figures, reflecting diverse cultural influences.


In conclusion, the question of what Germans put on top of Christmas trees unveils a tapestry of traditions, symbols, and personal expressions. Whether it’s the celestial presence of an angel, the guiding light of a star, or a region-specific emblem, the Christmas tree topper is a focal point of joy and celebration in German homes.

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