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Ever hear of a German "Brides Tree" ? Neither had I... but it is a theme along the lines of the "Jesse" tree, filled with symbolic decorations and ornaments.

 

traditional bride tree ornaments

Christine Bude informs:

Bride's Tree is a lovely Christmas tradition in Germany. Newlyweds hang ornaments on the Christmas Tree that symbolize good fortune for the marriage. Old World Christmas ornaments are mouth blown of a fairly fragile glass.
The lightweight ornaments catch the light". The shapes "dance on the branches on the holiday tree. Jolly Santa, beautiful rose and the joyous bird are all elements of the ornaments."

Bride's Tree ornaments include an angel, fish, rose, rabbit, teapot, pine cone, Santa Claus, house, fruit basket, bird, flower basket and heart. These Kugel ornaments become family heirlooms, passed down through the generations. Kugel ornaments can be purchased separately, at Christmas Markets and ornament stores or the can be purchased in special gift sets.

These ornaments are traditionally twelve in number.

  1. Angel or Church represents God's guidance.
  2. A Rabbit stands for unity with nature.
  3. A Fruit Basket for abundance.
  4. A Heart symbolizes love in the home.
  5. A Pine Cone for motherhood, and fertility.
  6. A Flower Basket brings hope for beauty in the home.
  7. A Rose speaks of affection and of the Virgin Mary.
  8. A House symbolizes protection or family shelter.
  9. Father Christmas is a symbol of the Christmas goodwill and giving.
  10. A Fish represents Christ's blessing.
  11. A Teapot brings thoughts of hospitality.
  12. A Bird represents joy, happiness, and the Holy Spirit.

 

It sounds like a sweet and romantic theme to start out married life with: a holiday celebration that is uniquely yours. So even if Christmas Eve dinner is spent with the in-laws, and Christmas Day means opening presents at your old family home, the "Bride's Tree" could be decorated with just the two of you in mind.

A great theme for a wedding shower or a way to celebrate a German Christmas, even if you are well past the first year mark. It matches up nicely with the "12 Days of Christmas", too combining the two for a full array of meaningful ornaments to give the tree a special theme.

I think the most romantic way to use this tradition is to have a separate tree in the bedroom, a small artificial one, decorated with only the Bride's ornaments. Maybe a couple very special gifts for each other underneath. Wouldn't that be sweet?