Whatever happened to …

… tinsel?

If you have a Christmas tree within eyesight, it will be interesting to share whether or not you have tinsel on it.

These days, it can come in many different forms. Growing up, for us it came in long metallic strips and we had it all over the family Christmas tree. Real trees in the beginning and later artificial. When I branched out on my own, it was a tradition that didn’t follow. Although …

It was a big deal for my mother. After the tree was up, the decorations added, the lights arranged, the crowning touch was strips of tinsel all over the tree. The effect was impressive. The metal in the tinsel amplified the lights making it appear that there was much more than there actually were. Leading up to Christmas, it was hard to deny that it really made for a beautiful effect.

It was after Christmas that the real pain hit. It was a tedious process because the family would all gather to take the tinsel off and carefully wrap it around some cardboard for storage until next year. We worked hard at it and yet there was still this stuff seemingly everywhere including out by the street for the real tree pickup date. When we moved to the artificial tree, some of that stuff ended up being packed away with the tree, only to return next year.

It was also a personal decoration for some of my high school girls who would weave it into their hair for an effect. At times, it became a classroom management issue. My room had carpeting and if you didn’t have running shoes on with rubber soles, you could shuffle your feet and touch a tinsel strip in the hair and get a yelp from the static electricity! But the worst thing ever happened when a strip got sucked into a desktop computer and caused a short as the tinsel made contact with places that didn’t need contact. Needless to say, banning of tinsel from the classroom didn’t help my Scrooge image.

I’d like to say that tinsel is not a thing around here these days. But every now and again a strip appears. We’ve inherited my parent’s old tree and many of their decorations and every now and again, one appears. That does bring back memories

For the last Sunday going into Christmas…

  • do you use tinsel on your Christmas tree?
  • is there a secret to collecting it all after the fact?
  • does tinsel appear in any different form at your place?
  • have you ever experienced the static electricity from tinsel or any other decoration?
  • as for the decorative effect, yes or no?

Please share your shiny thoughts in the comments below.

This post originated from:


If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: http://www.dougpeterson.ca Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dougpete I'm bookmarking things at: http://www.diigo.com/user/dougpete

7 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …”

  1. When I was younger, we only tried tinsel for one year on our Christmas tree. Then the dog ate the tinsel, and I will spare you the rest of the details. ๐Ÿ™‚ Every time that I see tinsel, Iโ€™m taken back to that moment. It was definitely VERY long, thin, metallic, and shiny at the time. Wonder if others have tinsel stories, and if any involve poorly behaved dogs. ๐Ÿ™‚



  2. Your childhood is often mine… same tinsel story with my mom ๐Ÿ™‚ There were a few years when I returned from university she informed me, “I saved the tinsel for you to put on.” I guess I might have really liked it when I was younger?? We also had a similar situation as Aviva — but with the cat ๐Ÿ™‚ Cats do like to eat grass, so…

    My husband and I used tinsel on our first few trees, than abandoned it finally. We bought some “Victorian tin tinsel” one year, but only used it for a few years as well. If you would like some cleaner tinsel:
    There was only silver when we bought it — I see they have a choice of colours now.

    You jogged my memory about tinsel on the classroom carpet lol

    I am happy we are now tinsel free in all forms ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Dad had rules. Three strips per branch with each individually applied. We also saved them year to year. What a job that was. I haven’t put tinsel on a tree in decades now. I sort of miss it but not enough to go looking for it. I suspect that environmentalists are at least partly to blame. That stuff can’t be good for the environment.


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