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Tinsel on the "tree"


So I've always wondered . . . what ever happened to "tinsel" on the tree?


Well first . . . let's start from the beginning . . .


As we know . . . the Christmas tree being triangular in shape, became the symbol of representing trinity . . . and from there, came the idea that the Christmas tree should be a symbol of Christ and new life.


Yesterday, we spoke about Martin Luther seeing the stars twinkling through the trees and how it reminded him of Jesus, who left the stars of heaven to come to earth at Christmas.


Well . . . the idea of "tinsel" dates back to 1610, to a place in Germany called Nuremberg. They would put real candles in their Christmas tree to light the room like stars in the sky. Then they would use thin strands of real silver in these trees to reflect the candlelight light, which would mimic the effect of ice hanging from the tree.


But . . . them in August of 1971 . . . manufacturers switched the production of "tinsel" to "lead foil" for tarnish-proof sparkle and weight. BUT . . . November of 1972 . . . just 15 months later . . . the month before Christmas . . . the FDA deemed "tinsel" an "unnecessary" risk to children with symptoms of lead poisoning.


So that's why the "tinsel" we grew up with is no longer.


Today, if you can find it . . . "tinsel" is made from a material called "polyvinyl chloride" or PVC for short. This PVC is given a special treatment to make it nice and shiny before it is shaped into bands which can be used on a tinsel machine.

So back in the 70's . . . It's not that it went out of style . . . but rather, it became a health hazard. So glad tinsel of today is more compliant.


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