Christmas constitutes one of the most important holidays in the Christian world. The date which symbolizes the birth of Jesus is celebrated globally and has been recognized as such since the early Middle Ages.
Although primarily a religious holiday, over time it has become more of an occasion for a family gathering, exchange of presents and colorful decorations.
In the United States, this image of Christmas was created in the years following WWII. The period of prosperity in the 1950s which launched the U.S. economy gave Christmas accessories such as mass-produced ornaments, and Christmas trees supplied on a large-scale and available to everyone.
The post-war period also introduced a number of artificial options to substitute bringing a live tree indoors, using new materials such as aluminium and PVC plastic, which came in a range of colors.
Artificial trees were in the spotlight in the late-1950s, for they fit nicely with the streamlined home decor of the emerging Space Age style.
Toppers and stands also became increasingly popular, with a variety of them on the market. The most popular was the lit-from-within style, which provided additional lighting to the already shining mixture of bubble lights and reflective ball ornaments.
It all added up to the merry and joyful image of Christmas as a family holiday, which became increasingly popular as a consumer holiday as well. Malls were full for the Christmas shopping season, as people hurried to buy each other presents and brought their children to meet the Spirit of Christmas himself ― Santa Claus.
Other accessories such as figurines and stockings became a must-have. With winter ornaments, reindeers, elves and Santa Claus costumes everywhere, one could hardly escape the notion that celebration is in the air.
Homes all over the United States were caught in this over-the-top decorating craze, which swept the country and formed one of the most iconic holidays in recent history that continues to be the most joyful time of the year.