Wednesday, December 19, 2007

In search of Christmas Fairies

Looking at my stats program recently, it has been interesting to see the number of people who have arrived at my blog looking for things relating to The Christmas Fairies, including why we put fairies on top of the Christmas tree.

Apologies to all those people who have not found the answer here, but in the festive spirit I have gone in search of the answer, mainly to satisfy my own curiosity.

My research started by putting the question to Google:

Why do we put fairies on the Christmas tree?

To which Google replied:

Did you mean "Why do we put flies on the Christmas tree?"

Now there's a tradition I had never thought of, but I didn't see the appeal so
going back to my researcher roots, I gave Google a more sensible proposal, by searching for:

Origin of the "Christmas Tree Fairy".

Amongst the results was the Fairy Cottage site: which revealed the following:

"The fairy that sits on top of the tree has its origins in the 17th century German tradition of placing small wax or wooden effigies of the Infant Jesus all over Christmas Trees. Eventually, one large effigy called the Tin-gold Angel was developed and by the nineteenth century doll-makers converted him into a Christmas angel-doll made from wax or porcelain. After Christmas, children would dress the Tin-gold Angel as a doll and at some time during the Victorian era the doll changed sex".

The website also include a lovely poem entitled "The Song of the Christmas Tree Fairy" by the Flower Fairies illustrator Cicely Mary Barker (1895-1973):

The little Christmas tree was born
And dwelt in the open air;
It did not guess how bright a dress
Some day its boughs would wear;
Brown cones were all, it thought, a tall
And grown-up Fir would bear.

O little Fir! Your forest home
Is far and far away;
And here indoors these boughs of yours
With coloured balls are gay,
With candle-light, and tinsel bright,
For this is Christmas Day!

A doll-fairy on top,
Till children sleep; then she
(A Live one now!) from bough to bough
Goes sliding silently.
O magic sight, this joyous night!
O laden, sparkling tree!

The Fairy Cottage website is great for finding out about all types of fairies including Fairy Godmothers, The Tooth Fairy and Fairy Kings and Queens.

Other visitors to 21st Century Mummy have also come in search of how to make a Christmas Tree Fairy.

For this I recommend the book "Christmas Fairy things to make and do" by Usborne, which can be found on Amazon.

Alternatively, the project on the Fairy Liquid website looks fun. Check it out at:

So for all the avid Christmas Tree Fairy fans out there, I hope you have found this post useful in your hunt. It's probably a bit late for Christmas 2007, but there's always 2008. As for me, I've learned something new and I think I'm going to now nip off and make some Christmas Fairies.


Jo Beaufoix said...

Oh this is so lovely. And we love Usborne books. We have all the make and do ones pretty much as I used to be an agent for a while when Miss M was tiny.
Must get the books out and do some fab Christmas things this weekend. :D

21st Century Mummy said...

Hi Jo - of course I'll be popping over to your blog to see your accomplishments ;-D