Christmas topper

What's on the top of your Christmas Tree?

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Active Member
Those who do so, will be decorating a Christmas tree sometime soon.
But what do you put on the top - a star, an angel, a fairy, nothing?

One thing I'd like to know. Where does the fairy come from? I know the star and angel appear in the Nativity story, but when did the fairy come into it? Is she a hang over from a pagan past, an atheist alternative to an angel, a neo-pagan embellishment? Any ideas? Has she got any myths?

To answer my own poll - we put a gnome on the top of the Christmas Tree. The same gnome for nearly 50 years (my parents started this). He's a bit worn and has lost his hat and coat. I think it just started as a whim to please my sister when she was really young.


Active Member
Sometimes I put a star (a pentagram, actually) or a small stuffed elf, either of which is satisfyingly Pagan. Actually I celebrate a combination of Yule/Solstice and Christmas, as do most people, without realizing that they are combining two somewhat incompatible observances. Fairies and elves are probably from the older Yule traditions.


Active Member
When I was a kid we had a star on top of our tree; there's an angel up there now. It was a gift a long time ago, I can't remember from who, and it's been on top of my tree ever since.


Well-Known Member
We've always had an angel for the top of our tree. My sister, though, decorates a moose to resemble an angel for her tree. She really likes moose; I could almost say she's obsessed.

E. M.


Active Member
This is the first stanza of T. S. Eliot's The Cultivation of Christmas Trees. Note carefully that the attitude of the child for whom "the angel is not only a decoration, but an angel" is not something that he considers "childish." Eliot's use of double and triple negatives can be a bit confusing at times.

There are several attitudes towards Christmas,
Some of which we may disregard:
The social, the torpid, the patently commercial,
The rowdy (the pubs being open till midnight),
And the childish---which is not that of the child
For whom the candle is a star, and the gilded angel
Spreading its wings at the summit of the tree
Is not only a decoration, but an angel.