The many balls, cones, shapes, hearts and figurines in various styles are not only a dazzling, shining splendour on the Christmas tree; they also stand for different symbols. The Christmas ball has developed out of apple symbolism. The shape of the ball is a sign for perfection and divinity. The orb is a symbol for power.
Apples are signs for fertility and an endless life. Apples on the Christmas tree, no matter in which shape or colour, remind us of the apples in paradise. Golden apples refer to ancient tree myths. In Greek mythology golden apples stand for apples in the garden of the gods, in Elision. Those who ate from these apples got immortal. Ancient arts used golden apples for allegories for the stars of the sky tree.
Bears symbolise power, feeling of security and metamorphosis. Who formerly covered themselves in a bearskin felt bear strong enough to banish evil demons.
Very popular are clowns. They stand for lucky charms because they promise happiness and humour.
Angels are middlemen between the godly and human sphere and announce the birth of the Saviour.
Fishes are old symbols for water, life and fertility. Besides they should remember to the biblical story of the marvellous fish increase, when Christ fed many people with a handful of fishes. Fishes are also a delicious Christmassy Lenten food. Eggs of fishes promise wealth, fish scales a full purse.
Although fly agarics are a part of the toadstool family, they are - supposedly because of their noticeable colours - fertility symbols. Also various other mushrooms made of glass, cotton wool or paper mâché, often pictured in small groups, where likely used as Christmas tree decorations. An old German saying goes further, "The clothes of those who eat mushrooms at Christmas Eve will look gorgeous on them".
Presents stand for signs for grace of charity and abandonment, and they will be associated with gifts of the three wise men from the Magi.
Bells ring in the holy night and welcome the New Year. The first church bell, the prototype is probably from Asia, rang in Europe supposedly in Italy around the year 400 after Christ. Bells warn, jubilate, remember, and proclaim the pleased message of the birth of Infant Jesus on Christmas Eve. As they avert danger, bells on the Christmas tree have the nature to prevent disaster.
Hearts are a declaration of love to its beholder and symbolise love, desire, joy and vital force.
Puppets are one of the oldest toys. As human look-alikes they have attended men in nearly all cultures. They are also old lucky mascots.
Stars are signs of hope and a gracious fortune. Straw stars remind us that Jesus was born in a crib.
Fir cones similar to nuts are fertility symbols. They stand simultaneously for virginity and therefore also for Virgin Mary. Sometimes cones look like icicle and symbolise winter.
Trumpets which go back to the angel trumpets were used for send out good news on Christmas Eve like the birth of Jesus.
Birds have a different symbolic content depending on their type. Storks for example are spring messengers, luck and children bringer. Birds in cages on the other side symbolise domesticity. Pigeons stand for peace and spiritualization. The wheel turning peacock is said to that it has imaginable marvellous witcheries. Their bright coat reminds us of to the glory of night sky. Owls are obtained as old magic animals and symbols for knowledge and wisdom. Long time ago people thought that bird nests could prevent houses or trees of lightning strokes. For some people they have a protective function. Bird nests symbolise homely luck and security.
Dice are a little bit ambivalent and symbolise on the one hand luck but they also should warn you not to enforce luck effortlessly.
The usage of the Christmas pickle is particularly wide spread in the United States and is known there as a German tradition. Here in the German speaking area this usage is seldom and also the origin is not known. On the decorated Christmas tree the Christmas pickle is hidden between the branches. The first kid who finds it gets an additional present.