To tinsel or not to tinsel?

Dating back to 1610, tinsel is a popular choice for Christmas decorations. Originating from Germany, it was thought to emulate ice, and to also represent the starry sky over the Nativity scene, when added to the tree alongside candles.

Originally made out of shredded silver, the tinsel quickly became discoloured from the heat of the candles, ruining the effect. It was difficult to find a substitute, and one created using tin and lead proved to be too heavy. Modern tinsel is usually made from polyvinyl chloride, (more commonly known as PVC) film.

While it was originally used around statues and monuments, tinsel was often a favourite decoration for the Christmas tree. So, when we asked our listeners’ opinions on Instagram, we were surprised to learn that 70% of our followers do not use