It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year — For Inventors! Patents for Holiday Decorations

Dec 18, 2023

It’s time to break out all your favorite holiday decorations and get them set up around your home. Whether holiday ornaments, lights, or other festive decor, these decorations can fill your home with a sense of holiday cheer. But all of them, at some point, began with an idea. 

The creator of your holiday decorations at some point likely had to patent their ideas to make them stand out. So in today’s blog, let’s talk about some of the holiday decorations that have been patented throughout time.

electric holiday decoration patent for a hanukkah lamp

Electric Hanukkah Lamp

Christmas is far from the only holiday that takes place during the month of December. Another popular holiday is Hanukkah, or the Jewish festival of lights. This eight day celebration has been commemorated throughout time by lighting one candle in the menorah — a nine-pronged ceremonial candlestick — for each day. As the story goes that one day’s worth of oil lit the Temple lantern for eight days, the ninth candle is there to light each of the eight candles.

Over time, however, celebrations of Hanukkah have evolved. For one thing, just like some might setup an artificial tree for Christmas, some menorahs have gone electric. This dates back to 1959, when Ernest Goldberg invented an “electric Hanukkah lamp.” This lamp had all of the features of a menorah, including bulbs that mimicked candle flames. It was attached to power outlets through a cord — for a Hanukkah in the electric age.

christmas tree patent

Artificial Christmas Tree Illuminated By Optic Fiber Sprays

Sometimes you want the holiday spirit in your home, but you don’t want to deal with the maintenance of an actual Christmas tree. The shedding of pine needles can be a pain, and if there’s an allergy in the household, real pine trees simply aren’t possible. Artificial trees have existed for centuries to provide people a lower maintenance alternative; but they’ve become more creative in recent years. 

In 1973, Albert V. Sadacca and Bernard Paulfus invented an artificial Christmas tree that was illuminated by optic fiber sprays. The optic fiber sprays were used to create artificial leaves and branches, creating an artificial tree where the “pine needles” themselves were illuminated. 

Holiday decoration patent for a tinsel gun

Tinsel Gun

This is a fun patent that, sadly, did not see much commercial success. Hanging tinsel is a popular part of every holiday season. These brightly colored strips are designed to have an icicle-like aesthetic to really accentuate the beauty of the season. Tinsel is typically hung by hand, wrapped around Christmas trees or any other surface that makes sense, but John Postolowski asked if it was possible to make the process more efficient.

In 1970, Postolowski invented “devices for dispensing tinsel and the like adaptable for decorating Christmas trees.” This tinsel gun held rolls of tinsel inside that would be shot out by activating the trigger. Although the patent was granted, no one seemed very interested in buying a tinsel gun, so now in 2023, we still hang tinsel by hand.