There are many types of Christmas tree toppers, but the most commonly used are stars and angels. Those with a cartoon theme are another popular type. Victorian-style tree toppers may resemble decorations from years gone by. Heirloom tree toppers are often passed down through family generations.
Many Christmas tree toppers are basic designs, but others incorporate lights of varying kinds. These lights may blink or not, and can be found in simple white or in any color that other Christmas lights come in. Light-emitting diode (LED) tree toppers are also available. Some toppers are battery powered, while others require electric current.
Christmas tree toppers are also made from almost any material, including plastic, metal, and fabric. Tree toppers are often found in silver or gold, although red is another widely used color. Some of the fabric toppers incorporate wire for flexibility and positioning.
Many families choose to put an angel on the top of the Christmas tree, since tradition has it that angels appeared in the sky over Bethlehem to announce Jesus' birth. Interfaith families who celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah may decorate the top of the tree with a star of David. Typically designed in silver or gold, such decorations may be found in specialty stores or purchased through the Internet.
Santa Claus or Father Christmas Christmas tree toppers are also popular for trimming the top of a Christmas tree. These may be traditional or Old World style. The Santa character is typically wearing his famous red suit and may or may not be lighted.
Families with young children may prefer to decorate with Christmas tree toppers that portray favorite cartoon characters. They may be adorned in typical holiday attire and these styles may be lighted as well.
Snowmen are also quite popular characters for the top of a tree. Most of these use miniature lights. Other miscellaneous designs include multi-lighted snowflake styles, a large cross design, or mistletoe toppers. A large red, silver, or gold red bow is another style that may be used as a topper.
Some Christmas tree toppers feature celebrity themes. For example, rock stars such as Elvis Presley may be framed around a star and used as a Christmas tree topper. These are typically lighted as well.