FinialTo finish, often the final touch. A finial can be an architectural decoration on a building, the "end cap" ornament on a drapery rod and, in this case, the finishing touch on a Christmas tree.
Christmas tree finials are often made of glass and can be quite fragile especially when placed on the top of a towering tree.
Finials can be figural, e.g. a St. Nicholas on top of a sphere, a snowman on top of a snowball, or perhaps an angel. But often it's used to describe a decorative piece that is perhaps a combination of several balls with a molded point on the top.
Tree-topper is another term is often used to describe stars or other items designed use on the tree.
Most of the well-known Christmas ornament companies have produced Christmas finials, including these shown here from Joy to the World Collectibles. Shown above is the 2012 Bratislava Folk Art Finial. Stands about 14" tall and sells for $125.
Tips for Topping the Tree
- When using glass finials, extra care must be used when attaching them to the tree. It can be difficult to attach and/or slide the finial onto the top branch of the tree, although it's a bit easier with an artificial tree. When using a finial on a live tree, one suggestion is to wire or attach a wooden dowel to the top of the tree and slide the finial onto the dowel.
- Be careful when adding the finial to the dowel or top of tree, make sure it is securely attached and is straight. (I've used a small amount of cotton batting around the wooden dowel to cushion the glass).
- If the finial has a reflector* in the mold, they can be easily damaged by the dowel or even the tree top branch. Trust me, I've been there and broken the inside of a reflector. Make sure the dowel/tree branch doesn't reach the spot where the reflector is in the glass.
- Although the perfect scenario is having a beautifully decorated tree, with the top put on at the very end, in reality it's much easier to put the finial or tree-topper on first! No chance of knocking off all those carefully placed ornaments.