No one appreciates a good old-fashioned Christmas tree tradition more than Ree Drummond. She insists that a real tree is the only way to go and decorates her own with mismatched Christmas ornaments and fun garlands she’s collected over the years to give it a unique, homespun feel. Decorating the Christmas tree is arguably one of the best parts of the season, and one of the most iconic elements is popcorn garland. But if you’ve never learned how to make a popcorn garland, or found yourself knee deep in a popcorn garland wondering where the idea came from, we can help with its origin story.

Today, popcorn garlands are considered to be a classic American Christmas decoration, but they actually date back to Victorian England: American colonists in Williamsburg, Virginia, spruced up their own trees with popcorn as early as 1842. German-Americans helped to cement popcorn’s status as an iconic Christmas tree decoration in the early twentieth century (they dyed it different colors and strung it along with edible treats like fruit and nuts). Cranberries soon became a popular addition because of their long shelf life, but you can use just about anything when making your own popcorn garland.

Info and Image from Ree Drummond