Heralding Angels, Twinkling Stars ... Globes, Pencil Sculptures and Umbrellas? The tradition of decorating Christmas trees spawned the much anticipated finishing touch, the tree topper. Historically these came in the form of Angels and Stars. Angels represented the divine messengers of the nativity story. Stars were symbolic of the star of Bethlehem, which according to the Bible, led the three wise men to discover the birth of Jesus. These days, Christmas tree toppers are less predictable, and indeed more imaginative.
Take the Triangle Christmas Tree Challenge for instance. Nearly 60 non-profit organizations -- including Chapel Hill's Women's Birth and Wellness Center -- joined in on the fifth annual decorating competition on display at Diamond View Park in Durham. This year's theme: "The Island of Misfit Toys." The first place winner was SPCA of Wake County who banked $5,000 for its organization.
(photographs taken at Diamond View Park in Durham)