Tinsel was originally a metallic garland for Christmas decoration. Nowadays it is typically made of plastic, and used particularly to decorate Christmas trees. In addition it can be hung from walls or ceilings and is normally flexible enough to be wrapped around almost anything i.e. statues or lamposts. It was invented in Nuernberg, Germany in 1610, and was originally made of shredded silver.
Tinsel used to include lead, which caused the strands to hang better from the branches. This was eventually removed due to safety concerns.
Tinsel also can harm or kill pets, so it should be used cautiously in homes with pets.
Let Children Play with Tinsel? No, They Might Be Strangled; It's the Season of Goodwill. . . but Scrooge Is Alive and Well
Dec 17, 2004; tinsel has been banned from a school Christmas party - because the head master fears pupils might strangle themselves if...