The traditional forms for topping a Christmas tree were a star or an angel, representing the Star of Bethlehem and the angels that announced the birth of Christ. One finds many forms of each in all sorts of materials. Crafting one’s own remains popular with many online patterns and resources available.
Tinsel and paper mache were popular materials for forming stars and angels and other forms. These were decorated with larger size scraps or glass beads, and frequently had dangles.
Many people also love the finial form as a top to their tree. These became popular as glass blowers began to reproduce the forms of ornaments into a long spiked top. One finds vintage single ball, double ball and triple ball glass finials. These are decorated with indents and painted in the same styles of painting of glass balls. Also made were molded forms with a spike on top. Old World Christmas and Christopher Radko have refined the art form of the figural finial.
After the advent of electric lights, these forms were adapted to incorporate lights. One finds a plethora of lighted treetops made of all kinds of materials including tinsel, tin foil, plastic and figures mounted on a cone form.