“Früher war mehr Lametta.” is an expression you hear a lot around Christmas time in Germany. Coined by German comedian Loriot in the sketch “Weihnachten bei Hoppenstedts”, it encapsulates the German sentiment of “Früher war alles besser.” everything used to be better.
Lametta (n.) = tinsel used to be the weapon of choice to decorate Christmas trees in Germany. But the eco-friendly movement took its toll and these days Christmas trees in Germany usually aren’t decorated with Lametta. In fact, the last manufacturer of Lametta in Germany closed down this year.
Therefore, you might answer the question “Wie gefällt dir der Weihnachtsbaum?” How do you like the Christmas tree? with “Früher war mehr Lametta.”, a running gag understood by most older Germans.
Lametta is also often used as a colloquial word for Orden (m) = decoration, usually in the expression “Lametta auf der Brust haben” = lit. to have a decorated chest (being highly decorated officer).
Picture by Till Westermayer via Flickr