Since Christmas is upon us, I thought I’d post pics of some of the Christmas trees I’ve seen in the month of December! And whether you celebrate Christmas or not, just about everyone loves seeing a beautifully decorated tree! So, happy holidays and enjoy!
But first, a bit about the Christmas tree….
For thousands of years, pagans and Christians have used the evergreen tree as a symbol of winter festivals. While pagans used evergreen branches to decorate during the winter solstice, the Romans used evergreens to adorn temples at the festival of Saturnalia (basically a big Roman party during the month of December).
Even the ancient Egyptians got into the act! At the solstice, they filled their homes with palm rushes which symbolized life. Okay, so not evergreens, but greenery all the same…
While no one is entirely sure where and when evergreen trees were first used as Christmas trees (although some say it was in Latvia and Estonia somewhere around the 15th and 16th centuries), Germany is pretty much credited with starting the whole Christmas tree tradition that we’re familiar with today. Around the 1500’s, Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. The 16th century Protestant reformer Martin Luther is thought to have been the first to put lighted candles on a tree. As the story goes, he was walking home one winter’s night trying to come up with a church sermon, when he saw the stars twinkling through the evergreens. That gave him the idea to put candles on trees. Guess he wasn’t thinking of the fire hazard that could cause…
In the United States, the Christmas tree was pretty slow to catch on. The Pilgrims held Christmas sacred and thought of Christmas trees as a bunch of pagan nonsense that disrespected the holy holiday. Christmas carols were outlawed and people were fined for putting up decorations! (A bit harsh, don’t ya think?)
It wasn’t until the mid 1800’s that the Christmas tree began to be a thing. The London News published an illustration of Queen Victoria and her children around a Christmas tree. Since Queen Victoria was so popular, anything she did also became trendy. That’s when the Christmas tree started showing up not just in Britain, but in the U.S., too! And the rest is history!
Oh, and one more thing – Did you know Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states? Yup, even in Hawaii and Alaska!