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November 15, 2017

Meta: A look into why we have Christmas trees.


Hopefully, we all have fond memories of putting up Christmas trees in our home around December, decorating them with all our favorite decorations, from the handmade Knicks and knacks that came in from school, or the items passed down through the years, to rolling the lights around the tree and finally putting the angel or the star on the very top. Even better, is when you go to the malls or to special Christmas markets and festivals, and the organizers have set up an enormous Christmas tree which seems to come straight out of a postcard. Christmas trees are most certainly a big part of Christmas time, but what made them so important? Well, we’re here to help you find out the meaning behind the much-loved and very well adorned Christmas tree.

Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?

Fir trees, which are evergreen, have been a part of winter festivals in European history for across the centuries, everyone from the Romans to Pagan’s such as the Celts made use of the fir tree for some kind of winter observance. Overtime, Christianity began to associate the evergreen fir tree with the eternity of God’s lifespan.

Not all people were wealthy enough to afford a tree, though and so many would assemble wooden ‘tree’ pyramids and decorated them in order for them to appear more tree-like with fruits, nuts and other items. Other reasons to create the wooden pyramid trees were that in Germanic regions the Paradise tree was made out of wood and meant to resemble the infamous tree in the Garden of Eden. On Christmas Eve in these regions, plays were put on foretelling biblical stories in front of the churches; the Paradise tree would be carried throughout the town in order to inform people that a play was going to be put on that night.

The early American settlers, however, did not consider a Christmas tree to be the norm, with the first recorded use of one by Germanic settlers in1830, however, many American communities considered Christmas trees to be taboo and forms of pagan worship right up until the 1840’s. This high insistence was likely caused by the fact that the original New England pilgrims disliked engaging in celebrations over Christmas time, seeing it as pagan and ‘frivolous’. Wonder how they would react now, seeing how Christmas is celebrated within modern day times – they’d probably die seeing the amount of retail therapy that goes into Christmas preparation.

In 1846, back in England, Queen Victoria and her family were photographed standing around a Christmas tree, this not only made the Christmas tree highly appealing and a must-have for all proper members of all English society, but also for many of the citizens on the East coast of the USA. The fear of missing out is as old as time. American citizens really began catching onto the idea of the Christmas tree not when it was shown as a high fashion upper-class staple, but as a means of family connection and strong values within society, this was achieved through the embracing of the tree by American leaders, politicians and artists.

Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?

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