Christmas Trees Guide

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Origin of the Christmas Tree

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People do not always agree as to the origin of the Christmas tree, nor to its links with Christian tradition-yet the Christmas tree is something favored by people all over the world. At Christmas time houses across America put up a brightly decorated Christmas tree-but there is evidence to suggest that the origin of the Christmas tree is much older. Trees were used for celebrations long before the arrival of Christianity. The ancient Egyptians were said to worship the evergreen and when the winter solstice arrived they would display green date palms in their homes as a symbol of triumph over death. Although they may not have seen our Christmas festivities they would have understood the roots of the origin of the Christmas tree.

The Christmas tree has pagan associations for many people and they are not happy about its popularity. There were a lot of pagan traditions that the early Church could not stamp out and so they made them a part of the Christian tradition. The reason that Christmas trees are lit up every year is because the Church had problems in stamping out the pagan festival of light-this was why bright lights became part of Christmas festivities.

In Europe and most of the western world the origin of the Christmas tree is said to be Saint Boniface. The fir tree or evergreen tree was taken to Germany more than 1000 years ago by Saint Boniface-many Christians regard this as the true origin of the Christmas tree. When Saint Boniface went to convert the German people he was said to have come across a group of pagans worshipping an oak tree. St Boniface was angry and so he cut down the oak tree and a young fir tree sprang up from its roots. St Boniface then saw the fir tree as evidence of the Christian faith-this is why some Christians believe the origin of the Christmas tree to be tied to Christian tradition.

Christmas trees remained outside people’s houses until the 16th Century. So the origin of the Christmas tree as part of people’s indoor festivities is actually much later. The other thing that Americans are indebted to Europe for is that of Christmas ornaments which also originated in Germany and were brought to America by German immigrants in the 1840s. In England the custom of putting glass ornaments on a Christmas tree began long after the origin of the Christmas tree-Prince Albert bought a tree that was decorated in the finest hand made glass ornaments. People admired the royal family and so they copied what Prince Albert and Queen Victoria did and put glass ornaments on their trees.




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