Christmas tree: It’s Chronological History

It’s December 1st and I can feel Christmas in the air. Have you decorated your home yet? Hang stockings and candy canes; wrap the stairs with garlands, Christmas balls, colorful lights, stars, and red ribbons; display Frosty the snowman, Santa Claus, Rudolph, and the elves; and of course don’t forget to decorate your Christmas tree. You cannot feel the holidays without a Christmas tree in your home.

Do you know why we are putting up a Christmas tree for Christmas and how did it all started?

St. Boniface, a monk from Crediton, Devonshire went to Germany during the 7th century to spread the word of God. He spent most of his time doing good deeds in Thuringia. This is a place that became the cradle of the Christmas decoration industry. In his teachings to the pagans, he used the Fir Tree to describe the Holy Trinity: God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit because of its triangular shape. And he had converted the pagans to believe in God. These converted people previously revered the oak but later on they began to believe that the Fir Tree is God’s tree.

During the 12th century in Central Europe, the Fir Trees were hung upside down on Christmas seasons as a symbol of Christianity.

It was believed that in 1510, the Fir tree was first decorated at Riga, Latvia but was burnt during the New Year celebration.

In the early 16th century, a small Christmas tree was decorated with candles by Martin Luther. This is to show his kids that the stars can twinkle through the dark night. Christmas markets were set up in German towns in the mid 16th century. They provided food, Christmas presents, and a lot of special things like knife grinder to make the knife sharp enough to cut the Christmas goose. In the fair, the bakers made fun shaped ginger breads and wax ornaments for the people as their souvenir. When they got home they hung these on their Christmas trees. They were made in different colors: Green, to symbolize the Garden of Eden; Red, to symbolize knowledge; White, to symbolize innocence or peace; and the foods, to symbolize abundance.

It was in the 17th century when the first Christmas tree was introduced to England by the Georgian Kings who came from Germany. The German merchants decorated their homes with Christmas trees with tinsels, candles, silver wire ornaments, and small beads. Their tradition was to set up many small trees on tables representing each member of the family. Under each tree is the person’s presents.

Queen Victoria and her German Prince, Albert were popular Royals during 1846. There family illustration was published in the illustrated London News wherein they were standing around a Christmas tree together with their kids. Its decorations were home made by young ladies. They made Christmas crafts, sewing little pouches for secret gifts and paper baskets with sugared almond, quilting snowflakes and stars, small beads, tinsels, and beautiful angels.

Innovative trees became to flourish in 1860’s. They hung small toys on the branches but they still put gifts on the table under the tree. During this time, Christmas tree was spreading all over Europe.

In 1747, the Christmas tree was introduced to America by the Hessian Soldiers. Since America has different immigrants, it adopted several customs and applied it on their Christmas trees.

It was mid 19th century when America began to spread about Christmas decorations. Themed Christmas trees became popular like Oriental tree or Egyptian tree. Different settlers all over Europe took their customs and decorated the West. From that, people made their own decoration and decorated their own Christmas trees.

And now we’re heading to the 21st century, we still decorate Christmas trees. It makes us know that God is with us. We feel good that we are going to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas Day. So, you better set up your Christmas tree now! You can learn how to become an art teacher so you can discover how to make different kinds of decorations for Christmas. It would be nice to share them to kids for fun. I love Christmas!


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