Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash
When we think of the Christmas season, a giant pine tree adorned with red and gold ornaments, wrapped in shimmering garland and colorful lights, and surrounded by multicolored gifts is what may first pop into our minds. But since when did the evergreen become a part of our holiday tradition?
Using green plants to celebrate eternal life was a common thing to do with ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Hebrews, and Europeans. The beginning of the Christmas tree tradition has often been attributed to Martin Luther. However, original Christmas trees can be traced back to ancient mystery plays, where an evergreen represented the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden.
Initially apples decorated the tree acting as the tree’s banned fruits, but as it found its way into houses decorative balls replaced the live sweets. Unbelievably, it wasn’t accepted in America--one could get in trouble for even hanging decorations!--until a picture of Queen Victoria and her family with a Christmas tree was drawn, and the likable trend spread across many societies. Though not all of them used Christmas trees, many other cultures and countries developed their own house decorations in a similar fashion.
Today, the tree is iconic to the holiday season, and is decorated around the country in every way imaginable. Now as you revel in the jolly spirit of Christmas this season, you can gaze upon your evergreen decor and know the history of this festive home ornament!