The Christmas tree is perhaps the most prominent symbol of Christmas all over the world. Without it, the celebration of Christmas would be incomplete. Besides serving as a colorful house ornament, the Christmas tree also serves as a tie that brings the family together, as they cooperate in decorating the tree. It also functions as a witness of the happiness that Christmas brings, as it stands in the background while all the merriment is taking place in the course of the Christmas celebration.
The Beginning of Tradition
It is believed that the use of Christmas trees began inGermanyin early 1700s. Later on, the use of Christmas trees was adopted by other nations, adding some modifications and variations to fit their own cultures and traditions.
There are various legends about the origin of the Christmas tree. There is one about Saint Boniface, another one about Martin Luther and yet another one about a poor man in the woods who met a lost and hungry child on Christmas Eve. There are also others who attribute the origin of the Christmas tree to the “Paradise Play”.
As a Popular Symbol of Christmas
In North America,Germany, and other parts ofEurope, the Christmas tree is considered as a symbol of everlasting life and a reminder of the return of spring, because it remains green in color while the other plants appear dead in winter. The practice of using evergreens is most popular inEnglandandGermany, which eventually acquired religious meanings around 500 years ago.
Types of Christmas Tree
It is not clear what the first Christmas tree was made of. Some legends claim the first Christmas tree was made out of fir trees while others say they are made of hemlocks-although hemlocks are too frail to bear the weight of ornaments. These days, there are around 50 varieties of Christmas trees to be offered to enthusiastic shoppers which include pines, spruces and firs.
Decorating Christmas Tree
There are many kinds of ornamental items to be used to decorate the Christmas tree. There is no rule as to what the Christmas tree would look, and the materials to be used are entirely up to the tastes and preferences of the individual. Decorating the Christmas tree is a good time to practice one’s creativity and imagination with the help of style theme and color. Usually, the Christmas tree is decorated with red ribbons, Christmas balls, gold garlands and blinking lights.
The decorations of the Christmas tree, whether they are made of tinsels, garlands or ribbons, as well as the selection of trees to be used, reveals a lot of things about the Christmas tradition.