Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Scintillating Christmas Tree

Christmas tree is originated in Germany around 700 AD and Germans are responsible for bringing the Christmas tree to the New World. There are numerous conflicting myths and legends associated with the Christmas tree.

As per one legend, at the time of Pagan Yule celebration, the Pagan families used to believe in the wood sprits. They would bring a real tree inside their home in winter season, in order to provide a place to the spirits to remain warm during the cold months. Pagans hung bells from the branches of the tree so that they would know when a spirit  came inside their home.

Another legend is connected with St. Boniface, the Apostle of the Germans, who propagated Christianity in the Frankish Empire during the 7th century. St. Boniface was furious when he saw pagans revering an oak tree. He hacked it down, but when a fir tree sprang up on the spot, he decided to use the tree's triangular shape to describe the Trinity.

By the 12th Century, Central Europeans were hanging fir trees - upside down - from ceilings at Christmas.

Another legend is credited to “the German theologian and reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546), who in 1530 was moved by the sight of stars shining though the forest of firs near his home, that he apparently cut a small one and brought it indoors. He then placed, lit candles in its boughs as a salute to the star of Bethlehem. By the 1800s, the Christmas tree custom was widespread throughout many parts of Europe, and was brought to America by the Pennsylvania German immigrants in the 1820's. In 1880, Woolworth sold the first manufactured Christmas tree ornaments, and the first electrically lighted Christmas tree appeared in 1882.”

“Another version of the legends about the Christmas tree goes back to the 1300's. During that time, artists used to roam around in the streets carrying huge pine boughs, loaded with apples. This act was a kind of advertisement for the miracle plays they used to stage on the steps of the church, the plays about Adam and Eve, with the boughs representing the Garden of Eden. Slowly and gradually, this 'paradise tree' came to be associated with life and was named as the 'Christ Child's Tree' and after words Christmas tree”.

“Among many legends most common stories tells the tale of an old woodcutter that stumbled across a young hungry child in the woods. He stopped chopping trees for a bit to befriend and feed the child. Once their meal was finished the two went on their separate ways. Early during the next morning the child appeared in front of the woodcutter and his wife in the form of a spirit. He identified himself as Christkind and thanked the surprised woodcutter for his act of kindness on the previous day. To repay the woodcutter's good will, Christkind gave him the sprig of an evergreen tree and told him the tree from which the sprig came would bear fruit year round. In response to this miraculous incident, each year Germans started felling evergreen trees each winter”. The most widespread, and to children the most delightful, of all festal institutions is the Christmas tree. Its picturesqueness and gaudy charm have made it spread rapidly all over Europe without roots in national tradition. the tree is purely splendor for splendor's sake. However tawdry it may look by day, at night it is a true thing of wonder, shining with countless lights and glittering ornaments, with fruit of gold and shimmering festoons of silver.

Christmas trees have a long and exciting history. During the pre-Christian era, people and tribes often had holy groves and trees where they sacrificed to the gods. The trees were most often oak or ash, and they symbolized a connection between heaven and earth. Similar ideas are found in the Old Testament – trees symbolized wisdom and life.

American Christmas trees

Fraser Fir

The tree lives in acidic, sandy, moist soil at high elevations of 1,200-2,000 meters. The crown is pyramidal and it has horizontal branches. The tree is widely used as a Xmas tree in the USA.

Red Fir

The tree grows in the northern parts of California and Oregon. It typically grows between the range of 40-60 meters. It has a narrow conic crown. It is often used as an outdoor holiday tree.

European Christmas Trees

Silver Fir

Silver Fir grows in mineral-rich soil in the Central European mountain forests. The crown is conic-shaped and slim. It is highly suitable as a Christmas tree.

Nordmann Fir

Nordmann Fir is native to the mountains on the eastside of the Black Sea. It is a large, evergreen tree with a wide and conic-shaped growth.

Christmas Tree Decor Sets

Christmas tree decor sets come in all shapes and sizes. There are flowers, wreaths, wax candles, miniature Santa Claus figures, and ceramic miniature figures of angels and other symbols that represent an important aspect of the Christmas season. Live Christmas decor sets usually go well with real Christmas trees, while artificial Christmas tree decor sets go well with trees made out of synthetic materials.

Today, many different kinds of Christmas decorations are known. Here are a few:

Christmas lights

When people back in the old days talked about Christmas lights, they meant the small, white candles on their trees. But today, most popular Christmas lights are either the old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs or the modern LED. Bubble lights are sealed glass tubes with a bubbling liquid inside were first created by Benjamin Franklin. The idea was adopted for use in Christmas Lights. Moreover, these Christmas Tree Bulbs symbolize
happiness as it sparkles.


As early as the mid-1880’s, using angels as Christmas decorations became widespread. Angles are associated with the Christian culture, but are also known in Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and Judaism, where angels are used as messengers.

Christmas balls

 As far back as three hundred years ago, glass balls were already used as Christmas decorations. Today, the big, shiny balls of thin plastic or glass are used. They were originally invented in Germany.

Christmas candles

To decorate the Christmas tree with Christmas candles is a tradition that dates back to the 16th century – the time when the Christmas tree was first brought into a living room. The candle symbolizes life and joy in a dark time, and is perfect for Christmas.

Christmas tree candles represent two things for most people around the world. First, Christmas tree candles symbolize the Bethlehem Star which guided the Three Wise Men to the manger as stated by the Holy Bible. Christmas candle, particularly for the Irish, symbolizes the Holy Family in search for a place where they could rest and where Mary could give birth to the infant Jesus, so a Christmas candle is an important addition to the holiday decor sets of Christian families.But a Christmas candle can also be found on the window sills of most Irish homes during the holiday season since it symbolizes their welcoming gestures for the Holy Family that was in search for shelter before the Nativity.


In 1610, tinsel was invented in Germany and was made from genuine silver. Machines that shredded silver into thin tinsel-sized strips were invented. However, since silver tinsel tarnishes and loses its shine over time, people eventually created artificial replacements. It must be noted that the original inventor of tinsel remains unknown.

In many families, Christmas decorating traditions and decorations are passed on from generation to generation.

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