The Evolution of the Christmas Tree

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The Evolution of the Christmas Tree

Lily L, Off Campus

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Christmas trees have changed from pyramids of wood decorated like trees to the beautiful, elegant piece of art they are now. Christmas trees are an important part in Christmas celebrations all around the world. Although different countries may decorate them differently, Christmas trees are always present. Gifts from Santa Clause appear under the tree and cause smiles and laughter. Christmas trees have changed a lot over time and evolved into the decorative tree it is now.

Christmas Trees have been used to celebrate holidays for over a thousand years. In the early ages, pagans used Fir tree branches to decorate their house during the winter solstice. Fir trees have small green needles that stay green all year round. Romans used Fir trees to decorate their temples during the festival of Saturnalia. Later, in northern Europe, Fir trees were first used for the Christian holiday. For example, the rich hung trees from the ceiling like a chandelier. However, if a person could not afford a real plant, they made pyramids of wood decorated like a Christmas tree. The Christmas trees were originally decorated with apples, paper, and candles. Additionally, some Christmas trees weren’t even hung up but instead carried around the home for all to see.

Another theory of how the Christmas tree came to be, is that when St. Boniface visited the people of Germany, he saw a group sacrificing a boy to the gods. They were about to chop down a giant oak tree on top of him when St. Boniface stopped them and saved the boy. Behind the oak, a fir tree grew out of the ground with its branches pointing towards the heavens. Then the tree was brought back to the village and decorated. The tradition was passed down from generation to generation.

Today, Christmas trees are one of the biggest staples of the holiday season and are a symbol of Christmas to everyone. However, most people do not grow their own Christmas trees. They usually buy them from Christmas tree lots as opposed to in the distant past when people grew their own. In addition to growing Christmas trees, people also decorate them. Christmas trees are decorated elegantly with ornaments, tinsel, and lights. Also, lots of people don’t even use real Christmas trees. A lot of people buy artificial Christmas trees from stores. Artificial Christmas trees come in a variety of styles and colors. Some Christmas trees are even made to look upside down as the original ones in Germany.

In conclusion, Christmas trees have changed a lot over the years. starting out as branches collected for sacrifice to the beautiful extraordinary decorations we know them as today. Although they have changed, one thing about them remains: the magic, excitement, and happiness they bring every year.

References

“History of the Christmas Tree” History of the Christmas Tree, ChristmasTreeHistory.net, 2011. www.christmastreehistory.net/

The History of Christmas Trees.” WhyChristmas?com, James Cooper, 1 November 2000. www.whychristmas.com/customs/trees.shtml

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