A Christmas Tradition: Christmas Trees

A Christmas Tradition: Christmas Trees

Did you know …?

 

A small fir tree, set on a table in a home in Latvia, a country in northern Europe, was called a Christmas tree in 1510.

According to legend, Martin Luther (1483 – 1546) saw starlight peeking through the branches of fir trees on a cold December evening as he walked home through the woods.

christmas-598132_1920The first lighted Christmas tree

After he went home, Martin wanted to capture the look of the starlight through the branches. He tied a candle holder onto a branch of the evergreen Christmas tree in his house. He liked how the flame of the candle looked and tied more candleholders onto the tree. It impressed his family and friends, who did the same to the trees in their homes.

The meaning of the Christmas tree

Martin saw meaning in the Christmas tree. He taught his loved ones that in the same way the evergreen doesn’t lose its color, God’s love for us never changes. The candlelight on the tree represents the birth of God’s Son, Jesus, who brought hope to all of us.

Christmas trees in United States

Although Germans in Pennsylvania brought Christmas trees into their homes, the idea became more widespread before the Civil War. It became a tradition. Even the poorest family could join in the fun by chopping down a tree in the woods near their home.

christmas-1046068_1920First decorations on Christmas trees

Apples were the first decorations on Christmas trees in German homes. Martin Luther added candles. Soon, dolls, small toys, white candy canes, paper chains, and cookies decorated the trees. In the 1850s, food coloring on strings of popcorn made the trees more cheerful.

– Sandra Merville Hart

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