Why a Christmas tree?


These days are so dark. The night comes too early. I welcome the Christmas lights that decorate the darkness. Coming home, after a day of wandering, I love the gaily decorated houses. I am not sold on the latest fad of having a large inflated and lighted Santa or  snowman dancing in the wind, but lighting the darkness with a string of lights is just what I need.

I wondered about the origin of the decorations we see everywhere. It is easy these days to research on the web.

Celebrating the winter solstice is ancient, dating back as far as the Egyptians and King Tut.  It seems they brought greenery into their homes to symbolize life. I am OK with that. Lots of other civilizations used trees as well, all during the winter solstice to represent life.

The Druids in England included boughs of holly and mistletoe to represent eternal life and placed evergreen branches over their doors to keep away the evil spirits. I have never considered my evergreen decorations having any purpose other than decorative, however, I am not one who wants any evil spirits in my house.

As far as the modern Christmas tree is concerned, it has its roots in Germany and Scandinavia. Evergreen trees inside their homes, or just outside the door, showed their hope of the soon coming spring. Our modern Christmas tree evolved from these early traditions.

Legend has it that Martin Luther began the tradition of decorating trees to celebrate Christmas. One crisp Christmas Eve, about the year 1500, he was walking through snow-covered woods and was struck by the beauty of a group of small evergreens. Their branches, dusted with snow, shimmered in the moonlight. When he got home, he set up a little fir tree indoors so he could share this story with his children. He decorated it with candles, which he lighted in honor of Christ’s birth.

The green represents eternal life which Christs gives us as a free gift. I have my tree decorated and lights on the house. I have a wreath over the door and I welcome the colours of Christmas and I am thankful to Martin Luther for decorating that first tree because having a tree in the house without lights seems wrong.

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About Maggie L R

I want to add colour to my life, I want to take each day and make it my own. I love simple pleasures. A hot cup of coffee in the early morning on the deck watching the dog chase the ball. The expressions on the faces of my grandchildren. I love to explore, to take a road I have never been on and see what unfolds. I love to travel. I love a challenge. I have decided I want to live a long and healthy life so I have challenged myself to get into shape both physically and mentally.
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One Response to Why a Christmas tree?

  1. Pingback: Christmas and the Civil War: Part II | Lint In My Pocket – Artillery On The Ridge

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