Christmas Tree Evolution
People celebrating Christmas should perhaps see behind the outward glamor of the tree with its candles, balls, silver tinsel, and a shiny star at the top, by looking at it again with an open heart and listening to what it can tell us. In ancient philosophies and religions, for instance, it is found that the tree has often been used as a symbol for the universe, whose roots sprang forth from the divine heart of all things and whose trunk, branches, twigs, and leaves were the different worlds and spheres.
Origin of Christmas Tree
The custom of a Christmas tree, undecorated, is believed to have begun in Germany, in the first half of the 700s. Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition in the sixteenth century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. Some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles if wood was scarce. The Christmas tree custom became popular in other parts of Europe.
England In England Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria made Christmas trees fashionable by decorating the first English Christmas tree at Windsor castle with candles and a variety of sweets, fruits and gingerbread in 1841. Other English families followed suit, using all kinds of items as decorations. Charles Dickens described such a tree as being covered with dolls, miniature furniture, tiny musical instruments, costume jewelry, toy guns and swords, fruit and candy, in the 1850s
America Most nineteenth century Americans found Christmas trees an oddity. The first record of one being on display was in the 1830s by the German settlers of Pennsylvania. They put one on show to raise money for a local church. In 1851 a tree was set up outside of a church. The people of the parish thought it such an outrage and a return to paganism and asked the minister to take it down. By the 1890s Christmas ornaments were arriving from Germany and Christmas tree popularity was on the rise around the U.S.
The early twentieth century saw Americans decorating their trees mainly with homemade ornaments, while the German- American sect continued to use apples, nuts, and marzipan cookies . Popcorn joined in after being dyed bright colors and interlaced with berries and nuts. Electricity brought about Christmas lights making it possible for Christmas trees to glow for days on end.
Modern Concept: 21st Century
The late 1990's and 21st century tree has taken the innovative idea, with new themes and conceptual designs. Some of the theme include the starry night tree, the twilight tree, the snow queen tree, the toy tree, the country tree, the gingerbread tree, the feather tree, the angel tree, the santa tree, the white tree, the doll tree, the blue tree, the nutcracker tree, the teddy bear tree, the fiber optic tree and many others.