Trees have been used for thousands of years as a form of decoration, typically to celebrate winter through many different cultures. Pagans used evergreen fir branches to decorate the inside of their home during winter to get them excited for spring to come. Romans used the trees to decorate their temples. Christians use it as a sign of everlasting life with God.
Though there are many stories about the first Christmas tree, the first person to bring a Christmas tree inside was likely Martin Luther in the 16th century. In Germany, the first Christmas trees were decorated with things like gingerbread and painted apples along with glass ornaments. Christmas trees did not make it over to Britain until the 1830’s but then became quickly popular with the help of Prince Albert. Today, two thirds of US households display an artificial tree where fewer than 1 in 5 display a real tree.
There are several different species of trees used as Christmas trees but these are the most popular:
- Balsam Fir
- Douglas Fir
- Frasier Fir
- Scotch Pine
- Colorado Blue Spruce
As for the Christmas lights, there are a few claims regarding who began this tradition. In 1880, Thomas Edison strung some of his new electric bulbs around the his office. Then, in 1882, Edward Johnson, a colleague of Edison’s, hand strung red, white, and blue bulbs together and put them on his tree in his apartment.
The holidays are a time of reflection, looking back at what you have accomplished and looking forward at what is to come. So we decided to study up on the history of the Christmas tree. As we reflect, we think about how our faith got us to where we are. Thank you for another year of business. We hope you enjoy the holiday season relaxing and enjoying with your loved ones. We are looking forward to a bright 2019.