Christmas tree, an evergreen tree, often a pine or a fir, decorated with lights and ornaments as a part of Christmas festivities. Christmas trees can be fresh-cut, potted, or artificial and are used as both indoor and outdoor decorations. While the trees are traditionally associated with Christian symbolism, their modern use is largely secular. Nov 16, · The Christmas Tree is an evergreen tree, usually decorated at Christmas with ornaments and lights. Not just any tree qualifies for this important holiday season status. Christmas trees .
T he evergreen tree was an ancient symbol of life in the midst of winter. Romans decorated their houses with evergreen branches during the New Year, and ancient inhabitants of northern Europe cut evergreen trees and planted them in boxes inside how to repair a rug houses in wintertime.
Many early Christians were hostile to such practices. The second-century theologian Tertullian condemned those Christians who celebrated the winter festivals, or decorated their houses with laurel boughs in honor of the emperor:. You are a light of the world, and a tree ever green. If you have renounced temples, make not your own gate what to look for when buying a flute temple.
But by the early Middle Ages, the legend had grown that when Christ was born in the dead of winter, every tree throughout the world miraculously shook off its ice and snow and what is a christmas tree new shoots of green.
At the same time, Christian missionaries preaching to Germanic and Slavic peoples were taking a more lenient approach to cultural practices—such as evergreen trees.
These missionaries believed that the Incarnation proclaimed Christ's lordship over those natural symbols that had previously been used for the worship of how to trade using market profile gods.
Not only individual human beings, but cultures, symbols, and traditions could be converted. Of course, this did not mean that the worship of pagan gods themselves was tolerated. According to one legend, the eighth-century missionary Boniface, after cutting down an oak tree sacred to the pagan god Thor and used for human sacrificepointed to a nearby fir tree instead as a symbol of the love and mercy of God. Not until the Renaissance are there clear records of trees being used as a symbol of Christmas—beginning in Latvia in and Strasbourg in Legend credits the Protestant reformer Martin Luther with inventing the Christmas tree, but the story has little historical basis.
The most likely theory is that Christmas trees started with what is a christmas tree plays. Dramas depicting biblical themes began as part of the church's worship, but by the late Middle Ages, they had become rowdy, imaginative performances dominated by laypeople and taking place in the open air. The plays celebrating the Nativity were linked to the story of creation—in part because Christmas Eve was also considered the feast day of Adam and Eve.
Thus, as part of the play for that day, the Garden of Eden was symbolized by a "paradise tree" hung with fruit. These plays were banned in many places in the 16th century, and people perhaps began to set up "paradise trees" in their homes to compensate for the public celebration they could no longer enjoy.
The earliest Christmas trees or evergreen branches used in homes were referred to as "paradises. The custom gained popularity throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, against the protests of some clergy. Lutheran minister Johann von Dannhauer, for instance, complained like Tertullian that the symbol distracted people from the true evergreen tree, Jesus Christ. But this did not stop many churches from setting up Christmas trees inside the sanctuary.
Alongside the tree often stood wooden "pyramids"—stacks of shelves bearing candles, sometimes one for each family member. Eventually these pyramids of candles were placed on the tree, the ancestors of our modern Christmas tree lights and ornaments. What is a christmas tree also took a long time for trees to become associated with presents.
Though legend connects the idea of Christmas gifts with the gifts the Magi brought Jesus, what is a christmas tree real story is more complicated. Like trees, gifts were first a Roman practice—traded during the winter solstice. As Epiphany, and later Christmas, replaced the winter solstice as a time of celebration for Christians, the gift-giving tradition continued for a while.
By late antiquity it had died out, although gifts were still exchanged at New Year's. Gifts were also associated with St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra in modern-day Turkeywho became famous for giving gifts to poor children.
His feast day December 6 thus what do neonatal nurses make another occasion for gift exchanges. During the early Middle Ages, Christmas gifts most often took the form of tributes paid to monarchs—although a few what is a christmas tree used the holiday season as an opportunity to give to the poor or to the church instead most notably Duke Wenceslas of Bohemia, whose story inspired the popular carol, and William the Conqueror, who chose Christmas to make a large donation to the pope.
Like trees, gifts came "inside" the family around the time of Luther, as the custom of giving gifts to friends and family members developed in Germany, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia. Often these were given anonymously, or hidden.
One Danish custom was to rewrap a gift many times with different names on each wrapper, so that the intended recipient was only discovered when all the layers were opened. In the English-speaking world, the union of gifts, trees, and Christmas was due to the influence of Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert, a native of Saxony now part of Germany. German immigrants had brought the custom of Christmas trees with them in the early s, but it spread widely after Victoria and Albert set up an elaborate tree for their children at Windsor Castle in At this point, Christmas what is a christmas tree were usually hung on the tree itself.
German and Dutch immigrants also brought their traditions of trees and presents to the New World in the early s.
The image of happy middle-class families exchanging gifts around a tree became a powerful one for American authors and civic leaders who wished to replace older, rowdier, and more alcohol-fueled Christmas traditions—such as wassailing—with a more family-friendly holiday.
This family-centered image was widely popularized by Clement Moore's poem, known today as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" which also helped give us our modern picture of Santa Claus. As many of us make trees and gifts the center of our own Christmas practice, we would do well to remember that they are ultimately symbols of the One who gave himself to unite heaven and earth, and who brings all barren things to flower.
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How Did Christmas Trees Start?
Nov 24, · Since the 19 th century, Americans have embraced the evergreen tree as an annual staple to Christmas cheer. The lighting of the tree in Rockefeller center, as well in other hometowns often symbolizes the beginning of the holiday season. Meaning Of The Christmas Tree Christian. Christmas tree refers to an evergreen tree decorated with fir trees or pine trees with lights, candles and ornaments. As one of the important elements of Christmas, the modern Christmas tree originated in Germany and gradually became popular worldwide, becoming one of the most famous traditions in Christmas celebrations. Dec 11, · The earliest Christmas trees (or evergreen branches) used in homes were referred to as "paradises." They were often hung with round pastry wafers symbolizing the Eucharist, which developed into the.
For many people, selecting a Christmas tree each year is an annual tradition for families to take part in, with the tree itself becoming a focal point of decorations and celebrations over the festive period.
Sometimes, it can be overwhelming when faced with the challenge of choosing a tree when visually they all look fairly similar, but different types of Christmas trees do have different pros and cons. Some trees are highly fragrant, which is a popular trait with many people, while non-fragrant trees will need to be sought out for anyone with allergies or sensitivities to strong smells. The strength of the branches is also an important consideration based on how you like to decorate a tree.
Choose a tree with soft foliage if you have children or pets to prevent injury. If possible, always buy your freshly cut tree from a local nursery or a farm where you can select and cut your own. In order to select the healthiest tree, there are a few things you can look for. First, if there is a pile of needles on the floor under a tree, then do not select that tree, because it is not in good condition.
Second, place your hand on a branch close to the tree trunk, then run your hand along the branch towards its tip. You want a tree that does not drop needles when you make this motion. Having selected your tree and bought it home, you will need to cut a few inches from the bottom of the trunk.
This will open the pores of the tree and make it better able to absorb water, which will result in a longer lasting tree. Place your cut tree in a pot and immediately fill it with water. You will need to keep this topped up throughout the festive season, always making sure that the trunk is in contact with the water. Regularly check the water level to see if it needs more water. Water is the vital element to ensure you have a happy and healthy tree during Christmas, and a freshly cut tree is able to take in as much as a gallon of water in just 24 hours.
Try to prevent the tree from drying out by keeping it cool. Some people try to plant their tree outside in the hope that it will grow, but the success rate of this is quite low. To increase chances of your tree taking root, set it in the garage for a few days before you plant it outside as this will help it gradually acclimate to the cooler weather after being inside your home. Other uses include putting it through a wood chipper to create chippings, or give it to a friend with a wood chipper.
If you like to get creative, you can collect the foliage of the tree and sew them into little fabric pockets or pillows. These can then be put in your drawers or closet where they will give a pleasant fragrance to your clothing. You could also use dried out twigs and branches as kindling to help light fires. For a bigger project, remove all the branches and then, chop the trunk down into slices a few inches thick and store them in the garage or basement to dry out.
Next Christmas, the discs will make a festive scented Yule log fire in a wood stove. Credit to SusquehannaMan , SusquehannaMan. Native to the southeastern United States, this pine tree typically grows in poor soil to heights of up to 70 feet.
North Dakota tree handbook. This evergreen conifer is the national tree of Scotland and is native to Northern Europe. It is the best selling Christmas tree in the United States, in part because it has very sturdy branches, which grow in sets of two, making it well-suited to being able to cope with the pressure of heavy decorations or plentiful string lighting. With dark green needles that sometimes have a blue tinge, this is a very traditional-looking Christmas tree to help get you into the festive spirit.
Credit to F. Richards , S. This mildly scented pine tree is native to eastern North America and is the tallest growing pine in the US, reaching heights of up to feet tall. This tree is soft, with fairly delicate branches that will bend under weight. It is therefore not recommended for scenarios where it would be required to hold up lots of decorations; however, it would make a beautiful simply decorated tree, adorned with just string lighting.
The subtle blue hue of this trees needle bundles give it a unique look, and it would look spectacular grown outside in a garden to be lit up each Christmas.
This tree is also a sound investment, with a life expectancy of around years! Credit to Crusier , Sten Porse. This tree, as you might expect from its name, grows to great heights of over feet tall. It has a very strong quintessentially Christmassy fragrance and has robust branches which are perfect for decorating.
Due to its size, this giant tree makes an ideal Christmas tree in large public areas where it can be proudly displayed and take center stage, such as in shopping malls, theme parks, or outside of churches. The yellow-green needles form along thick full branches, which give the tree a lovely lush look. Credit to Rasbak , S. The dark green foliage has a festive wintery feel to it, and the thick branches fill out the entire length of the tree, giving it a full and symmetrical appearance.
The branches also have the added benefit of slightly curving upward, which will help to keep any heavy decorations from sliding off onto the floor. Growing to over feet tall, this is another tree which would be suited to being displayed outside. It also has a strong spicy scent, which has made it a popular choice of Christmas tree. Credit to Crusier , F. This is a popular choice of Christmas tree for a whole host of reasons. First and foremost, it is visually stunning, having a great shape due to its extra long branches at the lower end, which gives it a wide base.
This tree has a longer shelf-life than most other Christmas trees, so it will stay looking healthy throughout the festive season and beyond.
It has excellent needle-retention even once the tree has dried out, making cleanup quick and easy. It also benefits from a very mild, almost undetectable scent, which would work well for anyone who has allergies or is sensitive to the smell of Christmas trees. Credit to R. Nonenmacher , Cephas. Native to the United States and Canada, this popular fir tree is often used in Christmas wreaths because of its dense, silvery foliage.
Renowned for being the most strongly scented of the Christmas trees, this is the tree to go for if you are a fan of the spicy festive aroma. The conical shape of this tree, along with its full foliage, gives it a decadent feel. The Balsam Fir is one of the shorter types of Christmas trees compared with others, coming in at a maximum height of a little over 60 feet tall. The robust branches of this tree make it well-suited to effortlessly coping with the weight of decorations.
Richards , jsjgeology. This tree is native to the Appalachian Mountains and is a popular choice of Christmas tree among presidents of the United States as the Fraser Fir has been the official White House Christmas tree more times than any other type of tree. It has yellow-green foliage on its stems, which reach upward in diagonal angles and are sturdy under the weight of decorations.
With a strong and pleasant aroma, this tree is well-suited for use as an indoor Christmas tree, filling the home with the festive scent throughout the holidays. Credit to Walter Siegmund talk , Walter Siegmund talk. Well-known for its abundant foliage in a pyramid shape, the Douglas Fir is popularly grown for use as a Christmas tree. It demands a fairly large space within the home, as although these trees come in a vast range of heights, they are typically very wide at the bottom, which is what gives them their appealing shape.
This tree benefits from a strong scent and sturdy branches, making it well-suited for displaying festive decorations. The popularity of this tree is undeniable, as shown by the sheer amount of which are specifically cultivated for use as Christmas trees. Credit to Mark Wagner , S. This tree, also known as a White Fir, is one of the taller varieties of Christmas tree, growing to a maximum of around feet.
Credit to W. This is a fast-growing tree that typically reaches heights of around 70 feet. It has dainty-looking needles splayed out like a feather, giving it a more soft and delicate style than most Christmas trees. The branches of this tree grow upward, giving it a distinctive shape. The Leyland Cypress does not give off any scent, and this could be considered a positive or a negative depending on your preferences. If you like the aroma of Christmas trees filling your home, then you will be better off choosing an alternative tree.
However, some people are simply not keen on the smell, while others may have sensitivities to strong smells or allergies triggered by tree scents. Credit to zharkikh , David J.
These trees feature gray-blue needles growing on conical shaped branches. The lower part of the tree does not branch out very wide, giving the overall effect of a more slender and stretched out cone shape. Growing to around 60 feet in height, the Arizona Cypress is one of the smaller Christmas trees. As you can probably tell from the name, this tree is native to the southwest region of the United States and parts of Mexico.
In the wild, it typically grows alone or in small groups rather than in dense forests as is common with many other evergreen conifers. As a Christmas tree, it works well as an outdoor option, either in a pot outside your front door or growing in the garden.
It is mildly scented and would look good dressed up in string lights. Credit to James Steakley, JWolves. This unusually shaped evergreen has a long life expectancy, with some trees of this kind dating back a thousand years. It is also commonly referred to as the Pencil Pine, which makes a lot of sense from the shape of the tree. Its branches do not extend very far from the trunk of the tree, creating a very slim tree.
It can grow to over feet tall and is commonly cultivated for use as an ornamental tree. Recently, it has been used as a Christmas tree in contemporary or minimalist homes, as it has the feel of a traditional Christmas tree with a modern edge. Credit to David J. Stang , Fungus Guy. This slow-growing tree has dark green, heavily dense foliage. It is strongly scented and glossy, which are just some of the reasons why it is a much-loved Christmas tree in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
This beautiful tree is the state tree of Colorado, so it has also become known as the Colorado Blue Spruce. Its waxy needles are a silver-blue color and give the tree the appearance that it has had a recent light coating of snow.