Photo By Arun Kuchibhotla
Some are big and some are small. Some are short and some are tall. Some are wide and some are thin. And some will fall over with a gust of wind! (LOL! This is why I do not write poetry).
But in all seriousness, I know if you are reading this article, you more than likely have helped put up and decorate a Christmas tree.
Some people put their Christmas trees up before Thanksgiving. And if you are anything like me and my family, your Christmas tree will not be put up until a week before Christmas (we are too busy for Christmas spirit in my household).
But where, how and when did the tradition of Christmas trees and decorating them begin?
According to https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/trees.shtml, “The first documented use of a tree at Christmas and New Year celebrations is argued between the cities of Tallinn in Estonia and Riga in Latvia! Both claim that they had the first trees; Tallinn in 1441 and Riga in 1510. Both trees were put up by the ‘Brotherhood of Blackheads’ which was an association of local unmarried merchants, ship owners, and foreigners in Livonia (what is now Estonia and Latvia).”
But as far as the first person to ever bring a Christmas tree into their home was reportedly German preacher Martin Luther.
“The first person to bring a Christmas tree into a house, in the way we know it today, may have been the 16th century German preacher Martin Luther. A story is told that, one night before Christmas, he was walking through the forest and looked up to see the stars shining through the tree branches. It was so beautiful, that he went home and told his children that it reminded him of Jesus, who left the stars of heaven to come to earth at Christmas. Some people say this is the same tree as the ‘Riga’ tree, but it isn’t! The Riga tree originally took place a few decades earlier.”
As far as decorating the Christmas tree is concerned, the first people to ever do it was the Germans as well. But they did not put regular ornaments on their trees like we do today.
“In Germany, the first Christmas Trees were decorated with edible things, such as gingerbread and gold covered apples. Then glass makers made special small ornaments similar to some of the decorations used today. In 1605 an unknown German wrote: ‘At Christmas they set up fir trees in the parlors of Strasbourg and hang thereon roses cut out of many-colored paper, apples, wafers, gold foil, sweets, etc.’”
It is probably a good thing that over time humans decided to steer away from putting edible treats on their Christmas trees, because I would be the one to get caught eating the food that is hanging on the tree.
My waistline and sugar levels are thanking our ancestors for making this change.