Many people celebrate the holiday, but few know the history of why people have Christmas trees as part of
the décor. Having trees as part of Christmas did not begin as an American custom. The practice of setting up a Christmas
tree first began as early as the 1500s as a German custom but the idea wasn’t widely accepted in the beginning.
Many areas of Germany didn’t start celebrating the Christmas
holidays with a tree until the later part of the 1800s. Overseas, by the first of the 1900s, two classes of people -- the
wealthy and royalty -- started putting up Christmas trees and from there, the tradition was born.
When the first wave of people left their country and came and settled
in the New World, many brought with them the tradition of putting up evergreens inside their home and decorating small trees
outside the home with whatever treasures nature provided.
Here in America however, the Christmas tree was much slower to catch on. Some people thought the Christmas tree was
a symbol associated with Christians, but Christians were not open to the idea of having a tree in the midst of their holiday
It was regarded with suspicion
and religious people believed the tree to be a symbol of paganism even though that belief was incorrect. Because of that belief,
many Christians refused to have anything to do with Christmas trees. But slowly, the custom caught on.
Christmas trees first began to be marketed in the United States in the
mid 1800s and were also accepted into the White House by the then residing President. Christmas trees were set up in public
displays, trimmed with decorations and people were awed by the beauty. Toward the latter part of the 1800s a well known retail
store saw the need for artificial trees and began selling them to customers.
In some countries, Winter Solstice heralded the time to set up the Christmas tree -- close
to the arrival of Christmas day. The first week of January was slated as time to remove the tree and all its trimmings.
Today, the Christmas tree is customarily set up shortly after the Thanksgiving
holiday but some families set it up earlier. Taking down the tree is generally still done the first week of January but some
families wait until after New Years Day.
is due to the old wives tale that what you’re doing on January 1, you’ll do all year long. Since taking down the
tree is hard work, folks believed that by taking it down then, that meant they would work hard all year long.
Whether the tree is put up after Thanksgiving or taken down after New
Year’s Day, this is one custom that is loved and practiced by many. A Christmas tree can add a bright sparkle to your
holidays, a well decorated, celebrated finishing touch.