Sunday, December 12, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree…

I really enjoyed Ed’s blog about the history of the Christmas Card.  There are many holiday traditions that we participate in but we don’t know the origin.  So I thought I would find out why every Christmas my family is compelled to chop down a beautiful pine and string it with lights in the living room; besides the fact it looks amazing.

Evergreen branches had been used by the Druids to decorate for the Winter Solstice. As time passed this custom was adopted by Christians. The modern Christmas tree came out of Germany.  In the 1600’s the German’s started decorating evergreen trees with paper and small toys. As they emigrated they took their tradition with them, even to the United States.  The earliest recorded Christmas tree in the United States was in the 1830’s. It was put on display by German immigrants in Pennsylvania. The tradition was most likely going on for longer, as the German community had been there since 1747.
Even though the Germans had brought over their tree tradition in the early 1700s, Christmas trees were not popular and still thought of as a pagan symbol.  That all changed when a picture of a woodcut showing the British Royal family with their Christmas tree was published in Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1850 and then again in 1860. By the 1870’s the Christmas tree was an American tradition as well and still is.
So when taking your photos for your Belle Announcement Christmas Cards, you might want to include that beautiful, big, old tree in the shot. I’m sure your friends and family would love to see how you decorate one of the oldest Christmas traditions. 

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