Today is the National Christmas Tree lighting in Washington D.C. Here’s video of last year’s festivities.
There is a Christmas Tree farm less than a mile from our house. The farm hosts all sorts of celebrations year-round, but nothing can replace Christmas! Each year, 35-40 million live trees are purchased and decorated in the United States alone. I know our local Christmas Tree farm is very busy in December.
Did you know that the use of evergreen trees to celebrate the winter was happening before the birth of Christ? Evergreen trees were an ancient symbol of life in winter. Romans adorned their homes with evergreen branches and inhabitants of northern Europe planted cut evergreen trees in boxes inside their houses in wintertime. Many early Christians were hostile to this practice, and the second-century theologian Tertulian condemned Christians who celebrated the winter festivals by decorating their houses in the same manner.
The decorating of evergreens eventually became a part of Christmas tradition. Most people think the first Christmas tree was introduced by Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s consort. The credit rightfully belongs to good Queen Charlotte, the German wife of George III, who set up the first known Christmas tree in the U.K. at Queen’s Lodge, Windsor, in December, 1800.
Some Christians still don’t decorate at Christmas time with a tree (either real or artificial). Through the years I’ve met a handful of folks who believe the tradition detracts from the real meaning of Christmas. I happen to believe there is room for both the secular traditions and the Christian traditions, but I respect others for their beliefs.
My family had a silver tree in the 1960’s. We had to put little silver fluffy things at the ends of the branches, and there was a color wheel that turned and shone on the tree, making it different colors – red, orange, blue and green. As a child I was intrigued and easily entertained by the tree. We decorated it with glass ornaments and a string (or two) of colored lights, icicles (anyone remember those?) and an angel topper that Granny LaVella made.
The artificial Christmas tree my husband and I purchased last year is boring by comparison. It is green and made of PVC. The advantage is that it’s self-lit so we don’t have to wrap strings of lights on it – and that’s a good thing! 😀
If you are looking for a perfect Christmas gift, may I suggest a new devotional book by Lucinda Berry Hill? Everyone needs a new devotional book to begin the new year!
Click on the link below to order your copy!