I Love the Christmas Tree

December 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm 4 comments


Christmas tree

The Christmas tree is just one thing I love about Christmas. The tree can be tall and stately outdoors, the right size for your living room, or even a tiny tree with a few ornaments to bring some décor to a small space. Decorating magazines show themed trees, with everything from angels and shepherds, birds and wildlife to items that have nothing or little to do with the celebration.

One year we attended the Festival of Trees and Lights, created as a fundraiser for a local hospital. Organizations provided the trees and decorated them, then the money raised from bids on the trees went to the hospital in support of their services and programs. Every tree had its own style, its own unique ornaments and garlands and many lights. Each one was a work of art, carefully put together and arranged.

Some years ago, as I marvelled over a friend’s artificial tree in her apartment, I learned that it had no less than 10 strings of lights. It must have taken her hours to put them on, but it was a thing of beauty once completed. Unable to put up a tree of that magnitude these days, she has a much smaller tree with ornamental birds perched on various branches.

If I appreciate the beautifully appointed indoor trees, I still love the real ones outdoors that stand as tall as 25 feet or more, with lights and then snow on their branches.

As I write this post, I must admit that our artificial tree is still in its box, waiting to be assembled. We bought our first artificial tree one year when I contemplated the trees tossed onto the curb after Christmas. It seemed such a waste. That was before I learned how they’re recycled.

The base of our tree is a wooden pole with the makings of a tree top on it, then branches—more wooden poles—with artificial greenery on the ends. They all need to be put in the right order so that it looks like a tree. It’s green and that’s where the resemblance ends, until we decorate it and put on the lights.

A fellow choir member helped me to decorate the tree one December. As we hung ornaments, she commented on our wide assortment of decorations, from store-bought to handmade. Snowmen, snowflakes, Santas, mini creche, cross-stitched pieces and angels.  When we had finished, we sat sipping hot chocolate and listening to Christmas carols. She looked over the tree and called it eclectic.

The first Christmas tree is credited to Martin Luther, a German monk and sixteenth century Protestant reformer of the church. Imagine him walking through a forested area, apparently composing his sermon, when he looked around him and saw the natural beauty of snow on the evergreens and looked up to the twinkling stars in the heavens.

He found the scene so moving that he decided to recapture it for his family. It is written on history.com that he erected a tree in the main room of their home and that he attached candles on its branches and lighted them. From that time, German people started a tradition of bringing a tree into their homes and decorating it. If wood was scarce, they’d build pyramids of wood and decorate them with evergreen boughs.

In 1846, someone sketched a picture of Queen Victoria and her German prince, Albert, for the Illustrated London News. In that picture, the royal family stood around a decorated tree, and because the Queen was so popular with her people, what was done in her home would be reproduced in some way in the homes of her subjects in Britain and the New World.

It makes me sad to hear the term holiday tree. Somehow “Rockin’ around the holiday tree” just doesn’t work for me, nor does “Oh holiday tree.” I know that in Canada, we have people of many countries and differing backgrounds, but to me— having grown up with such a tree in our home this time of year— a decorated tree will always be a Christmas tree.

Time to put up our tree!


Entry filed under: Christmas, family, fine arts, history, music, Nature, photography, seasons, winter. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Learning from the Small Ones From my Grandmother’s cookbook to a family collection

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Carlo  |  December 25, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Good article. I definitely appreciate this website.

    • 2. storygal  |  December 26, 2012 at 3:00 am

      Thanks for stopping by, Carlo, and glad you enjoyed the article and website.

  • 3. what is quantrim  |  May 26, 2013 at 4:21 pm

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    • 4. storygal  |  May 26, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      Thank you for your kind comments on my blog. Sorry to hear about your trouble with the waiter. That’s not nice at all.


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