The Christmas tree is a strong symbol of Christmas. It serves as the family’s center of attention. In fact, it is the center of most Christmas ceremonies all over the world.
Christmas is about traditions and memories, and symmetric and beautifully decorated Christmas trees are something that the entire family will always value and remember. Every year, between 25 and 30 million Americans celebrate Christmas with Christmas trees, thus, the scent of a freshly cut Christmas tree enlivens the Christmas spirit among most Americans.
Christmas trees have a long and exciting history. During the pre-Christian era, people and tribes often had holy groves and trees where they sacrificed to the gods. The trees were most often oak or ash, and they symbolized a connection between heaven and earth. Similar ideas are found in the Old Testament – trees symbolized wisdom and life.
Large picture: Christmas trees
In the 15th and 16th centuries, German tradesmen began to hold parties where a spruce was placed inside a home. Another story tells of how the German theologian and reformer, Martin Luther, put candles on the leaves as symbols of the stars twinkling among the forest’s trees. In the 17th century, the tradition of decorated Christmas trees in connection with festivities spread out to the German towns, and from there, to other parts of Europe.
Even if the first Christmas tree in the USA, perhaps, can be traced all the way back to 1777, Christmas trees did not become popular in the USA until the middle of the 18th century. An image of the English royal family standing in front of a Christmas tree was copied and brought to the USA in 1850. This resulted in the American upper classes embracing the Christmas tree. In the following decades, the tradition of Christmas trees in living rooms became popular among the rest of the population.
Today, the lighting of the United States’ National Christmas Tree has become a major event. The tree is located south of the White House in Washington D.C. In fact, it has already become an important symbol for the nation for many years now. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter only lit the top star on the tree in honor of the American hostages in Iran.
Here is our top ten list of christmas trees
American Christmas trees
||Fraser FirThe tree lives in acidic, sandy, moist soil at high elevations of 1,200-2,000 meters. The crown is pyramidal and it has horizontal branches. The tree is widely used as a Xmas tree in the USA.|
The tree grows in the northern parts of California and Oregon. It typically grows between the range of 40-60 meters. It has a narrow conic crown. It is often used as an outdoor holiday tree.
European Christmas Trees
|Silver FirSilver Fir grows in mineral-rich soil in the Central European mountain forests. The crown is conic-shaped and slim. It is highly suitable as a Christmas tree.|
Nordmann Fir is native to the mountains on the eastside of the Black Sea. It is a large, evergreen tree with a wide and conic-shaped growth.
Traditional decoration for the Christmas tree:
In the early days, Germany dominated the market of Christmas decorations. The most popular items were hand-blown glass balls and later, also silk threads, angels, and butterfly wings. Not until the beginning of the 1940’s did the USA enter the market for Christmas tree decorations. One of the reasons for this was that an American company succeeded in producing 2,000 Christmas balls per minute on a specially designed machine. In 1973, mass production really took over when the company, Hallmark, published a wide variety of Christmas products for christmas trees.
Today, decorations for Christmas trees vary from family to family, and from country to country. In the United States, Santa Claus is frequently used as decoration; the same is the case with candy, fruit, animals, and artificial snowflakes.
Did you know that…
Christmas trees have been selling commercially in the United States since the 1950’s.
With 3,000 Christmas lights, a towering Eucalyptus regnans, 80 meters (262 ft) tall, became the tallest-ever Christmas tree in the world. This record was set in Tasmania in 1999.
Thomas Edison’s assistant, Edward Johnson, came up with the idea of electric lights for Christmas trees in 1882.
In the first week, a tree in your home will consume as much as a quart of water per day.
There are over 10,000 cut-your-own farms for Christmas trees in the United States alone.