I thought for the Christmas Season I would touch on some of the
Christmas legends and see how they all got their start. I have always loved the Christmas Tree and have always had one as a child, the magic of the lights and decorations and the silver tinsel that we would always have on the tree. How as an adult and parent and living in an apt for over 17years its been kinda hard to keep the same traditions for our son. Which my dear husband and I hope he has been having a wonderful Christmas all these years. I think he has.. Anyway I am getting sided tracked. I found quite a bit on the legend of the Christmas Tree. Here is a story that You might like about the legend of the Christmas Tree;There once was a poor woodcutter who lived with his family deep in the forest. On Christmas Eve they sat down for dinner when they heard a knock at the door. There stood a child in torn and ragged clothes, pale and hungry, The woodcutter invited the child in for food even though they did not have much to share and gave him a bed to rest.The woodcutter and his family prayed to God, thanking him for a warm and safe place to live. In the early morning they awoke to the most beautiful singing they had ever heard.
They went to the window and saw the orphaned child standing with a choir of angels singing a lovely Christmas carol. The child was not longer wearing the tattered clothing, but was dressed in
magnificent robes and was surrounded by a glowing white light...
When the child saw the woodcutter and his family he said," I am the Christ Child, I have received your kindness and now this is my gift to you." He broke a branch from a small fir tree and planted it. He told them, from this day forward, this tree shall bear fruit at Christmas and you shall have plenty even in the coldest of the winters." As they stood listening, the branch grew into a beautiful tree covered with fruit. The Christmas tree as we know it originated in Germany.
In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the people in Europe would perform what they would call a miracle of mystery plays in front of the cathedrals churches during the advent season of Christmas. This was a
Means to teach the bible to the people of Germany since few people at the time could read the scriptures.
The evergreen tree was often used as a prop. Its image lasted in the minds of those who attended and influenced the German people to bring trees into their homes at Christmas.
The fir tree in those plays in Germany represented the tree of life as well as sin, so people first decorated the trees with little religious figures on the branches in Germany. The Christmas Tree then spreads to America when Hessian soldiers practiced the custom while fighting in the Revolutionary War.
Later, the German born Prince Albert and Queen Victoria made the custom more popular when they had the first Christmas tree in the Windsor Castle. By the early 20th century the custom of decorating a Christmas tree was very popular with most Americans of European descent.
Interesting note ; the tradition of the Christmas tree in the White House started in 1856 with President Franklin Pierce
A Bit About the History of the Christmas Tree-
The puritans-of Massachusetts were banned of any observation of the
In Connecticut they to had law banning the Christmas holiday too.
The Romans would decorated their Christmas trees with small pieces of metal during Saturnalia, This was their winter festival in honor of
Saturnus, the God of Agriculture. It is said that the date December 25th was pick in order to take over the Holiday from the pagans. Also It is believed by historians that the Emperor Constantine did this around the year 390 to combine Christmas and the Saturn and Mithras celebrations Also the cult of Sol Invictus which was worshiped on a Sunday, that had come to Roman from Syria.
During the middle ages, the evergreens were decorated with apples. These Christmas trees as in the Middle ages would call them 'the Paradise Tree." As a symbol of the feast of Adam and Eve. This was always held on the 24th of December of the year.
In 1441 it was said a Christmas tree on Tallinn, claims to be the home of the first Christmas tree. The would put in the town square and it would be custom to dance around the tree and celebrate, later they would burn it.
In the middle of the 1500's is when the Christmas trees were finally a part of the Christmas tradtiton. You could find them in the local markets and then bring them to their homes to set up, without any type of ornaments in the Strasbourg area of Alsace in 1531, which was then a part of Germany. In 1510 in Riga in Latvia they was a report of a decorated tree.
In the 1600's is where the oldest record of a decorated Christmas tree was recorded and it was found in a diary found in Strasbourg Germany. These trees were always decorated with paper roses, apples and hard candies. It seems that tinsel was invented in Germany around the 1600's too. Real silver was used at that time, and there was special machines that were used to pull the silver out into wafer thin strips for the tinsel to put on the Christmas trees. The problem with the Silver was it would tarnish quickly, being on the trees with the candlelight which was used at that time. Even though silver was very durable. There were attempts made to use a mixture of lead and tin with the silver, but it tend to be to heavy and would break under with won weight. So they just used the silver tinsel til the mid-20th century when they invented plastics . It seems that most of the 1600's , all Christmas Tree's used the small light candles on the trees.
In the 1700's is when the first record of the Christmas tree in America .Yet they still weren't the typically Christmas tree that your use to , not just Yet. These first trees were not decorated, but wooden pyramids covered with evergreen branches. These evergreen branches were the one that they would decorated with candles. This first Christmas Tree was in a German Settlement in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
It wasn't til the war of Independence by Hessian troops that the custom of the Christmas Tree came about.
In the 1800's is when the Christmas Tree started to really catch on in the English speaking countries and the U.S
In the 1900's Christmas Trees became larger and were decorated with many bells, balls, and tinsels and with a beautiful golden haired angel at the top of the tree. Yet at wartime in places like that of England there was a stop of many of these trees. It was forbidden to cut trees down for decoration during the time of war. And with so many raids at the time, many of the people preferred to store away their decorations for safe keeping or even would take them down to bomb shelters for a little Christmas cheer, when the air-raids sirens went on above.
It was said to be that the very first American Christmas Tree was lighted in the year 1923 on the White house by the President Calvin Coolidge.
After World War II the Christmas tree became very popular!
Well that is a little bit of the history of the Christmas Tree and being that it's Christmas Eve tomorrow I thought it would be a fun post to have for Christmas. I want to thank you all so much for Following me all of my dear friends, Readers and