As a result, it remained confined to the upper Rhineland for a relatively long period of time. The custom did eventually gain wider acceptance beginning around by way of Prussian officials who emigrated there following the Congress of Vienna. A decisive factor in winning general popularity was the German army's decision to place Christmas trees in its barracks and military hospitals during the Franco-Prussian War.
Only at the start of the 20th century did Christmas trees appear inside churches, this time in a new brightly lit form. In the early 19th century, the custom became popular among the nobility and spread to royal courts as far as Russia. Princess Henrietta of Nassau-Weilburg introduced the Christmas tree to Vienna in , and the custom spread across Austria in the following years. In Denmark a Danish newspaper claims that the first attested Christmas tree was lit in by countess Wilhemine of Holsteinborg.
It was the aging countess who told the story of the first Danish Christmas tree to the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen in He had published a fairy-tale called The Fir-Tree in , recounting the fate of a fir-tree being used as a Christmas tree. Although the tradition of decorating churches and homes with evergreens at Christmas was long established,  the custom of decorating an entire small tree was unknown in Britain until some two centuries ago.
At the time of the personal union with Hanover , George III 's German-born wife, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz , introduced a Christmas tree at a party she gave for children in In her journal for Christmas Eve , the delighted year-old princess wrote: . After dinner There were two large round tables on which were placed two trees hung with lights and sugar ornaments.
All the presents being placed round the trees After Victoria's marriage to her German cousin Prince Albert , by the custom became even more widespread  as wealthier middle-class families followed the fashion. In a newspaper advert for Christmas trees makes clear their smart cachet, German origins and association with children and gift-giving. It is made from Caroline's  description of those she saw in Germany". In fewer than ten years their use in better-off homes was widespread.
By a northern provincial newspaper contained an advert alluding casually to them,  as well as reporting the accidental death of a woman whose dress caught fire as she lit the tapers on a Christmas tree. Their use at public entertainments, charity bazaars and in hospitals made them increasingly familiar however, and in a charity was set up specifically to ensure even poor children in London slums 'who had never seen a Christmas tree' would enjoy one that year.
General Friedrich Adolf Riedesel and his wife, the Baroness von Riedesel , held a Christmas party for the officers at Sorel , delighting their guests with a fir tree decorated with candles and fruits. The Christmas tree became very common in the United States in the early nineteenth century. The first image of a Christmas tree was published in as the frontispiece to The Stranger's Gift by Hermann Bokum.
The first mention of the Christmas tree in American literature was in a story in the edition of The Token and Atlantic Souvenir , titled "New Year's Day", by Catherine Maria Sedgwick, where she tells the story of a German maid decorating her mistress's tree. Godey's copied it exactly, except for the removal of the Queen's tiara and Prince Albert's moustache, to remake the engraving into an American scene. The image was reprinted in , and by the s, putting up a Christmas tree had become even more common in America. Several cities in the United States with German connections lay claim to that country's first Christmas tree: Windsor Locks, Connecticut , claims that a Hessian soldier put up a Christmas tree in while imprisoned at the Noden-Reed House,  while the "First Christmas Tree in America" is also claimed by Easton, Pennsylvania , where German settlers purportedly erected a Christmas tree in In his diary, Matthew Zahm of Lancaster, Pennsylvania , recorded the use of a Christmas tree in , leading Lancaster to also lay claim to the first Christmas tree in America.
Entering into the social life of the Virginia Tidewater, Minnigerode introduced the German custom of decorating an evergreen tree at Christmas at the home of law professor St. George Tucker, thereby becoming another of many influences that prompted Americans to adopt the practice at about that time. When Edward H. Johnson was vice president of the Edison Electric Light Company , a predecessor of Con Edison , he created the first known electrically illuminated Christmas tree at his home in New York City in Illustration for Harper's Bazaar , published 1 January Boston Photo by Elena Mrozovskaya.
It became a fully secular icon of the New Year holiday, for example, the crowning star was regarded not as a symbol of Bethlehem Star, but as the Red star. Decorations, such as figurines of airplanes, bicycles, space rockets, cosmonauts , and characters of Russian fairy tales, were produced. Aluminum Christmas trees were popular during the early s in the US. They were satirized in the Charlie Brown show and came to be seen as symbolizing the commercialization of Christmas.
The term Charlie Brown Christmas tree , describing any poor-looking or malformed little tree, also derives from the TV special, based on the appearance of Charlie Brown 's Christmas tree. A Soviet-era s New Year tree decoration depicting a cosmonaut. An aluminum Christmas tree. Since the early 20th century, it has become common in many cities, towns, and department stores to put up public Christmas trees outdoors, such as the Macy's Great Tree in Atlanta since , the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City, and the large Christmas tree at Victoria Square in Adelaide.
The use of fire retardant allows many indoor public areas to place real trees and be compliant with code. Licensed applicants of fire retardant solution spray the tree, tag the tree, and provide a certificate for inspection. Real trees are popular with high end visual merchandising displays around the world. Leading global retailers such as Apple often place real trees in their window displays. In , Apple placed two Fraser fir trees in every one of its retail establishments.
Today, [ clarification needed ] the lighting of the National Christmas Tree is part of what has become a major holiday event at the White House. President Jimmy Carter lit only the crowning star atop the tree in in honor of the Americans being held hostage in Iran.
During most of the s and s, the largest decorated Christmas tree in the world was put up every year on the property of the National Enquirer in Lantana, Florida. This tradition grew into one of the most spectacular and celebrated events in the history of southern Florida, but was discontinued on the death of the paper's founder in the late s.
In some cities, a charity event called the Festival of Trees is organized, in which multiple trees are decorated and displayed. The giving of Christmas trees has also often been associated with the end of hostilities. Trafalgar Square Christmas tree. Christmas tree on Minin and Pozharsky Square , Nizhny Novgorod , Russia. Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Christmas tree in South Coast Plaza , California.
Christmas tree in Stockholm at NK shopping mall. A "Chrismon tree" is a Christmas tree decorated with explicitly Christian symbols in white and gold. Both setting up and taking down a Christmas tree are associated with specific dates. Traditionally, Christmas trees were not brought in and decorated until Christmas Eve 24 December [ citation needed ] or, in the traditions celebrating Christmas Eve rather than the first day of Christmas , 23 December, and then removed the day after Twelfth Night 5 January ; to have a tree up before or after these dates was even considered bad luck, [ citation needed ] and that to avoid bad luck from affecting the house's residents, the tree must be left up until after the following Twelfth Night passes.
In many areas, it has become customary to set up one's Christmas tree at the beginning of the Advent season. In Canada many stores wait until after Remembrance Day , as to show respect to fallen soldiers. In Germany, traditionally the tree is put up on 24 December and taken down on 7 January, though many start one or two weeks earlier, and in Roman Catholic homes the tree may be kept until 2 February Candlemas.
In Australia, the Christmas tree is usually put up on 1 December, which occurs about 2 weeks before the school summer holidays except for South Australia, where most people put up their tree in November following the completion of the Adelaide Christmas Pageant , a time frame that has started to filter into other states as the official time Christmas decorations and in store Santa Claus start to appear and is left up until it is taken down.
Christmas ornaments are decorations usually made of glass, metal, wood, or ceramics that are used to decorate a Christmas tree. The first decorated trees were adorned with apples, white candy canes and pastries in the shapes of stars, hearts and flowers. Glass baubles were first made in Lauscha , Germany , and also garlands of glass beads and tin figures that could be hung on trees.
The popularity of these decorations grew into the production of glass figures made by highly skilled artisans with clay molds. Tinsel and several types of garland or ribbon are commonly used to decorate a Christmas tree. Silvered saran -based tinsel was introduced later. Delicate mold-blown and painted colored glass Christmas ornaments were a specialty of the glass factories in the Thuringian Forest , especially in Lauscha in the late 19th century, and have since become a large industry, complete with famous-name designers.
Baubles are another common decoration, consisting of small hollow glass or plastic spheres coated with a thin metallic layer to make them reflective, with a further coating of a thin pigmented polymer in order to provide coloration.
Lighting with electric lights Christmas lights or, in the United Kingdom, fairy lights is commonly done. A tree-topper , sometimes an angel but more frequently a star, completes the decoration. In the late s, home-made white Christmas trees were made by wrapping strips of cotton batting around leafless branches creating the appearance of a snow-laden tree.
In the s and s, popularized by Hollywood films in the late s, flocking was very popular on the West Coast of the United States. There were home flocking kits that could be used with vacuum cleaners. In the s some trees were sprayed with fluffy white flocking to simulate snow. A golden bauble decorating a Christmas tree. Each year, 33 to 36 million Christmas trees are produced in America, and 50 to 60 million are produced in Europe.
In , there were about 15, growers in America a third of them "choose and cut" farms. The price is expected to hold steady for the next year. The most commonly used species are fir Abies , which have the benefit of not shedding their needles when they dry out, as well as retaining good foliage color and scent; but species in other genera are also used. Several other species are used to a lesser extent.
Less-traditional conifers are sometimes used, such as giant sequoia , Leyland cypress , Monterey cypress and eastern juniper. Various types of spruce tree are also used for Christmas trees including the blue spruce and, less commonly, the white spruce ; but spruces begin to lose their needles rapidly upon being cut, and spruce needles are often sharp, making decorating uncomfortable. Virginia pine is still available on some tree farms in the southeastern United States; however, its winter color is faded.
The long-needled eastern white pine is also used there, though it is an unpopular Christmas tree in most parts of the country, owing also to its faded winter coloration and limp branches, making decorating difficult with all but the lightest ornaments. Norfolk Island pine is sometimes used, particularly in Oceania , and in Australia , some species of the genera Casuarina and Allocasuarina are also occasionally used as Christmas trees. But, by far, the most common tree is the Pinus radiata Monterey pine. Adenanthos sericeus or Albany woolly bush is commonly sold in southern Australia as a potted living Christmas tree.
Hemlock species are generally considered unsuitable as Christmas trees due to their poor needle retention and inability to support the weight of lights and ornaments. Some trees, frequently referred to as "living Christmas trees", are sold live with roots and soil, often from a plant nursery , to be stored at nurseries in planters or planted later outdoors and enjoyed and often decorated for years or decades. Others are produced in a container and sometimes as topiary for a porch or patio. However, when done improperly, the combination of root loss caused by digging, and the indoor environment of high temperature and low humidity is very detrimental to the tree's health; additionally, the warmth of an indoor climate will bring the tree out of its natural winter dormancy , leaving it little protection when put back outside into a cold outdoor climate.
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Often Christmas trees are a large attraction for living animals, including mice and spiders. Thus, the survival rate of these trees is low.
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European tradition prefers the open aspect of naturally grown, unsheared trees, while in North America outside western areas where trees are often wild-harvested on public lands  there is a preference for close-sheared trees with denser foliage, but less space to hang decorations. In the past, Christmas trees were often harvested from wild forests, but now almost all are commercially grown on tree farms. Almost all Christmas trees in the United States are grown on Christmas tree farms where they are cut after about ten years of growth and new trees planted.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture 's agriculture census for , 21, farms were producing conifers for the cut Christmas tree market in America, 5, First, the seed is extracted from cones harvested from older trees. These seeds are then usually grown in nurseries and then sold to Christmas tree farms at an age of 3—4 years. The remaining development of the tree greatly depends on the climate, soil quality, as well as the cultivation and how the trees are tended by the Christmas tree farmer.
The first artificial Christmas trees were developed in Germany during the 19th century,   though earlier examples exist. Over the years, other styles of artificial Christmas trees have evolved and become popular. In , the U. Other trends have developed in the early s as well. Optical fiber Christmas trees come in two major varieties; one resembles a traditional Christmas tree. Upside-down artificial Christmas trees became popular for a short time and were originally introduced as a marketing gimmick; they allowed consumers to get closer to ornaments for sale in retail stores and opened up floor space for more products.
Between and artificial Christmas tree sales in the U. An artificial Aluminum Christmas tree. The debate about the environmental impact of artificial trees is ongoing.
Three Under the Christmas Tree
Generally, natural tree growers contend that artificial trees are more environmentally harmful than their natural counterparts. Live trees are typically grown as a crop and replanted in rotation after cutting, often providing suitable habitat for wildlife. Real or cut trees are used only for a short time, but can be recycled and used as mulch , wildlife habitat, or used to prevent erosion.
An independent life-cycle assessment study, conducted by a firm of experts in sustainable development, states that a natural tree will generate 3. Living Christmas trees can be purchased or rented from local market growers. Rentals are picked up after the holidays, while purchased trees can be planted by the owner after use or donated to local tree adoption or urban reforestation services. Most artificial trees are made of recycled PVC rigid sheets using tin stabilizer in the recent years. In the past, lead was often used as a stabilizer in PVC, but is now banned by Chinese laws.
A study found that while in general artificial trees pose little health risk from lead contamination , there do exist "worst-case scenarios" where major health risks to young children exist. The earliest legend of the origin of the Christmas tree dates back to , involving Saint Boniface  as he was evangelizing Germany. According to a story not mentioned in his biographies vitae , he stumbled upon a pagan gathering where a group of people dancing under a decorated oak tree were about to sacrifice a baby in the name of Thor.
Christmas On Third – Third Street South
Boniface took an axe and called on the name of Jesus. In one swipe, he managed to take down the entire tree, to the crowds astonishment. Behind the fallen tree was a baby fir. Boniface said, "let this tree be the symbol of the true God, its leaves are ever green and will not die. Tradition holds that trees were used in formerly pagan homes from that moment forth, but decorated in the name of Jesus.
The Christmas tree was first recorded to be used by German Lutherans in the 16th century, with records indicating that a Christmas tree was placed in the Cathedral of Strassburg in , under the leadership of the Protestant Reformer , Martin Bucer. Under the Marxist-Leninist doctrine of state atheism in the Soviet Union, after its foundation in , Christmas celebrations—along with other religious holidays—were prohibited as a result of the Soviet anti-religious campaign.
Although at first disapproved of by some as out of place at the centre of the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican Christmas Tree has become an integral part of the Vatican Christmas celebrations,  and in Pope Benedict XVI spoke of it as part of the normal Christmas decorations in Catholic homes.
This very ancient custom, he said, exalts the value of life, as in winter what is evergreen becomes a sign of undying life, and it reminds Christians of the "tree of life" of Genesis , an image of Christ, the supreme gift of God to humanity. The crib and the tree: precious symbols, which hand down in time the true meaning of Christmas.
Catherine S. Chrismon trees are a variety developed in by a Lutheran laywoman in Virginia, as a specifically religious version appropriate for a church's Christmas celebrations, although most Christian churches continue to display the traditional Christmas tree in their sanctuaries during Christmastide. In , the city of Boston renamed the spruce tree used to decorate the Boston Common a "Holiday Tree" rather than a "Christmas Tree". From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Christmas tree disambiguation.
Christmas Tree in the cozy room at the Wisconsin Governor's mansion. Christmas tea with Christmas Tree at an espresso shop in Eugene, Oregon. Christmas tree in Milan , Italy, Christmas tree in Vatican City , Christmas tree in Salerno old town, Italy, Boston's Christmas Tree. Christmas tree in Warsaw. Christmas tree in Lugano Main article: Chrismon tree.
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December Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: Christmas ornament. See also: Christmas tree production. See also: Christmas tree cultivation. Main article: Artificial Christmas tree. A chrismon tree St. Alban's Anglican Cathedral, Oviedo, Florida. ABC News. A key fundraiser of Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden said he has withdrawn his support for the former vice president and predicted that others may do the Florida governor on Friday signed a bill to restore the voting rights for felons who have served their time but he wants them to pay all fines China-US News.
By Emel Akan. By Michael Wing. She knew they depended on her, and she was ashamed. Her desire for food was Health News. By Venus Upadhayaya , Epoch Times. It is summer time and while many are cooling off in the pool or planning time in a water park, government officials have issued a health warning Fine Arts. By Eric Bess. We seem to fashion our lives today by what we choose to indulge ourselves with.
I like sushi and you like deep-dish pizza; I like Ravel and Chinese Culture. And a Heaven in a wild flower. Entertainment News. The celebration of Beth Chapman's life By Louise Bevan. Since that moment, her heartbroken husband By Melanie Young. Grilling is a healthy cooking option, and most By Epoch Times Staff. My Biggest Fans. By Shannon Shelton Miller. I hope one day my kids trace their fandom back to the time in , when their mom took them to their first college football game.
By Justin Morgan. A woman from Canada who stayed at the Bahia Principe resort in the Dominican Republic in , is among the latest of several people to have stepped Texas Man Prepares to Order Meal. By Li Yen , Epoch Times. It's natural, in the cold, gray days of winter, to want to enjoy the pleasures of hearth and home, and the greenery of the tree and the colors of the decorations add to that enjoyment. But you can get some of those same pleasures, while still preserving the Advent season, by taking part in Advent activities and devotions , such as the Advent wreath and Advent calendars.
Of course, these days, if you wait until Christmas Eve to purchase your Christmas tree, you are likely to end up with a sad, spindly looking stick like the one that Charlie Brown brings to the Christmas pageant in "A Charlie Brown Christmas. Even if circumstances make it necessary to put up the Christmas tree earlier in Advent, you can still maintain some sense of the Advent season by not lighting the lights until Christmas Eve, or by putting out your most precious decorations and perhaps the star for the top of the tree only once Christmas Eve rolls around.
Such practices, as well as other Christmas Eve customs , increase the sense of expectation, especially among young children, and make Christmas Day all the more joyful. Share Flipboard Email. Scott P.