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.
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.