Why Do We Put Up Trees For Christmas?

There are so many traditions at Christmas. Have you ever wondered why we decorate trees with lights, bulbs, tinsel, and maybe even a star on top?

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Lacey Talaska

11/30/20

There are so many traditions at Christmas. Have you ever wondered why we decorate trees with lights, bulbs, tinsel, and maybe even a star on top?

 

Decorating evergreen trees became part of Christian traditions in Germany. They were meant to represent the Garden of Eden, and people would hang up apples on the trees and put them in their homes during December 24. Other decorations, such as candles, were added later on by Martin Luther in the 16th Century. By the 19th century, Christmas trees were a strongly established tradition in Germany. 

 

The German prince Albert, and his wife, Britain’s Queen Victoria, were the ones to popularize this tradition among the British. The couple made Christmas trees a prominent part of the festivities. After an illustration of a royal family sitting around a Christmas tree in their home, Christmas trees became common in European homes as well.  

 

The Germans also introduced Christmas trees to the United States. Although, it was not until the 1820s that Christmas trees began gaining popularity in the United States. The first Christmas tree put out in America that was reported was in the 1830s. 

 

After the spread of Christmas trees around the world, it began to have an impact on the forests, so Germans began making artificial trees that were made out of goose feathers in the 1880s. After the spread of artificial trees began,  goose feathers were then replaced by other materials, such as bristles from toilet bowl brushes. Today, artificial Christmas trees are used more than real ones. 

 

So, does your family put up Christmas trees? Are they real or artificial?