Our 7th Christmas article for unusual Christmas gifts is going all the way back to the tradition of Christmas Trees today. It is very easy to get caught up in the buying frenzy of presents at Christmas and whether you are religious or not, it’s still interesting to know why we actually celebrate these traditions.
The Christmas Tree: do you insist on a real tree every year or do you drag your artificial one out of the attic eachyear? We’ve always gone for an artificial one, just because we’ve had small babes crawling and I didn’t want them to get needles in their knees. But whatever you go for I think most of us agree that it just doesn’t feel like Christmas unless you have a tree.
There are a lot of different stories out there on the history of the Christmas Tree but I have found a couple of reliable sources that agree on the following history. The Christmas Tree originally symbolised many meanings on the movement of angels and the star that pointed to the end of the journey, guiding to a place of peace. (Nice huh!?!)
But during Advent in the 11th century a tree decorated with red apples apparently symbolised the Tree of Paradise. Later by the 15th century believers actually started to put up trees in their own houses on December 25th which was the feast day of Adam and Eve.
The first ever ‘Christmas Tree’ was apparently seen in Paris (wouldn’t it just??) after Princess Hélène de Mecklembourg married the Duke of Orleans in 1521. Germany, France and Austria soon followed suit and started decorating Christmas Trees too.
Then in 1841 a Christmas Tree was erected for the first time at Windsor Castle by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria. The custom was adopted by the more fortunate and later on working class people were putting up trees in their homes, too. They decorated them with garlands, sweets and paper flowers.
Much to the joy of the local fire station people used to put candles on the trees (before the time of electricity). Most ornaments were handmade such as paper chains, popcorn on thread, peanuts on string and decorated walnuts to name but a few. Later came commercially produced ornaments and some of the Victorian ornaments were quite beautiful and one’s tree became somewhat of a status symbol in society.
Later we had the wonderful invention of electricity and tree lights were used to illuminate the tree, leading us right up to today where we have a vast choice of optical delights for lighting up one’s festive bush right down to fibre optic trees!
Peculiar to think that just 100 years ago people were putting candles on trees and now you walk into B&Q and there is a whole aisle dedicated to Christmas lights alone!
I hope you enjoyed our little wander down Christmas Tree land, why not have a little wander down our own unusual Christmas gifts and decorations aisle and see what takes your fancy?
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- Hi! I'm Sharon Williams founder of award nominated www.boutiquetoyou.co.uk I write about the boutique, business & stuff that I love, which at the moment seems to be Pinterest and macaroons!
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