Every year, our senses are bombarded with the wonderful sights and sounds of the Christmas holiday season. For many people, the Christmas tree majestically standing in a well chosen spot and decorated with loving care, is the main feature of the holiday decorations on this special day.
In addition to being the center of attention in happy holiday homes, Christmas trees also often adorn public squares, business offices and shopping malls, adding to the festive feeling of the season. The lighting of the town one is often a well-anticipated event that officially kicks off the season of this special day and marks the beginning of many holiday events that will be held throughout the month.
Interestingly, the history of the Christmas tree can actually be traced back to when prehistoric pagan practices became Christianized. In the pagan belief, the evergreen tree, which is what is used for the vast majority of Christmas trees, was used to symbolize the renewal of life.
There are many stories as to the origin of our modern day Christmas tree. The myths of the Medieval times referenced a miraculous “flowering" of evergreen trees during the season this special day and the Germanic tribes believed the Patron trees to be sacred. Additionally, the evergreen tree is sometimes associated with the idea of the holy trinity, represented by the triangular shape.
However, it is the Germans who are credited with first bringing an evergreen tree inside the home and decorating it, essentially making the first one and launching a tradition that has become a favorite for many generations. Of course, this all started back in the days before electricity was introduced. Today, we may shudder to think of how dangerous it was to place lit candles on a tree, but indeed, that is what they did. Small, delicate candles were lit and carefully placed on the boughs.
For over a hundred years now, the candles have been replaced with a myriad of choices in lights that adorn the trees. For some families, the choice of lighting for their tree harkens back to the type of lighting that was used on the tree when they were children, while others enjoy seeking out the latest advances in lighting that adds a bit of technological flair to the holiday with chasing, flashing and changing lights, all programmed and run by small computer chips.
The Christmas tree ornaments that a family chooses to use on their tree are also a very important component to the memories that will be created and cherished, especially by the children. While some families choose to bring a new theme to each new tree, others prefer the tradition of having the same ornaments featured on their tree from year to year.
Still others have a practice of purchasing one very special ornament for each child every Christmas. By the time the child is grown, they have a small selection of treasured ornaments that will become the foundation for their own collection of Christmas holiday decorations.
The family Christmas tree will most likely continue to be the main focus of family traditions and one of the primary symbols of Christmastime, bringing with it a perpetuation of giving, awe, good will towards men and the creation of new memories to be treasured for a lifetime.
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