What we are going to do is incorporate a traditional tree toper, with some fill icicle sprays to really give your tree a nice pop at the top. University of California Press. A Christmas tree is a decorated tree, usually an evergreen conifer such as spruce , pine , or fir or an artificial tree of similar appearance, associated with the celebration of Christmas. George Tucker, thereby becoming another of many influences that prompted Americans to adopt the practice at about that time. Modern Christmas trees originated during the Renaissance of early modern Germany.
During the Roman mid-winter festival of Saturnalia , houses were decorated with wreaths of evergreen plants, along with other antecedent customs now associated with Christmas. The modern Christmas tree is frequently traced to the symbolism of trees in pre-Christian winter rites, wherein Viking and Saxon worshiped trees. A later folk version of the story adds the detail that an evergreen tree grew in place of the felled oak, telling them about how its triangular shape reminds humanity of the Trinity and how it points to heaven.
Alternatively, it is identified with the " tree of paradise " of medieval mystery plays that were given on 24 December, the commemoration and name day of Adam and Eve in various countries. In such plays, a tree decorated with apples to represent the forbidden fruit and wafers to represent the Eucharist and redemption was used as a setting for the play.
Like the Christmas crib , the Paradise tree was later placed in homes. The apples were replaced by round objects such as shiny red balls. At the end of the Middle Ages, an early predecessor appears referred in the Regiment of the Order of Cister around , in Alcobaça, Portugal.
The Regiment of the local high-Sacristans of the Cistercian Order refers to what may be considered one of the oldest references to the Christmas tree: On the Christmas eve, you will look for a large Branch of green laurel, and you shall reap many red oranges, and place them on the branches that come of the laurel, specifically as you have seen, and in every orange you shall put a candle, and hang the Branch by a rope in the pole, which shall be by the candle of the altar-mor.
Modern Christmas trees originated during the Renaissance of early modern Germany. Its 16th-century origins are sometimes associated with Protestant Christian reformer Martin Luther , who is said to have first added lighted candles to an evergreen tree. The first recorded Christmas tree can be found on the keystone sculpture of a private home in Turckheim , Alsace then part of Germany, today France , dating Georgians have their own traditional Christmas tree called Chichilaki , made from dried up hazelnut or walnut branches that are shaped to form a small coniferous tree.
Chichilakis are most common in the Guria and Samegrelo regions of Georgia near the Black Sea , but they can also be found in some stores around the capital of Tbilisi. Basil on January 1. The branches were decorated with apples, nuts, cookies, colored paper, stars made of straw, ribbons and colored wafers.
Some people believed that the tree had magical powers that were linked with harvesting and success in the next year. In the late 18th and early 19th century, these traditions were almost completely replaced by the German custom of decorating the Christmas tree.
Customs of erecting decorated trees in wintertime can be traced to Christmas celebrations in Renaissance-era guilds in Northern Germany and Livonia. The first evidence of decorated trees associated with Christmas Day are trees in guildhalls decorated with sweets to be enjoyed by the apprentices and children. In Livonia present-day Estonia and Latvia , in , , and , the Brotherhood of Blackheads erected a tree for the holidays in their guild houses in Reval now Tallinn and Riga.
On the last night of the celebrations leading up to the holidays, the tree was taken to the Town Hall Square , where the members of the brotherhood danced around it. A Bremen guild chronicle of reports that a small tree decorated with "apples, nuts, dates, pretzels and paper flowers" was erected in the guild-house for the benefit of the guild members' children, who collected the dainties on Christmas Day.
After the Protestant Reformation , such trees are seen in the houses of upper-class Protestant families as a counterpart to the Catholic Christmas cribs.
This transition from the guild hall to the bourgeois family homes in the Protestant parts of Germany ultimately gives rise to the modern tradition as it developed in the 18th and 19th centuries.
By the early 18th century, the custom had become common in towns of the upper Rhineland , but it had not yet spread to rural areas. Wax candles, expensive items at the time, are found in attestations from the late 18th century.
Along the lower Rhine, an area of Roman Catholic majority, the Christmas tree was largely regarded as a Protestant custom. 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. In the 19th century, the Christmas tree was taken to be an expression of German culture and of Gemütlichkeit , especially among emigrants overseas.
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 France , the first Christmas tree was introduced in by the duchesse d'Orléans. 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 the home with evergreens 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: 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.
The tradition was introduced to North America in the winter of by Hessian soldiers stationed in the Province of Québec — to garrison the colony against American attack. 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.
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 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.
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Christmas tree on the Römerberg in Frankfurt 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 families wait until after Remembrance Day , as to show respect to fallen soldiers.
Some households do not put up the tree until the second week of December, and leave it up until 6 January Epiphany.
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 February 2 Candlemas.
In Australia, the Christmas tree is usually put up on 1 December, which occurs about a 2 weeks before the school summer holidays except for South Australia, where most people put up their tree after in late 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 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 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.
Often Christmas trees are a large attraction for living animals, including mice and spiders. Thus, the survival rate of these trees is low. 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. 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 Christmas tree was first 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 2: The crib and the tree: Roskam of the Anglican Communion , has long had a ritual titled Blessing of a Christmas Tree , as well as Blessing of a Crèche , for use in the church and the home.
In , the city of Boston renamed the spruce tree used to decorate the Boston Common a "Holiday Tree" rather than a "Christmas Tree". 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.
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, Christmas tree in Warsaw.
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This section may be confusing or unclear to readers. Fabergé egg as a Christmas decoration. A chrismon tree St. Alban's Anglican Cathedral, Oviedo, Florida. University of North Carolina Press. A chronicle from Stasbourg, written in and widely seen as the first account of a Christmas tree in German-speaking lands, records that Protestant artisans brought fir trees into their homes in the holiday season and decorated them with "roses made of colored paper, apples, wafers, tinsel, sweetmeats, etc.
The Christmas tree spread out in German society from the top down, so to speak. It moved from elite households to broader social strata, from urban to rural areas, from the Protestant north to the Catholic south, and from Prussia to other German states. George's Church, Sélestat since Having a Christmas tree became so closely identified with following Luther's path that German Catholics initially wanted nothing to do with this symbol of Protestantism. Their resistance endured until the nineteenth century, when Christmas trees finally began finding their way into Catholic homes.
Eine Kultur- und Sozialgeschichte der Weihnachtszeit [ Christmas: A cultural and social history of Christmastide ] in German. Jahrhunderts aus Deutschland über die gesellschaftliche Oberschicht der Herrenhöfe nach Schweden gekommen sind. One can assume with certainty that traditions of lighting, together with the Christmas tree, crossed from Germany to Sweden in the 19th century via the princely upper classes. The eight-pointed star became a popular manufactured Christmas ornament around the s and many people place a star on the top of their Christmas tree to represent the Star of Bethlehem.
Some Neo-pagan homes celebrate the winter solstice , which falls close to Christmas, by decorating an evergreen tree as a symbol of continuing life,  but make an effort to decorate it with non-Christian symbols and often choose tree-toppers representing the sun. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Tree Topper.
Christmas tree cultivation Christmas tree cultivation history Christmas tree pests and weeds. Canadian production Danish production Global production Mexican production U. Retrieved from " https: Christmas decorations Religion stubs. Webarchive template wayback links All stub articles. Views Read Edit View history.
A tree-topper or treetopper is a decorative ornament placed on the top (or "crown") of a Christmas tree or Hanukkah bush. Christmas Snowman Top Of The Tree Hugger Description Top off your tree Frosty Snowman Top Hat Christmas Tree Topper Decor Holiday Winter Wonderland Decoration by KNL Store. by KNL Store. $ $ 15 00 Prime. FREE Shipping on eligible orders. More Buying Choices. $ (23 new offers). A Christmas tree is a decorated tree, usually an evergreen conifer such as spruce, pine, or fir or an artificial tree of similar appearance, associated with the celebration of Christmas.