O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree! Much pleasure thou can’st give me! How often has the Christmas tree afforded me the greatest Glee! We all enjoy the bright lights of the Christmas Tree, seen everywhere for people of all faiths to enjoy! We have a lovely decorated Christmas Tree in the lobby of the Plantation House at Brunswick Plantation and Golf Resort!® Pass Our Golden Christmas Tree on the way into the Brunswick Plantation 19th Hole…With More Decorative Delights as well As Treats for your Taste Buds!
Usually, Christmas Trees are also in the homes of Christians…decorated in the theme or style of the family. The decorating is part of the Fun of Memories Made Together! Some ornaments are made by children for parents to save and treasure for many years to come!
History of the Christmas Tree
The idea of a Christmas tree has a long history! The Christmas tree has evolved through the years to what it means to so many today!
1510…The first written record of a decorated Christmas Tree come from Riga, Lativa. Men of the local merchants decorated a tree with artificial Roses, and danced around it in the marketplace and set fire to it. The Rose was used for many years and is considered to be the symbol for the Virgin Mary!
1630…There is a record form Alsace, France (Then a German territory) that trees were sold in the Marketplace , brought home, and set up undecorated.
1600’s…It was common to decorate Christmas Trees with Apples. This was a holdover from the 14th and 15th centuries when evergreen boughs hung with apples were the only prop used in the “Miracle Plays” that were performed at the churches on December 24th. December 24th was Adam and Eve’s Day in the early Christian calender. The plays were used to as a way of teaching the Bible to a largely illiterate population.
1700’s…In parts of Austria and Germany, evergreen tips were brought home and hung down from the ceiling. They were often decorated with apples , gilded nuts, and red paper strips. Edible ornaments were added and the trees were often called “Sugar Trees”! The first accounts of lighted candles on trees were in France in the 18th century!
1800’s…The Christmas tree was introduced in the United States by German settlers. They grew from Table Top to Floor-to-Ceiling Trees!
1883…Sears, Roebuck, & Company began offering artificial trees.
1901…The first Christmas Tree Farm was started when W.V. McGalliard planted 25,000 Norway Spruce on his farm in New Jersey. Theodore Roosevelt tried to stop the practice of having Christmas Trees out of the concern about the destruction of forests. His two sons didn’t agree and enlisted the help of conservationists, Gifford Pinchot to persuade the President that , done properly, the practice was not harmful to forests.
1930’s…Franklin D. Roosevelt started a Christmas Tree Farm on his estate in Hyde Park, New York.
1966…The National Christmas Tree Association began its time-honored tradition of having the Grand Champion grower present a Christmas Tree to the First Lady for display in the Blue Room of the White House. That year Howard Pierce of Black River Falls, Wisconsin, presented a tree to President Lyndon Johnson and First Lady “Lady Bird” Johnson.
Today…Approximately 25-30 million Real Christmas Trees are sold each year in the United States. Most all of these come from Christmas Tree Plantations.
Credits for article to: www.realchristmastrees.org
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert …Christmas Tree Tradition
Queen Victoria was married to Prince Albert who was originally from Germany. She encouraged him to put up a Christmas Tree for their family at Windsor Palace.A photo of the Royal family enjoying their Christmas Tree was featured in “The Illustrated London News! The Christmas Trees in the homes of the British became very popular!
Christmas tree Candles to Electric Lights
For years many families used candles on their Christmas Trees. This practice was often dangerous and led to many home fires. Thomas Edison created the very first strand of electric lights. During the Christmas season of 1880, these strands were strung around the outside of his Menlo Park Laboratory. Railroad passengers traveling by the laboratory got their first look at the electrical light display, but it would take 40 years for electric Christmas lights to become the tradition as we know it today.
Edison’s friend and business partner in Edison’s Illumination Company, Edward Johnson, hand-wired 80 red, white, and blue light bulbs and wound them around his Christmas Tree in 1882. Not only was the tree illuminated with electricity, it also revolved!
In 1885, Grover Cleveland is credited with having the White House Christmas Tree illuminated with electric lights.
White House Christmas Tree Tradition
Some say that President Franklin Pierce had the first Christmas Tree in the White House during the 1850’s. The President usually credited with having the first White House Christmas Tree is President Benjamin Harrison in 1889. His wife, Caroline Harrison helped decorate the tree, which was installed in the second floor oval parlor…Today’s Yellow Oval Room.
First Lady Lou Henry Hoover began the tradition of Presidential wives decorating the White House Tree.
In 1961 First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy began the tradition of selecting a Theme for the White House Christmas Tree by decorating with a Nutcracker Motif.
***The White House Christmas Tree is in the Blue Room***
The Tradition is in practice today at the White House!
National Christmas Tree
The tradition of the National Christmas Tree was established by Calvin Coolidge in 1923 and a “Tree Lighting of the National Christmas Tree is still a Tradition today!
Christmas Traditions are here for us to look forward to Every Year! Wishing You and Yours a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season from our family to yours!
Credits from article: www.presidentbenjaminharrison.org , Wikipedia /White House/Christmas Tree & www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/christmaslights