Have you wondered where and how the tradition of decorating Christmas trees came from? According to the Old World Christmas website, the tradition started in 723 while Saint Boniface was traveling through Germany, he met a group of people who were dancing around a decorated oak tree. They were preparing to sacrifice a baby in the name of Thor (a pagan god).
He was angry and very upset. He copped down the oak tree proclaiming the act in the name of Jesus Christ. When the oak tree fell, legend states it revealed a small fir tree. The priest explained to the astonished group that the fir tree is a symbol of the one true God. Its leaves are forever green and will not die. The needles point to heaven. The evergreen trees were then brought into the homes and decorated in the name of Jesus.
The first decorated trees were adorned with apples, white candy canes, and pastries shaped in the form of stars, hearts, or flowers. Glass-blown ornaments were added in the mid-1500s.
Many people put a star or angel on the top of the tree, Lights are added as symbols that Jesus is the light of the world and the star that led the three Wisemen to Bethlehem.
christmastreeworld.co.uk(opens in a new tab)
Families have favorite ornaments that have special stories or meanings. We had three stars of red, white, and blue that were hung next to each other in honor of our WWII veterans.
Our exchange student from Switzerland was surprised that we decorated our tree 1-2 weeks before Christmas. His family always decorated on Christmas Eve and used lit candles. (They never had a fire)!
What ornaments have special meaning for you? Are there special traditions you follow when decorating the tree? Please share your stories.