For many families, the Holiday Season begins when the tree is brought into the house and decorated. Whenever you enter a home with a tree, your eyes (and nose) automatically focus on it. The tree is so festive – and it turns magical at night with the lights and shiny ornaments. Have you ever wondered about the origins of the Christmas tree? Before Christianity, the pagans would use pine boughs to celebrate the winter solstice by bringing them into the home. This was symbolic of looking forward to spring, when life would come back to the land. The Romans decorated their temples with fir trees during the festival of Saturnalia (honoring the god Saturn) in late December. Many attribute the origin of the modern Christmas tree to Saint Boniface of Crediton (UK) – he journeyed to the German tribes to preach the faith and came upon the ritual of a human child being sacrificed to a mighty oak tree. He saved the child and ordered the oak to be cut down. When they cut down the oak, a fir tree grew out of it. When this miracle occurred, the tribe decorated the fir tree with candles to give light so St. Boniface could preach about Christianity. The Clergyman Martin Luther is attributed as the first person to bring a tree inside. As he was walking through the woods, a few days before Christmas, he saw a star that shined directly on a pine tree – it reminded him of the star that shined over Bethlehem at the nativity – so he brought the tree inside to share it with his family. Later, the tradition made its way to England and then America. Today, most homes decorate a tree for the season. Throughout the years, Christmas trees have taken on various shapes and designs – even artificial trees have become popular. But, no matter the origin, a decorated Christmas tree sets the tone of the season. Here’s hoping that a special blessing is tucked underneath your tree, this year. Merry Christmas!
SharLeigh has an inquisitive nature – she is interested in current events, history, science and many more subjects, including things that go bump in the night! Since 1997, SharLeigh has scoured the internet, looking for interesting, fun and timely topics covering all sorts of human-interest subjects for her articles from her home in Fontana, CA.