The truth about the trees


We all know what a scrooge I am right? At the time you'll be reading this, we still won't have decorated for Christmas. Unless you're reading this a week later by which time we will have.

This morning I woke up with a deep frustration at society for making me feel like I'm late putting up my decorations because it's the 6th of December (at time of writing) and I don't have any up. So I thought I'd look into the truth behind the Christmas tree.

I've seen on other blogs some very harsh Christian attitudes towards the celebrations at this time of year and the paganism that those traditions harp back to so I wanted to share this to clear things up. If you have a Christmas tree it doesn't mean that Jesus isn't the main focus of your celebration. Sometimes it's tiring trying to keep up with everyone else's convictions isn't it! I've decided to give up and just do what I want, when I want.

*Eats chocolate*

Phew, that's better.

Anyway, now onto the tree.

Dus setting up our tree last year while I looked on with my jammies and a glass of wine. Similar to how it'll be this year then!
 The custom of the Christmas tree can be traced back to Germany in 700 AD. According to legend, the British monk St. Boniface used an undecorated fir tree in his missionary efforts to convert tribe of Germans. Replacing the oak tree which was sacred to the Druids, St Boniface preached, "Let this be called the tree of the Christ Child". From then on, Germans began celebrating Christmas with the planting of a fir sapling.
Aww, see how happy that little tree makes him

Another story about the Christmas tree is that it was known as the Paradise Tree (Adam & Eve in the garden of Eden).
The children of Rosheim in the Alsace wanted to perform a paradise play of the middle ages at Christmas time. To portray the Garden of Eden they needed a tree and as it was winter the only tree that was green was the fir tree.

In the first act of the play, the children required an apple tree. They hung red apples on the tree so they could act out the story of disobedience.

In the second act, they wanted to portray the light that the birth of Christ brought into the world, so they put candles on the tree and lit them.

The third act was to portray the strength and substance that Jesus brought us (his disciples) and so they hung cookies on the tree.

So there you go, what do you think about that then?

If you want to talk pagan....Yule logs date back to when the Celts brought in a big log as a tribute to the Sun God and painted naked men on it in white paint to remember when they used to make human sacrifices!

p.s. Although Prince Albert was indeed credited with the popularity of the Christmas tree, George III's wife Queen Charlotte had had a Christmas tree in court since 1761 (this date might be wrong as I didn't write it down, I'm going on memory!) although it only became popular when a picture of Prince Albert's tree was featured in the newspapers and all the upper and middle classes rushed out to copy royalty.

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  1. Wow!!!!! That was some history lesson. I haven't put my tree up yet but will remedy that this week some time.

  2. You hang in there daughter of mine just remember neither of us live in a shop so decorate or not when you want as for me I am not I say not putting up my tree until the weekend before Christmas or maybe earlier if the Daddy Peter has his way. History was always a subject you loved I am impressed. lov u lots M

  3. It is great that you are looking into this and thinking it through for yourself. So many don't actually bother but just jump on some anti-christmas bandwagon and label that 'Christian'.
    I have always loved the tree and many of our decorations had strong Christian symbolic meanings - most of which are easily sourced via good ol' google (if I dig out some of my research I will forward it). When the kids were young I used to go over the meaning and/or story behind each decoration with them. It became an important part of our Christmas tradition. Since my area was Children's ministry most years those meanings were incorporated in sunday school and church too. It has been an important part of our Christmas tradition. We get to choose our own traditions and to build the stories that we wish to pass on. Does it matter if some of the origins are pagan? the reasons behind the early changes were valid. It is now up to us to create our own meanings. our focus has alway been on the coming of Jesus and why. We linked the two very strongly. I was often interested to see how others would react to aspects of Christmas but often not substitute ones that fitted their belief structure. What use is it to complain or to grump when constantly visually bombarded? But to turn it into something positive feels better and actually reinforces faith. eg. We have never had Santa and the girls have always known that santa isn't real. When seeing images of Santa everywhere, the girls would say "santa isn't real but it's a fun way to visually show that God gave us an amazing gift in sending Jesus His son." they had lots of opportunities to reinforce their faith through the season. (Of course that is what they were taught by us, but then aren't all traditions passed on that way?other Christians didn't get what we were doing sometimes (many did do the santa thing) but our girls have all benefitted from it immensely and have healthy attitudes and faith.
    I hope my comments encourage you in your thoughts and explorations. Have fun with it.


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