Something that is as synonymous with Christmas as Santa Claus and present-giving is the Christmas tree. Each year millions of households spend hours decorating their trees with lights and baubles … and those lights can cause some arguments! What the heck happens in the eleven months they’re in the loft to make them so tangled? But where did the Christmas tree come from and why is it so significant?
First, it’s important to note that Christmas trees are evergreen. Trees of this nature had particular significance to those who lived in the times that pre-dated Christianity, and they were hung on doors to ward off evil spirits and witches. However, we have Germany to thanks for the modern-day Christmas tree. Devout Christians living in Germany began to bring these evergreen trees into their home and start to decorate them. They also built ‘Christmas Pyramids’ out of wood which were exquisitely decorated.
So why did we start decorating our Christmas trees with lights? Well, a colleague of the father of electricity, Thomas Edison, started to decorate his tree with red lights and blue bulbs, which then led to the Edison company offering a lighting service each Christmas for people to beautifully decorate their own Christmas trees.
In the modern-day, many towns and cities across the United Kingdom each have their own Christmas Tree – a lovely large tree in a central location. In normal years (and 2020 certainly is not a normal year!), a light switch on ceremony close to the start of December celebrates the beginning of advent because, according to Christian traditions and culture, Christmas trees are erected on the first day of advent.
Nowadays the production of Christmas trees has grown to a vast industrial level, with an estimated 50-60 million trees produced in each year in Europe alone, with the value of the harvesting of the trees amounting to a whopping £3billion! Towards the end of the 20th century, the UK saw a rise in the popularity of artificial trees, due to both sustainability and price. Whichever is your favourite, the Christmas tree is a magical part of Christmas and it just wouldn’t be Christmas without it.
If you’re looking forward to Christmas this year and are stuck for what presents to buy your friends and family, why not check out our shop which is stocked full of all different kinds of books, perfect either for a main present or a few stocking fillers.