The History of A Christmas Tree

Daniel Torres, Staff Writer

Although Christmas has only been a national holiday since the 1870’s the Christmas tree originated in the 1600s in Germany. Christmas trees have almost always been used for decoration but in addition to this, it was believed that Christmas trees would ward away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness.

Americans originally found Christmas trees to be an oddity when Germans brought the tradition to the U.S. The first recorded Christmas tree to be on display was in the 1830s. They were still seen as an oddity in the 1840s because they were seen as a pagan symbol and were not accepted by most Americans. It wasn’t until an illustration in 1846 of the popular royals, Queen Victoria and her German Prince, Albert, were sketched in the London News which painted the Christmas Tree as fashionable.

By the 1890s Christmas ornaments were arriving from Germany and the Christmas tree grew in popularity. Europeans used four-foot trees while Americans enjoyed floor-to-ceiling sized trees, along with this difference German-Americans took a more natural approach using apples, nuts, berries, etc to decorate their trees while Americans used homemade ornaments.

Now the question is how should I decorate these more appreciated Christmas traditions? One of the most common ways my household decorates our trees is with a variety of ornaments with colors that complement each other. Such as a red and gold or white and gold pairing, along with this our tree is typically topped with a gold or crystal colored star.