Last week, we went Christmas tree hunting, and luckily we found the perfect little tree to bring home with us. Yesterday, we brought it inside to our dining room and decorated it. The small journey got me thinking about where the tradition of having a Christmas tree comes from and what it actually symbolizes?
The tradition of having a Christmas tree seems to be older than Christmas itself. Looking into our history, I found that the Ancient Romans all practiced some version of the Christmas tree decorating ceremony, which we today associate with Christmas. To them, the evergreen tree stood out, because it tended to hold needles all year. This caused them to associate it with magic and vitality and resulted in them bringing the tree into their homes.
However, the Christmas tree story is not without its legends; one of the best-known stories associates the first lighted Christmas tree with Martin Luther. Rumor has it that the leader of the Reformation walked through the forests one Christmas Eve. Feeling overwhelmed by the beautiful stars, Luther decided to cut a fir tree, returned home, and decorated the tree with candles. He taught his children that the lighted candles signified the baby Jesus as the light of the world.
Nevertheless, decorating the trees became associated with Christmas in the 16th century. The story goes that during this time, Western German peasants began the tradition of decorating trees to celebrate the feast of Adam and Eve; an annual event, which took place December 24. December 24 was considered the birthday of Adam and Eve. The evergreen tree was a symbol of the Garden of Eden and it was decorated with apples to replicate the forbidden fruit. But over time other sweets were added and the tradition of hanging beautiful ornaments is now a custom, cherished in many households.
Regardless of the Christmas tree’s origin, today it symbolizes several important aspects of the Christmas holiday – it has become a symbol of the giving spirit and exchange of presents, but more importantly, it is a way of embracing the tradition of the holiday season.
Having had a Christmas tree every holiday makes it quite interesting to know its meaning. Also, I would love for you to share your Christmas tree with us on Instagram; simply tag @khafilostudio and share your image(s) with us, and let us know what the Christmas tree symbolize to you?
To me, a spirit of hope and happiness centers around the Christmas tree. The festive ornaments and beautiful lights recall happy traditions of time spend with family and loved ones.
Happy 3rd Advent :-)) Talk to you soon.