Print this page

Christmas Trees

Another extremely popular tradition of Christmas is the decorating of Christmas Trees. Typically, the tree used is an evergreen fir tree, and has been used for thousands of years.

The first use of fir trees at Christmas was in the year 1510 in Latvia. There is a plaque in the capital which reads ‘The First New Years Tree’, to symbolise the first tree used. German preacher Martin Luther is the first man to have a Christmas tree in his home, and there a number of stories as to how this came about. One tale describes Luther walking through a forest on Christmas Eve and noticed stars shining through the branches of one of the trees. He believed it to remind him of Jesus, and subsequently took the tree back to his home so that he could admire it from there.

Christmas trees were originally decorated with edible artefacts, such as gingerbread and shortbread, but then glass makers began making decorations that could be put on there also. Originally, a baby Jesus was placed upon the top of the tree, but as time went on this has been replaced with an angel, or a star.

In the UK, the first Christmas tree was introduced sometime in the 1830s, and gained significant popularity when Queen Victoria had a tree set up in the 1840s. From this point in history, Christmas trees became a part of a traditional British Christmas celebration.

Nowadays, many villages and towns will put up their own Christmas tree, often with some sort of service, commonly known as a ‘Christmas Light Switch-On’. These sort of events are extremely popular, as it brings a lot of people together from the same community to celebrate the same thing.


Previous page: Christmas Cards