Illustrated by EEK.
Christmas trees are definitely a major part of the Christmas Holiday for many. Families look forward to the age-old ceremony of finding the right tree at the lot, bringing it home, busting out buckets of trinkets, ornaments, and Christmas decorations. It is a wonderful way to spend time with those closest to you. It’s heart-warming, it’s peaceful, it’s really quite beautiful.
And it is kind of odd too, isn’t it? The whole idea of taking a tree from the outside and bringing it in while decorating it with a bunch of bright, flashy items is just a bit weird. Not bad, just weird. Why do we do this? What does this have to do with Christmas? Whose crazy idea was this? The concept of evergreen trees and plants being special is an old, old belief. People have held a special place in their hearts for the spirit, longevity and idea behind durable plants for ages. Some countries believed that evergreens would ward off evil spirits and ghosts. Even witches were thought to be harmed by the presence of a healthy green plant. Now you see why your parents always told you to eat your greens!
But it was really the Germans who started the current Christmas tree tradition we know today. It apparently started around the 16th century, when some Christians would decorate their houses with trees and Christmas pyramids. Where did they get the idea? Some think that Martin Luther started the trend when he tried to replicate the beauty of the wintery outside world inside his home.
Americans didn’t get on board with this craze for a long time. In fact, most Americans still found the idea to be a bit kooky until the 19th century. Unsurprisingly, many religious folks in America at the time thought Christmas was sacred and that the idea of a tree in a house was no way to celebrate such a special occasion. But eventually people warmed to the idea brought by German immigrants and, well, the rest is history. Now the Christmas tree industry is booming and makes millions annually.
Did Martin Luther envision trees decorated with Spider-Man, Minions and sports team logos when he started his Christmas tree tradition? Unlikely! But like the idea of Christmas itself, decorating trees has become much, much bigger than it once was.
Two evergreen trees are standing in a snowy field. One is over decorated with Christmas ornaments, multi-colored lights, angels, fluff, ribbon, and tinsel. The tree demands, frustrated, "Don't say a word..." to which the other tree, obviously amused, giggles, "heh".
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