Why Do We Have Christmas Trees? The Evolution Of The Modern Tree We See Today

Have you ever stopped to consider why we have Christmas trees? Every winter, families all over the world head to a tree shoppe, pick a pine tree that speaks to them, and drag it to their car in a mesh net, where they hoist it onto the roof and drive with it there slowly home. Once it's in the home it's placed in a stand and sat upright and naked for a few hours while its branches relax and open up in the warm of the house. When the time comes, usually in a festive ceremonious tradition, the tree is decorated by the family. Electric lights are strung around the tree with winding loops. Handmade ornaments like popcorn strings are woven through the branches are ornaments are hung all over. The decorated winter pine as we know it, is a festive symbol of Christmas. But once upon a time, a Christmas tree was just a pine tree, and it had nothing directly to do with religion at all.

The early Romans and Egyptians brought green leaves into the home for luck and as symbol of life in the harsh of winter. They also originally believed that the sun became sick in the winter, which is why it made sparse appearances. They filled their homes with green plants to help encourage a bountiful spring, quickly. The indoor greenery was all about the winter solstice and praying to the god of agriculture.

While the Germans brought pine trees into their homes to use as a Christmas decoration in the 1700s, it was still widely seen as a pagan tradition deep into the 1800s. It wasn't until the early 20th century that Americans began to decorate Christmas trees in their home — they were actually some of the last to catch on to the tradition. Here are some more fun facts about the history of Christmas trees that you can use to impress your relatives over the holiday:

Why We Decorate Trees With Lights

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It was said that the idea for Christmas tree lights came from a thought Martin Luther had when he was looking at a tree in the woods. He loved the sight of stars twinkling around it and so he went home and hung candles on the branches to create the same effect.

Where Christmas Trees Come From

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Christmas trees come from farms, where they grow from four to 15 years until they're ready to be cut down for Christmas. The highest concentration of Christmas tree farms are located in Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Washington.

Tinsel Was Once Banned By The Government

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Tinsel was found to contain lead in the '60s, which lead to a government ban. Tinsel is now made from a safe plastic.

The Warmest Christmas, Yet

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On December 13, 1984, the temperature was in the 70s when the National Christmas Tree was lit. We might beat that record this year.

Images: Pixabay, Giphy (4)