CELEBRATING THE CHRISTMAS TREE
The Christmas tree has a long history that is both Pagan and Christian. With its cultural foundations in Norse pagan nature worship – branches or trees were bought inside homes and decorated with candles, apples and other shiny objects. Evergreen trees were believed to have special power to ward off dark magic because they kept their leaves in winter. The Germanic people placed wreaths and branches at doors and windows for protection against malevolent spirits. During the conversions many European pagan traditions were accepted into Christianity. St Boniface cut down an Oak tree (the tree of Odin) and convinced the northern people that the Yule Tree (Fir/Pine tree) was the tree of Christ. With the marriage of Princess Victoria to her cousin, Prince Albert of Germany (1848), the custom of the Christmas tree came to England and was celebrated in Windsor Palace from that time on. The creative Victorians loved the Christmas tree with all its special Christian beliefs; nativity stories and gift giving, they added many more decorations. The Christmas tree and its historical decorations (apples and candles) now came to represent the Tree of Knowledge in the Gardened of Eden. Today the Christmas tree can be found in homes across the world with beautifully crafted decorations that hold special meanings.
If you are in a country that celebrates Christmas, join in the celebrations. Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus and the birth of the Christian Religion. The message of Christmas is love, family, friendship, giving, sharing, thankfulness and becoming a more peaceful individual.
Happy holidays to all!
Sharon D Bush Writer
Historian Artisan Sage