A CHRISTMAS TREE is a decorated tree, usually an evergreen conifer
such as spruce , pine , or fir or an artificial tree of similar
appearance, associated with the celebration of
Christmas . The modern
Christmas tree was developed in early modern
Germany (where it is
today called Weihnachtsbaum or Christbaum), in which devout Christians
brought decorated trees into their homes. It acquired popularity
Lutheran areas of
Germany , during the second half of the
19th century, at first among the upper classes.
The tree was traditionally decorated with "roses made of colored
paper, apples, wafers, tinsel, sweetmeats". In the 18th century, it
began to be illuminated by candles which were ultimately replaced by
Christmas lights after the advent of electrification . Today, there is
a wide variety of traditional ornaments , such as garlands , baubles ,
tinsel , and candy canes . An angel or star might be placed at the top
of the tree to represent the archangel
Gabriel or the Star of
Bethlehem from the Nativity . Edible items such as gingerbread ,
chocolate and other sweets are also popular, and are tied to or hung
from the tree's branches with ribbons.
In the Western
Christmas trees are variously
erected on days such as the first day of
Advent or even as late as
Christmas Eve depending on the country; customs of the same faith
hold that the two traditional days when
Christmas decorations, such as
Christmas tree, are removed are
Twelfth Night and if they are not
taken down on that day,
Candlemas , the latter of which ends the
Christmas-Epiphany season in some denominations .
Christmas tree is sometimes compared with the "
especially in discussions of its folkloric origins.
* 1 History
* 1.1 Possible predecessors
* 1.1.1 Georgia
* 1.1.2 Poland
* 1.1.3 Estonia,
* 1.2 18th to early 20th centuries
* 1.2.2 Adoption by European nobility
* 1.2.3 Britain
* 1.3 1935 to present
* 1.3.1 Public
* 1.3.2 Chrismon trees
* 2 Customs and traditions
* 2.1 Setting up and taking down
* 2.2 Decoration
* 3 Production
* 3.1 Natural trees
* 3.2 Artificial trees
* 4 Environmental issues
* 5 Religious issues
* 6 See also
* 7 References
* 8 External links
From Northern Antiquities, an English translation of the Prose
Edda from 1847. Painted by Oluf Olufsen Bagge.
The relevance of ancient pre-
Christian customs to the 16th Century
German initiation of the
Christmas tree custom is disputed. Resistance
to the custom was often because of its confirmed
Other sources have tried to make a connection between the first
Christmas trees in Alsace around 1600 and pre-Christian
traditions. For example, according to the
Encyclopædia Britannica ,
"The use of evergreen trees , wreaths, and garlands to symbolize
eternal life was a custom of the ancient
Egyptians , Chinese , and
Tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and
survived their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian customs
of decorating the house and barn with evergreens at the
New Year to
scare away the devil and of setting up a tree for the birds during
During the Roman mid-winter festival of
Saturnalia , houses were
decorated with wreaths of evergreen plants, along with other
antecedent customs now associated with Christmas.
Christmas tree is frequently traced to the symbolism of
trees in pre-
Christian winter rites, wherein
Viking and Saxon
worshiped trees. The story of
Saint Boniface cutting down Donar\'s
Oak illustrates the pagan practices in 8th century among the Germans.
A later folk version of the story adds the detail that an evergreen
tree grew in place of the felled oak, telling them about how its
triangular shape reminds humanity of the
Trinity and how it points to
Alternatively, it is identified with the "tree of paradise " of
medieval mystery plays that were given on 24 December, the
commemoration and name day of
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve in various countries. In
such plays, a tree decorated with apples (to represent the forbidden
fruit) and wafers (to represent the
Eucharist and redemption) was used
as a setting for the play. Like the
Christmas crib , the Paradise tree
was later placed in homes. The apples were replaced by round objects
such as shiny red balls.
Christmas trees originated during the Renaissance of early
Germany . Its 16th-century origins are sometimes associated
Martin Luther who is said to have
first added lighted candles to an evergreen tree.
The first recorded
Christmas tree can be found on the keystone
sculpture of a private home in
Turckheim , Alsace (then part of
Germany, today France), dating 1576.
Chichilaki , a Georgian
Christmas tree variety.
Georgians have their own traditional
Christmas tree called
Chichilaki , made from dried up hazelnut or walnut branches that are
shaped to form a small coniferous tree. These pale-colored ornaments
differ in height from 20 cm (7.9 in) to 3 meters (9.8 feet).
Chichilakis are most common in the
Samegrelo regions of
Georgia near the
Black Sea , but they can also be found in some stores
around the capital of
Georgians believe that Chichilaki
resembles the famous beard of
St. Basil the Great , who is thought to
visit people during
Christmas similar to the
Santa Claus tradition.
There was an old pagan custom, associated with
Koliada , of
suspending a branch of fir, spruce or pine called Podłaźniczka from
the ceiling. The branches were decorated with apples, nuts, cookies,
colored paper, stars made of straw, ribbons and colored wafers. Some
people believed that the tree had magical powers that were linked with
harvesting and success in the next year.
In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, these traditions
were almost completely replaced by the German custom of decorating the
Latvia And Germany
Christmas tree, painting 1892 by Franz Skarbina
Customs of erecting decorated trees in wintertime can be traced to
Christmas celebrations in Renaissance-era guilds in Northern Germany
Livonia . The first evidence of decorated trees associated with
Christmas Day are trees in guildhalls decorated with sweets to be
enjoyed by the apprentices and children. In
Latvia ), in 1441, 1442, 1510 and 1514, the Brotherhood of
Blackheads erected a tree for the holidays in their guild houses in
Tallinn ) and
Riga . On the last night of the celebrations
leading up to the holidays, the tree was taken to the Town Hall Square
where the members of the brotherhood danced around it.
Bremen guild chronicle of 1570 reports that a small tree decorated
with "apples, nuts, dates, pretzels and paper flowers" was erected in
the guild-house for the benefit of the guild members' children, who
collected the dainties on
Christmas Day. In 1584, the pastor and
Balthasar Russow in his Chronica der Provinz Lyfflandt
(1584) wrote of an established tradition of setting up a decorated
spruce at the market square where the young men "went with a flock of
maidens and women, first sang and danced there and then set the tree
Protestant Reformation , such trees are seen in the houses
of upper-class Protestant families as a counterpart to the Catholic
Christmas cribs . This transition from the guild hall to the bourgeois
family homes in the Protestant parts of
Germany ultimately gives rise
to the modern tradition as it developed in the 18th and 19th
18TH TO EARLY 20TH CENTURIES
Christmas tree on the table, painting by Ludwig
Blume-Siebert in 1888
By the early 18th century, the custom had become common in towns of
Rhineland , but it had not yet spread to rural areas. Wax
candles, expensive items at the time, are found in attestations from
the late 18th century.
Along the lower Rhine, an area of Roman Catholic majority, the
Christmas tree was largely regarded as a Protestant custom. As a
result, it remained confined to the upper
Rhineland for a relatively
long period of time. The custom did eventually gain wider acceptance
beginning around 1815 by way of Prussian officials who emigrated there
Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna .
In the 19th century, the
Christmas tree was taken to be an expression
of German culture and of
Gemütlichkeit , especially among emigrants
A decisive factor in winning general popularity was the German army's
decision to place
Christmas trees in its barracks and military
hospitals during the
Franco-Prussian War . Only at the start of the
20th century did
Christmas trees appear inside churches, this time in
a new brightly lit form.
Adoption By European Nobility
Christmas tree painting 1877 by H. J. Overbeek
In the early 19th century, the custom became popular among the
nobility and spread to royal courts as far as Russia. Princess
Henrietta of Nassau-Weilburg introduced the
Christmas tree to Vienna
in 1816, and the custom spread across Austria in the following years.
France , the first
Christmas tree was introduced in 1840 by the
duchesse d\'Orléans . In Denmark a Danish newspaper claims that the
Christmas tree was lit in 1808 by countess Wilhemine of
Holsteinborg. It was the aging countess who told the story of the
Christmas tree to the Danish writer Hans Christian
Andersen in 1865. He had published a fairy-tale called
The Fir-Tree in
1844, recounting the fate of a fir-tree being used as a Christmas
Christmas Tree 1911 by
Albert Chevallier Tayler
Albert Chevallier Tayler
Although the tradition of decorating the home with evergreens was
long established, the custom of decorating an entire small tree was
unknown in Britain until some two centuries ago. At the time of the
personal union with Hanover , George III 's German-born wife,
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz , introduced a
Christmas tree at a
party she gave for children in 1800. The custom did not at first
spread much beyond the royal family.
Queen Victoria as a child was
familiar with it and a tree was placed in her room every Christmas. In
her journal for
Christmas Eve 1832, the delighted 13-year-old princess
"After dinner... we then went into the drawing-room near the
dining-room... There were two large round tables on which were placed
two trees hung with lights and sugar ornaments. All the presents being
placed round the trees..."
After Victoria's marriage to her German cousin Prince Albert , by
1841 the custom became even more widespread as wealthier middle-class
families followed the fashion. In 1842 a newspaper advert for
Christmas trees makes clear their smart cachet, German origins and
association with children and gift-giving. An illustrated book, The
Christmas Tree, describing their use and origins in detail, was on
sale in December 1844. On 2 January 1846 Elizabeth Fielding (née Fox
Strangways) wrote from
Laycock Abbey to William Henry Fox-Talbot :
"Constance is extremely busy preparing the Bohemian
Xmas Tree. It is
made from Caroline's description of those she saw in Germany". In
1847 Prince Albert wrote: "I must now seek in the children an echo of
what Ernest and I were in the old time, of what we felt and thought;
and their delight in the Christmas-trees is not less than ours used to
be". A boost to the trend was given in 1848 when The Illustrated
London News, in a report picked up by other papers, described the
Windsor Castle in detail and showed the main tree, surrounded
by the royal family, on its cover. In fewer than ten years their use
in better-off homes was widespread. By 1856 a northern provincial
newspaper contained an advert alluding casually to them, as well as
reporting the accidental death of a woman whose dress caught fire as
she lit the tapers on a
Christmas tree. They had not yet spread down
the social scale though, as a report from Berlin in 1858 contrasts the
situation there where "Every family has its own" with that of Britain,
Christmas trees were still the preserve of the wealthy or the
Their use at public entertainments, charity bazaars and in hospitals
made them increasingly familiar however, and in 1906 a charity was set
up specifically to ensure even poor children in
London slums 'who had
never seen a
Christmas tree' would enjoy one that year. Anti-German
World War I
World War I briefly reduced their popularity but the
effect was short-lived and by the mid-1920s the use of Christmas
trees had spread to all classes. In 1933 a restriction on the
importation of foreign trees led to the 'rapid growth of a new
industry' as the growing of
Christmas trees within Britain became
commercially viable due to the size of demand. By 2013 the number of
trees grown in Britain for the
Christmas market was approximately 8
million and their display in homes, shops and public spaces a normal
part of the
First published image of a
Christmas tree, frontispiece to
Hermann Bokum's 1836 The Stranger's Gift. The Queen\'s
Christmas tree at
Windsor Castle published in The Illustrated London
News , 1848
The tradition was introduced to
Canada in the winter of 1781 by
Brunswick soldiers stationed in the Province of Quebec to garrison the
colony against American attack . General
Friedrich Adolf Riedesel and
his wife, the Baroness von Riedesel , held a
Christmas party at Sorel
, delighting their guests with a fir tree decorated with candles and
Christmas tree became very common in the United States in the
early nineteenth century. The first image of a
Christmas tree was
published in 1836 as the frontispiece to The Stranger's Gift by
Hermann Bokum. The first mention of the
Christmas tree in American
literature was in a story in the 1836 edition of The Token and
Atlantic Souvenir, titled "New Year's Day," by Catherine Maria
Sedgwick, where she tells the story of a German maid decorating her
mistress's tree. Also, a woodcut of the British Royal family with
Christmas tree at Windsor Castle, initially published in The
London News December 1848, was copied in the United States
Christmas 1850, in Godey\'s Lady\'s Book . Godey's copied it
exactly, except for the removal of the Queen's tiara and Prince
Albert's moustache, to remake the engraving into an American scene.
The republished Godey's image became the first widely circulated
picture of a decorated evergreen
Christmas tree in America. Art
historian Karal Ann Marling called Prince Albert and Queen Victoria,
shorn of their royal trappings, "the first influential American
Christmas tree". Folk-culture historian Alfred Lewis Shoemaker
states, "In all of America there was no more important medium in
Christmas tree in the decade 1850–60 than Godey's
Lady's Book". The image was reprinted in 1860, and by the 1870s,
putting up a
Christmas tree had become even more common in America.
Several cities in the United States with German connections lay claim
to that country's first
Windsor Locks, Connecticut ,
claims that a Hessian soldier put up a
Christmas tree in 1777 while
imprisoned at the Noden-Reed House, while the "First
in America" is also claimed by
Easton, Pennsylvania , where German
settlers purportedly erected a
Christmas tree in 1816. In his diary,
Matthew Zahm of
Lancaster, Pennsylvania , recorded the use of a
Christmas tree in 1821, leading Lancaster to also lay claim to the
Christmas tree in America. Other accounts credit Charles Follen
, a German immigrant to Boston, for being the first to introduce to
America the custom of decorating a
August Imgard , a
German immigrant living in
Wooster, Ohio , is said to be the first to
popularize the practice of decorating a tree with candy canes . In
1847, Imgard cut a blue spruce tree from a woods outside town, had the
Wooster village tinsmith construct a star, and placed the tree in his
house, decorating it with paper ornaments, gilded nuts and
German immigrant Charles Minnegerode accepted a position as a
professor of humanities at the College of William ">
Christmas tree" by Winslow Homer, 1858
Christmas in the Netherlands, c. 1899
Illustration for Harper\'s Bazaar , published 1 January 1870.
Christmas tree depicted as
Christmas card by Prang ">
Vera Komissarzhevskaya as Nora in Ibsen 's A Doll\'s House (c. 1904).
An Italian American family on Christmas, 1924
1935 TO PRESENT
Christmas tree from 1951, in a home in New York state.
Russia , the
Christmas tree was banned after the October
Revolution but then reinstated as a New-year spruce
(Новогодняя ёлка, Novogodnyaya yolka) in 1935. It became
a fully secular icon of the
New Year holiday, for example, the
crowning star was regarded not as a symbol of
Bethlehem Star, but as
Red star . Decorations, such as figurines of airplanes, bicycles,
space rockets, cosmonauts , and characters of Russian fairy tales,
were produced. This tradition persists after the fall of the USSR,
New Year holiday outweighing the
Christmas (7 January) for a
wide majority of Russian people.
The TV special A
Christmas (1965) was influential on
the pop culture surrounding the
Christmas tree. Aluminum Christmas
trees were popular during the early 1960s in the US. They were
satirized in the
Charlie Brown show and came to be seen as symbolizing
the commercialization of Christmas. The term
Charlie Brown Christmas
tree, describing any poor-looking or malformed little tree, also
derives from the 1965 TV special, based on the appearance of Charlie
* 1935 to present
Christmas tree with presents
Christmas Tree in the cozy room at the Wisconsin Governor's mansion.
Christmas tea with
Christmas Tree at an espresso shop in Eugene,
A Soviet-era (1960s)
New Year tree decoration depicting a cosmonaut
Christmas Trees in church
An early example of a public
Christmas celebration tree for the
Since the early 20th century, it has become common in many cities,
towns, and department stores to put up public
outdoors, such as the Macy\'s Great Tree in
Atlanta (since 1948), the
Christmas Tree in New York City, and the large
Christmas tree at Victoria Square in
The use of fire retardant allows many indoor public areas to place
real trees and be compliant with code. Licensed applicants of fire
retardant solution spray the tree, tag the tree, and provide a
certificate for inspection. Real trees are popular with high end
visual merchandising displays around the world. Leading global
retailers such as Apple often place real trees in their window
displays. In 2009, Apple placed two
Fraser fir trees in every one of
its retail establishments .
The United States' National
Christmas Tree has been lit each year
since 1923 on the South Lawn of the
White House . Today, the lighting
of the National
Christmas Tree is part of what has become a major
holiday event at the White House. President
Jimmy Carter lit only the
crowning star atop the tree in 1979 in honor of the Americans being
held hostage in Iran . The same was true in 1980, except that the
tree was fully lit for 417 seconds, one second for each day the
hostages had been in captivity.
During most of the 1970s and 1980s, the largest decorated Christmas
tree in the world was put up every year on the property of the
National Enquirer in
Lantana, Florida . This tradition grew into one
of the most spectacular and celebrated events in the history of
southern Florida, but was discontinued on the death of the paper's
founder in the late 1980s.
In some cities, a
Festival of Trees is organized around the
decoration and display of multiple trees as charity events.
The giving of
Christmas trees has also often been associated with the
end of hostilities. After the signing of the Armistice in 1918 the
Manchester sent a tree, and £500 to buy chocolate and cakes,
for the children of the much-bombarded town of
Lille in northern
France. In some cases the trees represent special commemorative
gifts, such as in
Trafalgar Square in
London , where the City of Oslo
Norway presents a tree to the people of
London as a token of
appreciation for the British support of Norwegian resistance during
the Second World War ; in
Boston , where the tree is a gift from the
Nova Scotia , in thanks for rapid deployment of supplies
and rescuers to the 1917 ammunition ship explosion that leveled the
city of Halifax ; and in
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne , where the main civic
Christmas tree is an annual gift from the city of
Bergen , in thanks
for the part played by soldiers from Newcastle in liberating Bergen
from Nazi occupation.
Norway also annually gifts a
Christmas tree to
Washington, D.C. as a symbol of friendship between
Norway and the US
and as an expression of gratitude from
Norway for the help received
from the US during World War II.
Christmas tree in
Milano , Italy, 2008
Christmas tree in Vaticano , 2007
Christmas tree in
Salerno old town, Italy, 2008.
Christmas tree on the Römerberg in
Lisbon (2005), at 75 metres (246 feet) the tallest
Christmas Tree .
An Árbol navideño luminoso in Madrid (2011)
Christmas tree in
Christmas tree in
South Coast Plaza , California
Christmas tree in
Stockholm at NK shopping mall
Christmas trees in Ocean Terminal, Harbour City,
A Chrismon tree in the nave of St. Alban's
A "Chrismon tree" is a
Christmas tree decorated with explicitly
Christian symbols in white and gold. First introduced by North
American Lutherans in 1957, the practice has rapidly spread to other
Christian denominations , including Anglicans , Catholics ,
Methodists , and the
"Chrismon" (plural "Chrismons") was adopted for the type of Christmas
decoration and explained as a portmanteau of "CHRISt-MONOgram" (a
CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS
SETTING UP AND TAKING DOWN
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A candle on a
Both setting up and taking down a
Christmas tree are associated with
specific dates. Traditionally,
Christmas trees were not brought in and
Christmas Eve (24 December) or, in the traditions
Christmas Eve rather than the first day of
Christmas , 23
December, and then removed the day after
Twelfth Night (5 January); to
have a tree up before or after these dates was even considered bad
luck, and that to avoid bad luck from affecting the house's residents,
the tree must be left up until after the following Twelfth Night
In many areas, it has become customary to set up one's
at the beginning of the
Advent season. Some families in the U.S. and
Canada will put up a
Christmas tree a week prior to American
Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday of November), and Christmas
decorations can show up even earlier in retail stores, often the day
Halloween (31 October). In
Canada many families wait until after
Remembrance Day , as to show respect to fallen soldiers. Some
households do not put up the tree until the second week of December,
and leave it up until 6 January (Epiphany ). In Germany, traditionally
the tree is put up on 24 December and taken down on 7 January, though
many start one or two weeks earlier, and in Roman Catholic homes the
tree may be kept until February 2 (Candlemas).
Argentina , along with many countries in Latin America,
Christmas tree is put up on 8 December (
Immaculate Conception day
) and left up until 6 January. In Australia, the
Christmas tree is
usually put up on 1 December, which occurs about a 2 weeks before the
school summer holidays (except for South Australia, where most people
put up their tree after in late November following the completion of
Christmas Pageant , a time frame that has started to
filter into other states as the official time
and in store
Santa Claus start to appear) and is left up until it is
taken down. Some traditions suggest that
Christmas trees may be kept
up until no later than 2 February, the feast of the Presentation of
Jesus at the Temple (Candlemas), when the
Christmas season effectively
closes. Superstitions say that it is a bad sign if
is not removed by
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Christmas ornaments at the
Christmas market , Strasbourg
Christmas ornaments are decorations (usually made of glass, metal,
wood, or ceramics) that are used to decorate a
Christmas tree. The
first decorated trees were adorned with apples, white candy canes and
pastries in the shapes of stars, hearts and flowers.
were first made in
Germany , and also garlands of glass
beads and tin figures that could be hung on trees. The popularity of
these decorations grew into the production of glass figures made by
highly skilled artisans with clay molds.
Tinsel and several types of garland or ribbon are commonly used to
Christmas tree. Silvered saran -based tinsel was introduced
later. Delicate mold-blown and painted colored glass Christmas
ornaments were a specialty of the glass factories in the Thuringian
Forest , especially in
Lauscha in the late 19th century, and have
since become a large industry, complete with famous-name designers.
Baubles are another common decoration, consisting of small hollow
glass or plastic spheres coated with a thin metallic layer to make
them reflective, with a further coating of a thin pigmented polymer in
order to provide coloration. Lighting with electric lights (Christmas
lights or, in the United Kingdom, fairy lights) is commonly done. A
tree-topper , sometimes an angel but more frequently a star, completes
In the late 1800s, home-made white
Christmas trees were made by
wrapping strips of cotton batting around leafless branches creating
the appearance of a snow-laden tree. In the 1940s and 1950s,
popularized by Hollywood films in the late 1930s, flocking was very
popular on the
West Coast of the United States
West Coast of the United States . There were home
flocking kits that could be used with vacuum cleaners. In the 1980s
some trees were sprayed with fluffy white flocking to simulate snow.
A golden bauble decorating a
A snowman-shaped decoration painted as a baseball
A toy bear
Fabergé egg as a
Christmas tree production Undecorated
Each year, 33 to 36 million
Christmas trees are produced in America,
and 50 to 60 million are produced in Europe. In 1998, there were about
15,000 growers in America (a third of them "choose and cut" farms). In
that same year, it was estimated that Americans spent $1.5 billion on
Christmas trees. Father and son with their dog collecting a tree
in the forest, painting by
Franz Krüger (1797–1857) Trees on
sale at a
Christmas market in
Vienna , painting by Carl Wenzel Zajicek
(1908) A grower in Waterloo,
Nova Scotia , prunes balsam fir
trees in October. The tree must experience three frosts to stabilize
the needles before cutting.
Christmas tree cultivation
The most commonly used species are fir (Abies), which have the
benefit of not shedding their needles when they dry out, as well as
retaining good foliage color and scent; but species in other genera
are also used.
Europe most commonly used are:
Picea abies (the original tree, generally the
* Silver fir Abies alba
* Nordmann fir Abies nordmanniana
Noble fir Abies procera
* Serbian spruce Picea omorika
Scots pine Pinus sylvestris
Stone pine Pinus pinea (as small table-top trees)
Swiss pine Pinus cembra
North America ,
Central America and
South America most commonly
Douglas fir Pseudotsuga menziesii
* Balsam fir Abies balsamea
Fir Abies fraseri
* Grand fir Abies grandis
* Guatemalan fir Abies guatemalensis
Noble fir Abies procera
* Red fir Abies magnifica
* White fir Abies concolor
* Pinyon pine Pinus edulis
Jeffrey pine Pinus jeffreyi
Scots pine Pinus sylvestris
Stone pine Pinus pinea (as small table-top trees)
* Norfolk Island pine Araucaria heterophylla
Several other species are used to a lesser extent. Less-traditional
conifers are sometimes used, such as giant sequoia ,
Leyland cypress ,
Monterey cypress and eastern juniper . Various types of spruce tree
are also used for
Christmas trees (including the blue spruce and, less
commonly, the white spruce ); but spruces begin to lose their needles
rapidly upon being cut, and spruce needles are often sharp, making
decorating uncomfortable. Virginia pine is still available on some
tree farms in the southeastern United States; however, its winter
color is faded. The long-needled eastern white pine is also used
there, though it is an unpopular
Christmas tree in most parts of the
country, owing also to its faded winter coloration and limp branches,
making decorating difficult with all but the lightest ornaments.
Norfolk Island pine is sometimes used, particularly in
Oceania , and
Australia , some species of the genera
Casuarina and Allocasuarina
are also occasionally used as
Christmas trees. But, by far, the most
common tree is the Monterey pine .
Adenanthos sericeus or Albany
woolly bush is commonly sold in southern
Australia as a potted living
Christmas tree. Hemlock species are generally considered unsuitable as
Christmas trees due to their poor needle retention and inability to
support the weight of lights and ornaments.
Some trees, frequently referred to as "living
Christmas trees", are
sold live with roots and soil, often from a plant nursery , to be
stored at nurseries in planters or planted later outdoors and enjoyed
(and often decorated) for years or decades. Others are produced in a
container and sometimes as topiary for a porch or patio. However, when
done improperly, the combination of root loss caused by digging, and
the indoor environment of high temperature and low humidity is very
detrimental to the tree's health; additionally, the warmth of an
indoor climate will bring the tree out of its natural winter dormancy
, leaving it little protection when put back outside into a cold
outdoor climate. Often
Christmas trees are a large attraction for
living animals, including mice and spiders. Thus, the survival rate of
these trees is low. However, when done properly, replanting provides
higher survival rates.
European tradition prefers the open aspect of naturally grown,
unsheared trees, while in
North America (outside western areas where
trees are often wild-harvested on public lands) there is a preference
for close-sheared trees with denser foliage, but less space to hang
In the past,
Christmas trees were often harvested from wild forests,
but now almost all are commercially grown on tree farms . Almost all
Christmas trees in the United States are grown on
Christmas tree farms
where they are cut after about ten years of growth and new trees
planted. According to the
United States Department of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture 's
agriculture census for 2007, 21,537 farms were producing conifers for
Christmas tree market in America, 5,717.09 square kilometres
(1,412,724 acres) were planted in
Christmas trees. A Christmas
tree farm near New Germany,
Nova Scotia , Canada.
The life cycle of a
Christmas tree from the seed to a 2-metre (7 ft)
tree takes, depending on species and treatment in cultivation, between
8 and 12 years. First, the seed is extracted from cones harvested from
older trees. These seeds are then usually grown in nurseries and then
Christmas tree farms at an age of 3–4 years. The remaining
development of the tree greatly depends on the climate, soil quality,
as well as the cultivation and how the trees are tended by the
Christmas tree farmer.
Main article: Artificial
Christmas tree An artificial Christmas
tree A lighted artificial
Christmas tree with ornaments
The first artificial
Christmas trees were developed in
the 19th century, though earlier examples exist. These "trees" were
made using goose feathers that were dyed green., as one response by
Germans to continued deforestation . Feather
Christmas trees ranged
widely in size, from a small 2-inch (51 mm) tree to a large 98-inch
(2,500 mm) tree sold in department stores during the 1920s. Often,
the tree branches were tipped with artificial red berries which acted
as candle holders .
Over the years, other styles of artificial
Christmas trees have
evolved and become popular. In 1930, the U.S.-based Addis Brush
Company created the first artificial
Christmas tree made from brush
bristles. Another type of artificial tree is the aluminum Christmas
tree , first manufactured in
Chicago in 1958, and later in
Manitowoc, Wisconsin , where the majority of the trees were produced.
Most modern artificial
Christmas trees are made from plastic recycled
from used packaging materials, such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Approximately 10% of artificial
Christmas trees are using virgin
suspension PVC resin; despite being plastic most artificial trees are
not recyclable or biodegradable.
Other trends have developed in the early 2000s as well. Optical fiber
Christmas trees come in two major varieties; one resembles a
Christmas tree. One
Dallas -based company offers
"holographic mylar" trees in many hues. Tree-shaped objects made from
such materials as cardboard, glass, ceramic or other materials can
be found in use as tabletop decorations. Upside-down artificial
Christmas trees became popular for a short time and were originally
introduced as a marketing gimmick; they allowed consumers to get
closer to ornaments for sale in retail stores and opened up floor
space for more products. Artificial trees became increasingly popular
during the late 20th century. Users of artificial
assert that they are more convenient, and, because they are reusable,
much cheaper than their natural alternative. They are also considered
much safer as natural trees can be a significant fire hazard. Between
2001 and 2007 artificial
Christmas tree sales in the U.S. jumped from
7.3 million to 17.4 million. Currently it is estimated that around
Christmas trees used in the United States are artificial while
numbers in the United Kingdom are indicated to be around 66%.
* Artificial trees
A tree with fibre optic lights
Christmas tree and presents Athens, Greece
A chrismon tree (St. Alban's
Anglican Cathedral, Oviedo, Florida)
An artificial Aluminum
Poinsettia flowers arranged into the conical shape of a
Christmas tree", topped with a "Star of Bethlehem", in San Diego
The debate about the environmental impact of artificial trees is
ongoing. Generally, natural tree growers contend that artificial trees
are more environmentally harmful than their natural counterparts.
However, trade groups such as the American
Christmas Tree Association
, continue to refute that artificial trees are more harmful to the
environment, and maintain that the PVC used in
Christmas trees has
excellent recyclable properties.
Christmas tree recycling point
(point recyclage de sapins) in
Paris , 22 January 2010
Live trees are typically grown as a crop and replanted in rotation
after cutting, often providing suitable habitat for wildlife.
Alternately, live trees can be donated to livestock farmers of such
animals like goats who find that such trees uncontaminated by chemical
additives are excellent fodder. In some cases management of Christmas
tree crops can result in poor habitat since it sometimes involves
heavy input of pesticides . Concerns have been raised about people
cutting down old and rare conifers, such as the Keteleeria evelyniana
Christmas trees. Discarded trees curbside in North
Hollywood, Los Angeles
Real or cut trees are used only for a short time, but can be recycled
and used as mulch , wildlife habitat, or used to prevent erosion .
Real trees are carbon-neutral, they emit no more carbon dioxide by
being cut down and disposed of than they absorb while growing.
However, emissions can occur from farming activities and
transportation. An independent life-cycle assessment study, conducted
by a firm of experts in sustainable development, states that a natural
tree will generate 3.1 kg (6.8 lb) of greenhouse gases every year
(based on purchasing 5 km (3.1 miles) from home) whereas the
artificial tree will produce 48.3 kg (106 lb) over its lifetime. Some
people use living
Christmas or potted trees for several seasons,
providing a longer life cycle for each tree. Living
can be purchased or rented from local market growers. Rentals are
picked up after the holidays, while purchased trees can be planted by
the owner after use or donated to local tree adoption or urban
Most artificial trees are made of recycled PVC rigid sheets using tin
stabilizer in the recent years. In the past, lead was often used as a
stabilizer in PVC, but is now banned by Chinese laws. The use of lead
stabilizer in Chinese imported trees has been an issue of concern
among politicians and scientists over recent years. A 2004 study found
that while in general artificial trees pose little health risk from
lead contamination , there do exist "worst-case scenarios" where major
health risks to young children exist. A 2008 United States
Environmental Protection Agency report found that as the PVC in
Christmas trees aged it began to degrade. The report
determined that of the 50 million artificial trees in the United
States approximately 20 million were 9 or more years old, the point
where dangerous lead contamination levels are reached. A professional
study on the life-cycle assessment of both real and artificial
Christmas trees revealed that one must use an artificial Christmas
tree at least 20 years to leave an environmental footprint as small as
A 1931 edition of the Soviet magazine Bezbozhnik , distributed
League of Militant Atheists , depicting an Orthodox Christian
priest being forbidden to cut down a tree for
Christmas tree was first used by German Lutherans in the 16th
century, with records indicating that a
Christmas tree was placed in
the Cathedral of Strassburg in 1539, under the leadership of the
Protestant Reformer ,
Martin Bucer . In the United States, these
"German Lutherans brought the decorated
Christmas tree with them; the
Moravians put lighted candles on those trees." When decorating the
Christmas tree, many individuals place a star at the top of the tree
Star of Bethlehem
Star of Bethlehem , a fact recorded by The School
Journal in 1897. Professor David Albert Jones of Oxford University
writes that in the 19th century, it became popular for people to also
use an angel to top the
Christmas tree in order to symbolize the
angels mentioned in the accounts of the
Nativity of Jesus .
Under the Marxist-Leninist doctrine of state atheism in the Soviet
Union, after its foundation in 1917,
with other religious holidays—were prohibited as a result of the
Soviet anti-religious campaign . The League of Militant Atheists
encouraged school pupils to campaign against
among them being the
Christmas tree, as well as other Christian
Easter ; the League established an anti-religious
holiday to be the 31st of each month as a replacement. With the
Christmas tree being prohibited in accordance with Soviet
anti-religious legislation , people supplanted the former Christmas
custom with New Year's trees. In 1935 the tree was brought back as
New Year tree and became a secular, not a religious holiday.
Pope John Paul II introduced the
Christmas tree custom to the Vatican
in 1982. Although at first disapproved of by some as out of place at
the centre of the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican
has become an integral part of the Vatican
and in 2005
Pope Benedict XVI spoke of it as part of the normal
Christmas decorations in Catholic homes. In 2004, Pope John Paul
Christmas tree a symbol of Christ. This very ancient
custom, he said, exalts the value of life, as in winter what is
evergreen becomes a sign of undying life, and it reminds Christians of
the "tree of life" of Genesis 2:9, an image of Christ, the supreme
gift of God to humanity. In the previous year he said: "Beside the
Christmas tree, with its twinkling lights, reminds us that
with the birth of
Jesus the tree of life has blossomed anew in the
desert of humanity. The crib and the tree: precious symbols, which
hand down in time the true meaning of Christmas." The Catholic
Church's official Book of Blessings has a service for the blessing of
Christmas tree in a home. Likewise the Protestant Episcopal
Church in The
Anglican Family Prayer Book, which has the imprimatur of
The Rt. Rev. Catherine S. Roskam of the
Anglican Communion , has long
had a ritual titled Blessing of a
Christmas Tree, as well as Blessing
of a Crèche, for use in the church and the home.
In 2006, the
Seattle–Tacoma International Airport
Seattle–Tacoma International Airport removed all of
Christmas trees in the middle of the night rather than allow a
rabbi to put up a menorah near the largest tree display. Officials
feared that one display would open the door for other religious
displays, and, in 2007, they opted to display a grove of birches in
polyethylene terephthalate snow rather than religious symbols or
Christmas trees. In 2005, the city of
Boston renamed the spruce tree
used to decorate the
Boston Common a "Holiday Tree" rather than a
Christmas Tree". The name change drew a poor response from the
public and it was reversed after the city was threatened with several
lawsuits. At the Bilbao airport 2005 displayed a
Christmas tree and a
Santa Claus and
Christmas elf alongside the Basque
Olentzero , as a
way of syncretising traditions in Northern Spain.
Chrismon trees are a variety developed in 1957 by a
in Virginia, as a specifically religious version appropriate for a
Christmas celebrations, although most
continue to display the traditional
Christmas tree in their
sanctuaries during Christmastide.
Christmas tree controversies
* Legend of the
* ^ A B C Perry, Joe (27 September 2010).
Christmas in Germany: A
University of North Carolina Press
University of North Carolina Press . p. 32. ISBN
9780807899410 . A chronicle from Stasbourg, written in 1604 and widely
seen as the first account of a
Christmas tree in German-speaking
lands, records that Protestant artisans brought fir trees into their
homes in the holiday season and decorated them with "roses made of
colored paper, apples, wafers, tinsel, sweetmeats, etc." ... The
Christmas tree spread out in German society from the top down, so to
speak. It moved from elite households to broader social strata, from
urban to rural areas, from the Protestant north to the Catholic south,
and from Prussia to other German states. access-date= requires url=
Christmas trees were hung in St. George\'s Church, Sélestat
since 1521:Selestat.fr - Office de la Culture de Sélestat - The
history of the
Christmas tree since 1521 Archived December 18, 2013,
Wayback Machine .
* ^ Dunphy, John J. (26 November 2010). From
Christmas to Twelfth
Night in Southern Illinois. Arcadia Publishing Incorporated. p. 28.
ISBN 9781614232537 . Having a
Christmas tree became so closely
identified with following Luther's path that German Catholics
initially wanted nothing to do with this symbol of Protestantism.
Their resistance endured until the nineteenth century, when Christmas
trees finally began finding their way into Catholic homes.
access-date= requires url= (help )
* ^ A B
Ingeborg Weber-Kellermann (1978). Das Weihnachtsfest. Eine
Kultur- und Sozialgeschichte der Weihnachtszeit (in German). Bucher.
p. 22. ISBN 3-7658-0273-5 . Man kann als sicher annehmen daß die
Luzienbräuche gemeinsam mit dem Weinachtsbaum in Laufe des 19.
Jahrhunderts aus Deutschland über die gesellschaftliche Oberschicht
der Herrenhöfe nach Schweden gekommen sind. (English: One can assume
with certainty that traditions of lighting, together with the
Christmas tree, crossed from
Germany to Sweden in the 19th century via
the princely upper classes.)
* ^ A B Mandryk, DeeAnn (25 October 2005). Canadian Christmas
Traditions. James Lorimer & Company. p. 67. ISBN 9781554390984 . The
eight-pointed star became a popular manufactured
around the 1840s and many people place a star on the top of their
Christmas tree to represent the Star of Bethlehem.
* ^ A B Jones, David Albert (27 October 2011). Angels. Oxford
University Press . p. 24. ISBN 9780191614910 . The same ambiguity is
seen in that most familiar of angels, the angel on top of the
Christmas tree. This decoration, popularized in the nineteenth
century, recalls the place of the angels in the
Christmas story (Luke
* ^ A B Crump, William D. (15 September 2001). The Christmas
Encyclopedia, 3d ed. McFarland. p. 386. ISBN 9780786468270 . Christmas
trees in the countryside did not appear until World War I, although
Slovenians of German ancestry were decorating trees before then.
Traditionally, the family decorates their
Christmas tree on Christmas
Eve with electric lights, tinsel, garlands, candy canes, other
assorted ornaments, and topped with an angel figure or star. The tree
Nativity scene remain until
Candlemas (February 2), when they are
removed. access-date= requires url= (help )
* ^ "Candlemas". British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 26
December 2016. Any
Christmas decorations not taken down by Twelfth
Night (January 5th) should be left up until
Candlemas Day and then
* ^ Daniel J. Foley (1999). The
Christmas Tree. Omnigraphics. p.
45. ISBN 978-1-55888-286-7 .
* ^ A B Greg Dues (2008).
Advent and Christmas. Bayard. pp.
13–15. ISBN 978-1-58595-722-4 . Next to the Nativity scene, the most
Christmas tradition is to have a
Christmas tree in the home.
This custom is not the same as bringing a
Yule tree or evergreens into
the home, originally popular during the month of the winter solstice
* ^ A B Sheryl Karas (1998). The Solstice Evergreen: history,
folklore, and origins of the
Christmas tree. Aslan. pp. 103–04. ISBN
* ^ Gillian Cooke A Celebration of
Christmas 1980 Page 62 "Martin
Luther has been credited with the creation of the
Christmas tree. ...
Christmas tree did not spring fully fledged into ... tree was slow
to spread from its Alsatian home, partly because of resistance to its
* ^ "
Encyclopædia Britannica . 2012.
* ^ A B
BBC Religion & Ethics - Did the Romans invent Christmas?
* ^ Fritz Allhoff, Scott C. Lowe (2010). Christmas. John Wiley &
Sons . His biographer, Eddius Stephanus, relates that while Boniface
was serving as a missionary near Geismar, Germany, he had enough of
the locals' reverence for the old gods. Taking an axe to an oak tree
dedicated to Norse god Thor, Boniface chopped the tree down and dared
Thor to zap him for it. When nothing happened, Boniface pointed out a
young fir tree amid the roots of the oak and explained how this tree
was a more fitting object of reverence as it pointed towards the
Christian heaven and its triangular shape was reminiscent of the
* ^ The story, not recounted in the vitae written in his time,
appears in a
BBC Devon website, "Devon Myths and Legends", and in a
number of educational storybooks, including St. Boniface and the
Fir Tree: A Story to Color by Jenny Melmoth and Val Hayward
(Warrington: Alfresco Books 1999 ISBN 1-873727-15-1 ), The Brightest
Star of All:
Christmas Stories for the Family by Carrie Papa (Abingdon
Press 1999 ISBN 978-0-687-64813-9 ) and "How
Saint Boniface Kept
Christmas Eve" by Mary Louise Harvey in The American Normal Readers:
Fifth Book, 207-22. Silver, Burdett and Co. 1912.
* ^ Philip Lazowski (2004). Understanding Your Neighbor\'s Faith.
KTAV Publishing House. pp. 203–04. ISBN 978-0-88125-811-0 .
* ^ Michael P. Foley (2005). Why Do Catholics Eat Fish on Friday?.
Palgrave Macmillan. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-4039-6967-5 .
* ^ Ann Ball (1997). Catholic Traditions in Crafts. Our Sunday
Visitor. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-87973-711-5 .
* ^ Encyclopædia Britannica. 2003. The modern
Christmas tree ...
originated in western Germany. The main prop of a popular medieval
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve was a fir tree hung with apples (paradise
tree) representing the Garden of Eden. The Germans set up a paradise
tree in their homes on December 24, the religious feast day of Adam
and Eve. They hung wafers on it (symbolizing the host, the Christian
sign of redemption); in a later tradition, the wafers were replaced by
cookies of various shapes. Candles, too, were often added as the
symbol of Christ. In the same room, during the
Christmas season, was
Christmas pyramid , a triangular construction of wood, with
shelves to hold
Christmas figurines, decorated with evergreens,
candles, and a star. By the 16th century, the
Christmas pyramid and
paradise tree had merged, becoming the
* ^ "History of
Christmas Trees". History . Retrieved 15 December
* ^ Helen Haidle (2002).
Christmas Legends to Remember\'. p. 119.
ISBN 978-1-56292-534-5 .
* ^ Debbie Trafton O'Neal, David LaRochelle (2001). Before and
After Christmas. Augsburg Fortress. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-8066-4156-0 .
* ^ Ehrsam, Roger (1999). Le Vieux Turckheim. Ville de Turckheim:
Jérôme Do Bentzinger. ISBN 290623883X .
* ^ Friedrich Amelung (1885). Geschichte der Revaler
Schwarzenhäupter: von ihrem Ursprung an bis auf die Gegenwart: nach
den urkundenmäßigen Quellen des Revaler Schwarzenhäupter-Archivs 1,
Die erste Blütezeit von 1399–1557 (in German). Reval : Wassermann.
* ^ Johannes Marbach (1859). Die heilige Weihnachtszeit nach
Bedeutung, Geschichte, Sitten und Symbolen (in German). p. 416. Was
ist auch eine deutsche Christenfamilie am Christabend ohne
Christbäumchen? Zumal in der Fremde, unter kaltherzigen Engländern
und frivolen Franzosen, unter den amerikanischen Indianern und den
Papuas von Australien. Entbehren doch die nichtdeutschen Christen
neben dem Christbäumchen noch so viele Züge deutscher
Gemüthlichkeit. (English: What would a German
Christian family do on
Christmas Eve without a
Christmas tree? Especially in foreign lands,
among cold-hearted Englishmen and frivolous Frenchmen, among the
American Indians and the Papua of Australia. Apart from the Christmas
tree, the non-German Christians suffer from a lack of a great many
traits of German Gemütlichkeit.)
* ^ Jan Hermelink (2003). "Weihnachtsgottesdienst" . In Christian
Grethlein; Günter Ruddat. Liturgisches Kompendium (in German).
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. p. 290. ISBN 978-3-525-57211-5 .
* ^ "Danmarks første juletræ blev tændt i 1808". Kristelig
Dagblad. December 17, 2008.
* ^ Stow, John (1603). Survey of London. London: John Windet.
Against the feast of
Christmas every man’s house, as also the parish
churches, were decked with holm, ivy, bays, and whatsoever the season
of the year afforded to be green.
* ^ "The History of the
Christmas Tree at Windsor".
* ^ In 1829 the diarist Greville , visiting
house, describes three small
Christmas trees "such as is customary in
Germany" which Princess Lieven had put up. Hole, Christine (1950).
English Custom and Usage. London: B.T.Batsford Ltd. p. 16.
Queen Victoria (1912).
Reginald Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher , ed.
The girlhood of Queen Victoria: a selection from Her Majesty's
diaries. J. Murray. p. 61.
* ^ Marie Claire Lejeune. Compendium of symbolic and ritual plants
in Europe. Man & Culture. p. 550. ISBN 90-77135-04-9 .
* ^ ”GERMAN CHRISTMAS TREES. The nobility and gentry are
respectfully informed that these handsome JUVENILE CHRISTMAS PRESENTS
are supplied and elegantly fitted up...”:Times 20 December 1842:p.1
* ^ The
Christmas Tree: published by Darton and Clark, London. 'The
ceremony of the
Christmas tree, so well known throughout Germany, bids
fair to be welcomed among us, with the other festivities of the
season, especially now the Queen, within her own little circle, has
set the fashion, by introducing it on the
Christmas Eve in her own
regal palace.' Book review of The
Christmas Tree from the Weekly
Chronicle, 14 December 1844, quoted in an advert headlined 'A new
pleasure for Christmas' in The Times, 23 December 1844, p.8
* ^ Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding, Lady Mt Edgcumbe
(1808–1881); William Henry Fox-Talbot's half-sister.
* ^ Correspondence of William Henry Fox-Talbot, British Library,
London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection, envelope 20179
* ^ Godfrey and Margaret Scheele (1977). The Prince Consort, Man of
many Facets: The World and The Age of Prince Albert. Oresko Books. p.
78. ISBN 9780905368061 .
* ^ At the beginning of the year the custom was well-enough known
for The Times to compare the January budget of 1848 with gifts handed
out beneath "the
Christmas tree":The Times (London, England), 21
January 1848, p. 4
Christmas supplement edition, published 23 December
* ^ The Times (London, England), 27 December 1848. p. 7
* ^ “Now the best
Christmas box/You can give to the young/Is not
toys, nor fine playthings,/Nor trees gaily hung...”: Manchester
Guardian, Saturday, January 05, 1856, p.6
Manchester Guardian, 24 January 1856, p.3: the death of
Caroline Luttrell of
Kilve Court , Somerset.
* ^ The Times (London, England), 28 December 1858, p. 8
* ^ The Poor Children's Yuletide Association. The Times (London,
England),20 December 1906, p.2. The association sent 71 trees 'bearing
thousands of toys' to the poorest districts of London.
* ^ 'A Merry Christmas': The Times (London, England), 27 December
1918, p.2 '...the so-called "
Christmas tree" was out of favour. Large
stocks of young firs were to be seen at Covent Garden on Christmas
Eve, but found few buyers. It was remembered that the "
has enemy associations."
* ^ The next year a charity fair in aid of injured soldiers
featured 'a huge Christmas-tree'. 'St. Dunstan's
Christmas Fair.' The
Times (London, England),20 December 1919, p.9
* ^ 'Poor families in Lewisham and similar districts are just as
particular about the shape of their trees as people in Belgravia...'
Christmas Trees':The Times (London, England), 17 December
Christmas Tree Plantations. The Times (London, England), 11
December 1937, p.11
* ^ "
Christmas tree grower Ivor Dungey gets award".
* ^ Emmy E. Werner (2006). In Pursuit of Liberty: Coming of Age in
the American Revolution. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 115. ISBN
* ^ A B Alfred Lewis Shoemaker (1999) .
Christmas in Pennsylvania:
a folk-cultural study. Stackpole Books. pp. 52–53. ISBN
* ^ Karal Ann Marling (2000). Merry Christmas! Celebrating
America's greatest holiday.
Harvard University Press
Harvard University Press . p. 244. ISBN
* ^ Joseph Wenzel IV (30 November 2015). "First Decorated Christmas
Tree in Windsor Locks". WFSB. Archived from the original on 10
December 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
* ^ "The History of Christmas". Gareth Marples. Retrieved December
* ^ "Professor Brought
Christmas Tree to New England". Harvard
University Gazette . December 12, 1996. Archived from the original on
August 23, 1999. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
* ^ "They\'re Still Cheering Man Who Gave America
Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune . 24 December 1938. Retrieved 16 May
* ^ "Charles Minnigerode (1814–1894)". Encyclopedia Virginia.
Virginia Foundation for the Humanities .
* ^ 'Notes and Queries', volume 8 (217), 24 December 1853, p.615
* ^ "A Brief History of Electric
Christmas Lighting in America".
oldchristmastreelights.com. Retrieved 2014-12-19.
* ^ "Santa Claus".
* ^ "1 мая собираются праздновать 59%
россиян" (in Russian). April 27, 2012. Retrieved December 2,
New Year is among the most important holidays for 81% of
Christmas is such only for 19%, ranking after Victory
Easter , International Women\'s Day .
* ^ Belk, Russell (2000). "Materialism and the Modern U.S.
Christmas". Advertising & Society Review. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
* ^ A B "Lighting of the National
Christmas Tree". National Park
Service . Archived from the original on January 15, 2008. Retrieved
April 5, 2009.
* ^ "Flashback Blog: The World\'s Largest Decorated Christmas
The Palm Beach Post . December 3, 2009. Archived from the
original on December 5, 2009. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
* ^ 'Manchester's Gift To Lille..(FROM G. WARD PRICE.)' The Times
(London, England),21 December 1918, p.7
* ^ "Town twinning: Bergen, Norway". Newcastle City Council .
Archived from the original on 2007-04-25.
* ^ "DC:
Christmas Tree Lighting at Union Station". Norwegian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs . Archived from the original on December
9, 2012. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
* ^ Weaver, Jr., J. Dudley (2002). Presbyterian Worship: A Guide
for Clergy. Geneva Press. p. 79. ISBN 9780664502188 .
* ^ Segler, Franklin M.; Bradley, Randall (1 October 2006).
Christian Worship: Its Theology and Practice, Third Edition. B&H
Publishing Group. p. 222. A Chrismon tree is an evergreen tree adorned
with symbols of Christ. The symbols are white and gold, and the three
has white lights.
* ^ Morris-Pierce, Elizabeth; Berger, Stephen A.; Dreher, Eulonda
A.; Russel W. Dalton; D. Andrew Richardson; Jeanne Mueller; Judith
Hale Wood; Ellen Edgar; James Edgar (1 January 2002). In Search of
Christmas. CSS Publishing. p. 27. ISBN 9780788019166 . Chrismons were
first used in 1957 to decorate a
Christmas tree in the
of the Ascension in Danville, Virginia.
* ^ Crump, William D. (15 September 2001). The Christmas
Encyclopedia, 3d ed. McFarland. p. 71. ISBN 9780786468270 . Over time,
the popularity of the Chrismons tree grew and spread to other
denominations around the world, while Chrismons themselves have become
meaningful decorations throughout the year.
* ^ "Chrismon Tree". St. John's
Anglican Church. Archived from the
original on 9 December 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2014. A number of
ladies of St. John's have been hard at work producing beautiful
Christian Monograms) out of wire and beads to decorate a
"Chrismon Tree" that will be put up and dedicated on the First Sunday
* ^ Glavich, Mary Kathleen (2010). Leading Young Catholics Into
Twenty-Third Publications . p. 36. ISBN 9781585958009 . A
Advent activity is the more recent custom of making a
Chrismon tree (Christ + monogram). The Chrismon tree bears symbols of
Jesus from the New Testament. While the children hang their symbols,
related Scripture texts might be read. Possible figures for the
Chrismon tree are Mary, Joseph, the star, manger, shepherd, angel,
sheep, three kings, gifts, fish, dove, grapes, wheat, vine, crown,
rock, alpha and omega symbols, Chi-Rho, anchor, and cross. The symbols
are usually white and gold.
* ^ First United
Methodist Church, Midland, Texas: Offering Christ,
1885-1985: One Hundred Years on Main Street in Downtown Midland.
Taylor Publishing Company. 1985.
* ^ "
Christmas at BRC". Brunswick
Retrieved 4 December 2014.
* ^ so in The
Lutheran Witness, Volume 83 (1964), p. 548 "the
Chrismon (from CHRISt-MONogram) tree", and in James Edgar, Ellen
Edgar, A Chrismon Service (1981), p. 2. The word's actual etymology,
from Middle Latin (
Landulf of Milan , 12th century) crismon, is less
George Henry Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers , The riddle of the
'Labarum' and the origin of
Christian symbols, Allen "I can find no
roots, etymology or grounds for the adoption of the word adopted by
some Christians, 'Chrismon', which is supposed to mean the 'Monogram
of Christ', and which appears in some dictionaries (i.e. Funk and
* ^ Stookey, Laurence Hull (1 December 2011). Calendar: Christ's
Time for the Church. Abingdon Press. p. 107. ISBN 9781426728044 .
Beyond that the term "Chrismon" is used loosely to refer to symbols
related to Christ, including the orb, crown, fish, star, anchor, and a
wide variety of forms on the cross. All of these, often made in
materials of gold and white, are used on a pine or fir tree in place
of the more usual multicolored ornaments used on trees at home. Lights
are also usually of clear glass rather than being colored.
* ^ Peter Mazar (2000). School Year, Church Year: Customs and
Decorations for the Classroom. Liturgy Training Publications. p. 161.
ISBN 1568542402 .
* ^ "Customs of the Weeks after Epiphany". Holy
Catholic Church, Boston. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
* ^ "
Snopes.com . December 2006.
* ^ Gary A. Chastagner and D. Michael Benson (2000). "The Christmas
Tree". Archived from the original on December 6, 2006. Retrieved
December 8, 2006.
* ^ "Living
Clemson University . Retrieved July
* ^ "
Christmas tree". Department of Forestry, Michigan State
University . Archived from the original on 15 March 2012.
* ^ "BLM and Forest Service
Christmas tree permits available".
Bureau of Land Management . November 30, 2004. Retrieved December 18,
* ^ "2007 Census of Agriculture: Specialty Crops (Volume 2, Subject
Series, Part 8)" (PDF).
United States Department of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture .
November 2009. Table 1, page 1.
* ^ "Unsere kleine Baumschule — Wissenswertes" (in German).
2010. Archived from the original on November 25, 2007. Retrieved
December 18, 2012.
* ^ A B Bruce David Forbes (2007). Christmas: A Candid History.
University of California Press
University of California Press . pp. 121–22. ISBN 0-5202-5104-0 .
* ^ A B C D E F James Hewitt (2007). The
Christmas Tree. Lulu.com.
pp. 33–36. ISBN 1430308206 .
* ^ A B Broderick Perkins (December 12, 2003). "Faux
Special Concerns". Realty Times. Archived from the
original on September 8, 2008. Retrieved December 21, 2008.
* ^ Elizabeth Silverthorne (1994).
Christmas in Texas. Texas A&M
University Press. p. 62. ISBN 0-8909-6578-1 .
* ^ Karal Ann Marling (2000). Merry Christmas!: Celebrating
America\'s Greatest Holiday. Harvard University Press. pp. 58–62.
ISBN 0-674-00318-7 .
* ^ Peter Cole (2002).
Christmas Trees: Fun and Festive Ideas.
Chronicle Books. p. 23. ISBN 0-8118-3577-4 .
* ^ Cassandra A. Fortin (October 26, 2008). "It\'s beginning to
look a lot like
The Baltimore Sun . Retrieved
December 18, 2012.
* ^ Candice Gaukel Andrews (2006). Great Wisconsin Winter Weekends.
Big Earth Publishing. p. 178. ISBN 1-9315-9971-8 .
* ^ Jennifer Berry (December 9, 2008). "Fake
Christmas Trees Not So
LiveScience . Retrieved December 18, 2012.
* ^ Katherine Neer (December 2006). "How
Christmas Trees Work".
howStuffWorks . Retrieved December 21, 2008.
* ^ "Table-top
Popular Mechanics : 117. January
* ^ "
Christmas Tree, one-day course listing". Diablo Glass
School. Archived from the original on November 20, 2008. Retrieved
December 21, 2008.
* ^ "Demand Grows for Upside Down
Christmas Tree" (Audio). All
Things Considered .
NPR . November 9, 2005. Retrieved December 21,
* ^ "
Christmas Tree Safety".
* ^ A B Sharon Caskey Hayes (November 26, 2008). "Grower says real
Christmas trees are better for environment than artificial ones".
Kingsport Times-News. Kingsport, Tennessee. Retrieved December 21,
* ^ "
Christmas Tree Resource: Your Source On
Christmas Tree Source. Retrieved 2017-08-08.
* ^ "Facts on PVC Used in Artificial
Christmas Trees". American
Christmas Tree Association . Archived from the original on December
29, 2008. Retrieved December 21, 2008.
* ^ "Goats, elk happy to munch on your used
Christmas trees". CBC
News. Dec 29, 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
* ^ "Pesticides & Wildlife
Christmas Trees". ipm.ncsu.edu.
* ^ "Engineer Update: Old
Christmas trees protect town beach".
United States Army Corps of Engineers
United States Army Corps of Engineers . March 2007. Archived from the
original on 24 August 2007.
* ^ "
Christmas tree recycling begins Friday in Columbia County".
The Augusta Chronicle . Retrieved 26 December 2014.
* ^ "
Recycling your tree can be a gift for environment". Star
Tribune. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
* ^ David Biello (December 4, 2008). "I\'m Dreaming of a Green
Christmas (Tree)" (podcast transcript).
Scientific American .
Retrieved December 22, 2008.
* ^ A B "Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of
Christmas trees — A study
ends the debate over which
Christmas tree, natural or artificial, is
most ecological". Ellipsos Inc. December 16, 2008. Archived from the
original on December 1, 2012. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
* ^ "
Recycling Your Tree: Real
Christmas Trees are Recyclable".
Christmas Tree Association . Retrieved December 18, 2012.
* ^ Maas, R. P.; Patch, S. C.; Pandolfo, T. J. (2004). "Artificial
Christmas trees: How real are the lead exposure risks?". Journal of
environmental health. 67 (5): 20–24, 32. PMID 15628192 . . Retrieved
December 18, 2012.
* ^ A B Levin, R.; Brown, M. J.; Kashtock, M. E.; et al. (2008).
Lead Exposures in U.S. Children, 2008: Implications for Prevention" .
Environmental Health Perspectives. 116 (10): 1285–1293. PMC 2569084
. PMID 18941567 . doi :10.1289/ehp.11241 . . Retrieved December 18,
* ^ Senn, Frank C. (2012). Introduction to
Fortress Press. p. 118. ISBN 9781451424331 . The
Christmas tree as we
know it seemed to emerge in
Lutheran lands in
Germany in the sixteenth
century. Although no specific city or town has been identified as the
first to have a
Christmas tree, records for the Cathedral of
Strassburg indicate that a
Christmas tree was set up in that church in
1539 during Martin Bucer's superintendency.
* ^ "The
Lutheran Spokesman. 29-32. 1936. The
Christmas tree became a widespread custom among German Lutherans by
the eighteenth century.
* ^ Kelly, Joseph F. (2010). The Feast of Christmas. Liturgical
Press. p. 94. ISBN 9780814639320 . German Lutherans brought the
Christmas tree with them; the Moravians put lighted candles
on those trees.
* ^ Blainey, Geoffrey (24 October 2013). A Short History of
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers . p. 418. ISBN
9781442225909 . Many Lutherans continued to set up a small fir tree as
Christmas tree, and it must have been a seasonal sight in Bach's
Leipzig at a time when it was virtually unknown in England, and little
known in those farmlands of
North America where
* ^ Wells, Dorothy (1897). "
Christmas in Other Lands". The School
Journal. E.L. Kellogg how the evergreen is meant to represent the life
everlasting, the candle lights to recall the light of the world, and
the star at the top of the tree is to remind them of the star of
* ^ Jennifer Eremeeva (15 Dec 2010). "And so, is this Christmas?".
Russia Beyond the Headlines . Russian Christians adhere to the Eastern
Orthodox calendar, which lags 13 days behind the modern day calendar.
This discrepancy was corrected in 1918, by the fledgling Bolshevik
Christmas never reverted to December 25th in Russia,
because the Bolsheviks began a systematic campaign to phase out
traditional religious holidays and replace them with Soviet ones.
Christmas was shifted to New Year’s Eve. At the beginning, stringent
measures were put in place to see off any holdover of the old days:
Christmas trees, introduced to
Russia by Tsar Peter The Great in the
17th Century, were banned in 1916 by the Holy Synod as too German. The
Bolsheviks kept the tree ban in place. Stalin declared
Ded Moroz “an
ally of the priest and kulak,” and outlawed him from Russia.
* ^ Connelly, Mark (2000).
Christmas at the Movies: Images of
Christmas in American, British and European Cinema. I.B.Tauris. p.
186. ISBN 9781860643972 . A chapter on representations of
Soviet cinema could, in fact be the shortest in this collection:
suffice it to say that there were, at least officially, no Christmas
celebrations in the atheist socialist state after its foundation in
* ^ A B Echo of Islam. MIG. 1993. In the former Soviet Union, fir
trees were usually put up to mark New Year's day, following a
tradition established by the officially atheist state.
* ^ Ramet, Sabrina Petra (10 November 2005). Religious Policy in
the Soviet Union.
Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press . p. 138. ISBN
9780521022309 . The League sallied forth to save the day from this
putative religious revival. Antireligioznik obliged with so many
articles that it devoted an entire section of its annual index for
1928 to anti-religious training in the schools. More such material
followed in 1929, and a flood of it the next year. It recommended what
Lenin and others earlier had explicitly condemned--carnivals, farces,
and games to intimidate and purge the youth of religious belief. It
suggested that pupils campaign against customs associated with
Christmas trees) and Easter. Some schools, the
League approvingly reported, staged an anti-religious day on the 31st
of each month. Not teachers but the League's local set the programme
for this special occasion.
* ^ Dice, Elizabeth A. (2009).
Christmas and Hanukkah. Infobase
Publishing. p. 44. ISBN 9781438119717 . The
Christmas tree, or Yolka,
is another tradition that was banned during the Soviet era. To keep
the custom alive, people decorated New Year's trees instead.
* ^ Margaret Stenhouse (December 22, 2010). "The Vatican Christmas
Tree". Archived from the original on July 30, 2013. Retrieved December
* ^ "Pre-
Christmas Reflection: May Our Spirits Open to the True
Spiritual Light". Zenit News Agency. December 21, 2005. Retrieved
December 19, 2012.
* ^ "
Christmas tree is symbol of Christ, says Pope — And a Sign
of \'Undying Life\'". Zenit News Agency. December 19, 2004. Archived
from the original on December 8, 2007. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
* ^ "Urbi et Orbi message of His Holiness Pope John Paul II,
Christmas 2003" (in Latin). December 25, 2003. Retrieved December 19,
* ^ "Order for the Blessing of a
Christmas Tree". Crossroads
Initiative. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
* ^ Kitch, Anne E. (2004). The
Anglican Family Prayer Book.
Morehouse Publishing. p. 125.
* ^ A B C "Nativity to be Allowed in Capitol Rotunda: Lawsuit
Settlement Calls for Fair Treatment for
Christian Beliefs". October
23, 2007. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
* ^ "Boston\'s \'Holiday Tree\' Sparks Controversy". The Harvard
Crimson . November 28, 2005. Retrieved January 8, 2008.
* ^ "At Christmas, what\'s in a name?".
ABC News . November 29,
2005. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
* ^ Vipperman, Heather F. "Chrismons Ministry". History. Lutheran
Church. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
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