Christmas Explained: Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?
In the third entry to our series on the weird traditions we have at Christmas, we take a look at the tradition of taking a tree from outside, putting it inside, and throwing trinkets on it so it looks pretty. We're looking at Christmas trees.
Evergreen trees have always been important to many religions, faiths, and beliefs. A lot of it revolves around the fact that evergreens stay alive during the winter, so when the solstice hits in December they are used as a way to celebrate things coming back to life.
Christmas trees as we know them first showed up in the 16th century over in Germany. People were bringing in trees, or making wooden pyramids and decorating them with evergreens if they had to. They would decorate these with candles.
According to legend, Martin Luther started the whole candle thing after being inspired by seeing stars shine through some evergreen trees.
According to legend, it wouldn't be until 1846 when Queen Victoria was pictured with her decorated tree that the tradition would catch on in the States. People on the East Coast looked to the royals to stay on top of fashion.
We don't use candles much anymore. It's a fire hazard.
A lot of us don't even use a real tree anymore. I pull mine out of a box and put it back when I'm done. Mine is even pre-lit so I don't have to worry about the "candles."