Christmas Tree – Where Did This Tradition Begin?

christmas tree

Photo via Flickr.

I don’t know about you, but we have a beautiful Christmas Tree set up in our living room.  Do you know the history of Christmas Trees and where this tradition began?

There is a lot of excitement building around my house as Christmas fast approaches.  Our tree is decorated, presents surround the base of it, and the stocking are hung by the fireplace.  The kids can hardly contain themselves as they longingly admire the presents.  Here is a little bit of background on one important part of the Christmas tradition for many people – the Christmas tree.

Origins Of The Christmas Tree

Germany receives credit for starting the tradition of Christmas Trees as we now know it.  In the 16th century Christian Germans would bring evergreen trees into their homes on Christmas and decorate them.

The Germans would decorate their trees with colored paper, apples, sweets, and other goodies.  It was not until later in the sixteenth century that they began to also decorate the trees with lighted candles.  Those lighted candles were the precursor to our modern day colorful electric lights that we put on trees.

christmas tree

A nicely decorated Christmas Tree. Photo via Flickr.

The Christmas Tree Became Popular

The first Christmas trees came to Britain in the 1830s along with German immigrants, but they were not too popular.  Then in the 1840s Prince Albert (a German) and Queen Victoria set up a Christmas Tree inside Windsor castle.  A drawing of this was made showing the couple standing around the decorated tree with their children.

The drawing was published in the local paper.  People began following the example of the royals and set up decorated trees in their homes for Christmas.  This led Christmas Trees into becoming popular in Britain.

The Christmas Tree in the USA

In the USA, the Queen did not have as much influence and it took longer for the tradition to catch on.  But, eventually it did spread and become popular.  By the 1850s trees were being sold commercially to meet the demand of those that lived in cities and wanted to have one.

christmas tree

Choosing a tree at a Christmas tree farm is an annual tradition for many people.  Photo via Flickr.

Now there are nearly 35 million real trees sold every year and an additional 10 million artificial ones. That is a lot of trees that are used for this annual Christmas tradition.