For many, the donning of a tree marks the beginning of the Christmas season, but what many don’t know is that this tradition didn’t start with the Christian holiday. Many cultures have found special significance in the trees which stayed green during the winter. Just from an aesthetic point of view, people have been grateful for centuries for the splash of color and symbol of life that an evergreen tree or bush provides as a reminder that though winter is here, a season bursting with life and warmth will soon be arriving.
In America, the practice of using trees to decorate for Christmas didn’t catch on until after the 1840’s. Although Martin Luther is often credited to be responsible for adding lights to a tree in honor of Christmas, Americans generally felt that decorating a tree as a Christian was heresy because of their pagan roots.
Today over 100,000 people are employed in the Christmas tree industry, with farms in every state including Hawaii. Over 73 million trees are planted a year. As of 2007, the average cost of a tree was $41.50, and the entire industry brought in over $1.3 billion dollars. An acre of Christmas trees provides enough clean oxygen for up to 18 people. If you are interested in more amazing facts about real Christmas trees, you can check out this website.
The most beautiful part of the Christmas tree for me, is having a part of creation brought into the house. The smell of a pine tree reminds me that life goes on even in the darkness of winter. Days are short, and often dreary here in December, and without the splash of color, fragrance and elegance of a Christmas tree I imagine my mood would match my surroundings. In addition, I find a Christmas tree to be a beautiful symbol as we celebrate a new Life this holiday season, that this Life was given on a tree for all of mankind. It was a tree that held this Man-God in His final moments, stained with His valuable blood. Now, I remember the greatest Gift by decorating a tree in His honor.
Link up your post with a picture of a Christmas tree! Include my blog button, and visit other “tree” blogs. Stop by tomorrow to vote for your favorite Christmas tree picture and to find out what tomorrow’s photo hunt will be! Have fun! (Blog links must be provided before 8:00 CST, in order to be voted on :-)) I have no idea why the number of links doesn’t update…There are participants!
80. First snow and a little one to share it with.
And Michelle at:
And Laura at: