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Where Did the Christmas Tree Come From?

To read an excellent story about a possible origination of Santa Claus visit The Robert Moss Blog.

To help illustrate today’s post, I’ve chosen images of three Christmas Trees from throughout Portland, OR.

The first image is my favorite tree in Portland. It’s at Jamison Square in the Pearl District.

The second one is of the giant Christmas Tree on Pioneer Courthouse Square in Downtown Portland.

The third is an image created at a private residence on Peacock Lane in SE Portland.

Where did the Christmas Tree come from?

The Christmas Tree tradition appears to have developed out of Europe during the Renaissance period as a result of the Christian influence over the local traditions. Protestant reformer Martin Luther is widely known to have been the first person to put candles on the tree. While Christian influence, with a strong German connection, developed the tree into what it is today, it is believed that many versions of the tree existed throughout the lands of Europe depending on exactly where one is from, including, but not limited to, the Georgian Chichilaki, the Polish Podłaźniczka (emanating out of an old Pagan Tradition), and Thor’s Oak in Scandinavia. “The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands to symbolize eternal life was a custom of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews.” (Encyclopedia Britannica)

By the early 19th Century the various Royal Courts throughout Asia and Europe began adopting the tradition as it spread from Germany across the lands. The Christmas Tree wasn’t introduced into the Americas until 1781 when soldiers from Britain first put up a tree in the Provence of Quebec, Canada. Then, the tree came to the US through a woodcut print published in a book called Godey’s Lady’s Book.  According to Albert Lewis Shoemaker’s Christmas in Pennsylvania: 50th Anniversary Edition copied [the print] exactly, except for the removal of the Queen’s tiara and Prince Albert’s mustache, to remake the engraving into an American scene.” This is recognized as the first published decorated tree in the US. From there the rest is history.

To read more about the Christmas Tree check out Wikipedia, or Encyclopedia Britannica.

I just came across this video a Christmas Tree harvest by helicopter. It’s just simply amazing, I’m not quite sure what to think? I mean, I’ve seen giant Redwood tree being transported by helicopter from field to truck, but am stunned to see Christmas Trees done the same way. And, that’s one helluva Chopper pilot, to get every single bundle exactly into the truck every time. Simply Amazing! You should check it out – http://youtu.be/xSIPRA2rs6M

Peace

~V

Queen's Christmas tree at Windsor Castle 1848,...
Queen’s Christmas tree at Windsor Castle 1848, adapted for Godey’s Lady’s Book, December 1850 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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