Wow, guys, it's getting really close to Christmastime! This is Harriet Von Lupin for The MonsterGrrls' 25 Days Of Christmas, and today I'm talking about one of the best-known parts of Christmas--the Christmas tree!
Everybody likes a Christmas tree, especially at this time of year, when everything is so gray and cold. A Christmas tree is usually an evergreen tree, one that stays green all year around. But the Christmas tree is a very old tradition, one that's even older than the holiday of Christmas!
A lot of the older civilizations used a tree for celebrations in their holidays. The Vikings of Northern Europe used an evergreen tree as a reminder that winter would eventually end and spring would come back. Druids decorated oak trees with fruit and candles to honor their gods at harvests, and the Romans would have a tree with trinkets and candles at their feast of Saturnalia. So this is a tradition that's been around a while!
There's a lot of cool stories circling around the Christmas tree, too. One of them is about an English monk named Saint Boniface, who found a group of pagans trying to sacrifice a child on an oak tree. So to save the kid, Saint Boniface just flattens the oak tree with a hard punch, and a small fir pops up in its place! Saint Boniface told the pagans that the fir was the Tree Of Life, and represented the life of Christ.
Another one is about a guy named Martin Luther, who founded the Protestant faith and was responsible for a lot of reforms in the Catholic Church. Martin Luther was walking home late one night through the woods and saw all the stars shining through the branches of the trees. It was so beautiful to him that he cut down a little evergreen and took it home and decorated it. He used little candles to recreate the stars that he saw. Isn't that cool?
But it was in Germany that people started bringing trees indoors to decorate. This idea eventually spread throughout Europe, because people liked seeing the green trees in winter. The first Christmas tree that was ever at the Royal Palace in England was in 1841. Prince Albert, who was Queen Victoria's husband, decorated it with candles, fruit, candies and gingerbread!
When German immigrants came to America, they brought the idea of the Christmas tree along with them as one of their traditions. This was a little weird to other Americans, who still thought of it as a pagan symbol, but it was eventually accepted around the late 1800's. Early Christmas trees were decorated with food, because people made decorations out of cookies, apples, nuts, and even popcorn! And the candle idea was still used until electricity was invented, which meant that people started using Christmas lights! This helped to spread the idea of the Christmas tree, and these days, they're everywhere!
Wow, when you think about it, the Christmas tree's really come a long way! So be sure you treat yours kindly and well, and let it inspire you to be merry! See you guys soon, and Merry Christmas! OWW-WOOOOOO!!!
Harriet Von Lupin