History and Tradition

History of the Christmas Tree

In Ancient Times

Evergreens always had special meanings  during winter

Early Europeans, the Romans and even the Egyptians saw greenery in Mid winter as symbolizing triumph of life over death


Egyptian trees

Druids also decorated their temples with evergreen boughs as a symbol of everlasting life

The Vikings of Scandinavia thought evergreens to be the plant of the god Baldur

Things were set up nicely for the Christmas Tree to be embraced as a positive antidote to the Winter Blues.


16th to 18th Century – Some Germanic Innovation then a Bit of a Setback

Germany officially began the tradition of Christmas trees as Christians brought decorated evergreens into their homes.

German Traditional Tree


Some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles if wood was scarce.

Rumour has it that Protestant reformer Martin Luther was the first to add candles to a Christmas Tree but across the Atlantic the Pilgrims weren’t so quick to see the light.

When German settlers in Pennsylvania began to decorate Real Christmas Trees in their homes the New England Puritans fought to get the tree banned.

People were actually fined for hanging decorations on trees as obviously too much fun at Christmas is a bad thing!!!


19th Century – A Royal Blessing and a New Trend

By the mid 1800’s the Christmas Tree was needing a bit of Celebrity Endorsement and a few Champions to boost it in the Charts on both sides of the Atlantic.

What better than a couple of Fun loving Royals making it the centrepiece of their Christmas Celebrations.

In 1846, the popular royals, Queen Victoria and her German Prince, Albert, were sketched in the Illustrated London News standing with their children around a Christmas tree.

Queen Victoria and Christmas Tree 2

This Royal imprimatur is credited with making a Real Christmas Tree popular in Britain for the first time.


Spreading the Cheer

The Royals were as popular Stateside as William and Kate are now.

The fashion conscious east coast of America adopted the Christmas Tree as an essential home decoration.

If it was good enough for the British Royals then no American home should be Tree-less.

Early American tree

On top of this the vast amount of Irish and German immigrants undermined the puritan legacy in the US.

Americans adopted the European tradition of creating Mid Winter cheer through vibrant foliage.

Briton and other Europeans continued to value the Real Tree as one of the great symbols of hope at Christmas.


And it All gets Better and Better   

Electricity brought the christmas lights and with this came the popularity of displaying trees in town squares, shopping centres etc.

Christmas_Tree Shopping Mall

Tree growers started to produce new varieties of Conifer which could be shaped into a perfect conical shape with lush healthy soft green needles.

No more need to endure the prickly varieties and the toilet brush shapes. Real Trees have become a home decoration crafted to exacting standards.

Traditional Magic of the past at home in a Modern Setting.