As the holiday season arrives, I often find myself dreading the task of decorating my looming 9 ft. Christmas tree. Despite the joy that the ornaments and twinkling lights bring me, it’s a chore to dig the ornaments out of storage, assemble the tree, and untangle and wrap the lights. It can be overwhelming.
More times than I can count, I’ve asked the question: Why? I mean, if you think about it, the whole Christmas tree tradition is super weird. We go out of our way to find the “perfect” tree to display, and then we hang little trinkets on the branches and wrap blinking lights around it. That doesn’t seem normal, does it? But, this crazy tradition had to come from somewhere. So, to find a little decorating motivation, I decided to do some research.
So, how did this whole thing start? For thousands of years, evergreens have had special meaning to people in the winter, and have been used to decorate homes and celebrate winter. There origin stories dating back to the ancient Egyptians, and some from Germany in the 16th century, the history can get pretty extensive.
Apparently, there were these Paradise Trees used in medieval German Miracle Plays on Christmas Eve, which represented the Garden of Eden. People would make wooden trees for their homes to mimic the paradise trees. Early Christmas trees were hung upside down from the ceiling or chandeliers in homes.
Jumping ahead a little, the very first person—that we know of—to display a decorated Christmas tree like we do today was Martin Luther. Yes, the Martin Luther: the German preacher who started reformation, translated the Bible, and wrote The Ninety-Five Theses.
The story goes that on a winter night, Luther was walking home through the forest when he looked up to see the stars shining through the tree branches. He recounted that It was so beautiful it reminded him of Jesus, who descended from the stars to come to earth at Christmas. To recreate the scene for his family, he displayed a tree in the main room and adorned it with candles.
So, there you have it. We have this crazy tradition to remind us of Jesus and everlasting life in Heaven!
Still Don’t Have the Motivation to Decorate Your Christmas Tree?
Well, my research didn’t give me the motivation either—but it’s nice to know why I do this weird thing every year. Now that I know what Christmas trees symbolize, I definitely want one around for the holidays. But, I honestly have so much shopping and gift wrapping to do, there wasn’t going to be a tree this year.
But then I found the solution to all of the world’s problems—involving Christmas trees. You can order a tree that’s already decorated. And it’s not even fake. It’s real, with real pine scent, AND it’s adorned with ornaments, lights and garland. You don’t have to do a thing. Just relax next to your cozy fire with your hot cocoa in your favorite mug—or be like me, and stress over what to get your dog for Christmas. Luckily, you don’t have to stress about decorating your tree too!