Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Countdown ...3... Christmas Tree

Christmas Countdown ...3... Christmas Tree :  The symbolic meaning of Christmas trees actually originates in pagan culture where the evergreen represents life and renewal.  In Scandinavia, decorating evergreens was a practice associated with the Winter Solstice and often brought into homes, as symbols of protection against evil spirits. In many sources, Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer,  has been credited with the first decorated Christmas tree – with candles. 
Although this could just be a story, German Christians are known to have decorated evergreens in their home as early as the mid-16th century.  It wasn’t until the nineteenth century in other countries that Christmas trees became the bright " giving"  symbol of Christmas as we know it. The first Christmas tree in England was set up in Windsor Castle by Prince Albert of Saxony, Queen Victoria’s husband in 1841. Franklin Pierce was the first US president to introduce a Christmas tree in the White House in 1856.

 O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree,
How lovely are your branches!
In beauty green will always grow
Through summer sun and winter snow.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How lovely are your branches
Community 'giving' tree' - Wallsend : Rotary Club of Wallsend-Maryland project.