The Christmas tree is perhaps the most recognised symbol of Christmas in our homes, but who first decided to bring a tree inside?
The origin of the Christmas tree isn’t exactly clear, but is certainly rooted in ancient times. Many ancient cultures revered evergreen trees that stayed green throughout winter while other trees were bare. The evergreens served as a reminder that winter would pass and the land would once again be fruitful.
The Romans exchanged branches of evergreens to decorate their homes as a good-luck blessing.
In ancient Britain, Druids saw evergreens as symbols of eternal life and placed branches over doors to ward off evil spirits.
The people of Scandinavia and Germany were the first to bring actual trees indoors as a symbol of the promise of the coming warmth of spring.
The first recorded tree in Britain was in 1841 when Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert set up a tree in Windsor Castle for the Royal family, and it quickly became fashionable throughout the country. Trees were lit with candles and decorated with apples, nuts, sweets and cakes and hung with ribbons. In 1880 Woolworths first sold manufactured tree decorations which proved to be very popular.
Today the Nordman Fir is probably the most popular Christmas tree in this country, because it has a lovely symmetrical shape, with strong branches, the needles are shiny and soft to the touch and do not drop.
In short Christmas would just not be Christmas without the much loved tree and where would Santa put all his presents?