Most of us have had dozens of Christmas trees in our homes over the years. They range from gigantic 15 footers that consume the great room all the way down to the 1 foot artificial trees that sit atop a small table. This year I have a lovely Charlie Brown tree that sits on a small table in my living room. A freebie that is decorated with a grand total of 20 ornaments! But in spite of its misshapen physique and bent top, it still spreads the necessary cheer that helps makes this season so special.
Christmas trees go waaaay back in history! And, like most of the traditional decorations, have a Christ- centered meaning. Here is the story of the first tree.
St. Boniface Story
hy do we have a decorated Christmas Tree? In the 7th century a monk from Crediton, Devonshire, went to Germany to teach the Word of God. He did many good works there, and spent much time in Thuringia, an area which was to become the cradle of the Christmas Decoration Industry.
Legend has it that he used the triangular shape of the Fir Tree to describe the Holy Trinity of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The converted people began to revere the Fir tree as God’s Tree, as they had previously revered the Oak. By the 12th century it was being hung, upside-down, from ceilings at Christmastime in Central Europe, as a symbol of Christianity.
The first decorated tree was at Riga in Latvia, in 1510. In the early 16th century, Martin Luther is said to have decorated a small Christmas Tree with candles, to show his children how the stars twinkled through the dark night.
One year, when I have a ceiling that will accommodate it, I will hang my tree upside down, too!