Decorating for the Winter Holidays is a great opportunity to go all out. By switching out pillows and rugs and accessories and adding scented candles, garlands and greenery, one can transform their living spaces into a festive and cozy atmosphere that is conducive to entertaining friends and family.
Ancient Traditions – How did the Christmas Tree get started?
In ancient times, evergreen boughs reminded people of all the green plants that would grow again when the sun would warm again and spring would return. Decorating the hearth with evergreens was believed to keep away evil and illness.
In honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture, Ancient Romans decorated their homes and temples with evergreen boughs.
In 16th century Germany, devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. When Queen Victoria’s German husband, Prince Albert, put up a Christmas tree at Windsor Castle in 1848, the Christmas tree became a tradition throughout England, the United States, and Canada.
The early 20th century saw Americans decorating their trees mainly with homemade ornaments, while the German-American sect continued to use apples, nuts, and marzipan cookies. Popcorn joined in after being dyed bright colors and interlaced with berries and nuts. Electricity brought about Christmas lights, making it possible for Christmas trees to glow for days on end. With this, Christmas trees began to appear in town squares across the country and having a Christmas tree in the home became an American tradition.
The First Tree at Rockefeller Center
During the Depression, construction workers placed a tree at the center of the construction site. Two years later, another tree was placed there, this time with lights. This year a 75 foot Norway Spruce from Shelton, CT with 25,000 lights was displayed.
More Tree Facts
• In the first week, a tree in your home will consume as much as a quart of water per day.
• Never burn your tree in the fireplace, it can cause dangerous creosote build up in the chimney.
• The tallest living Christmas tree is believed to be the 122-foot, 91-year-old Douglas fir in the town of Woodinville, Washington.
• Thomas Edison’s assistants came up with the idea of electric lights for Christmas trees.