O Christmas Tree...
Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. I love the festive atmosphere when walking down city streets, the cheerful music and the exquisite holiday displays on 5th avenue. But most importantly, I love cutting down my very own Christmas tree, which has been a family tradition for the past 15 years and always a fun one.
It crossed my mind that despite the fact that a tree is such an iconic staple during the holidays, many who celebrate Christmas are unaware of the meaning behind the Christmas tree. Myself being one, until recently. So here’s the low-down.
The Christmas tree was founded by the Germans in the early 16th century. Evergreens represented the ever-burning fire of life; so many Christians would bring them into their homes to protect them against evil and illness. Many Americans thought Christmas trees inside homes were an oddity and were not accepted as they were seen as pagan symbols. It wasn’t until Queen Victoria, who was beloved by all the people in England, was illustrated with her family around a Christmas tree in the London News, that the Christmas tree was seen as a fashionable necessity around the holidays.
Americans later adopted the Christmas tree, each family customizing and creating their own interpretation of the Christmas tree tradition. Like all things American, it was about taking something simple and making it unique. When you look at many American brands today, such as Ford, Nike, Converse and C. Wonder, they are all creating items that are customizable so that the consumer has the option to purchase something that is distinctive and exclusive to them. The product represents what the consumers are trying to say about themselves to the world.
Christmas trees are no different. Some people buy a potted tree they can plant, while others create non-traditional trees out of magnets, books or even post-its! In true American fashion, regardless of how the Christmas tree is interpreted, we have embraced the idea of taking something simple and traditional and making it our own. I love and embrace all of these clever ideas, but will always prefer my balsam fir tree cut from the mountains of Connecticut.