Christmas tree
Overview
 
The Christmas tree is a decorated evergreen
Evergreen
In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs...

 coniferous
Pinophyta
The conifers, division Pinophyta, also known as division Coniferophyta or Coniferae, are one of 13 or 14 division level taxa within the Kingdom Plantae. Pinophytes are gymnosperms. They are cone-bearing seed plants with vascular tissue; all extant conifers are woody plants, the great majority being...

 tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

, real or artificial
Artificial Christmas tree
Artificial Christmas trees are artificial pine and fir trees manufactured for the specific purpose of use as a Christmas tree. The earliest artificial Christmas trees were wooden, tree-shaped pyramids or feather trees, both developed by Germans...

, and a tradition associated with the celebration of Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

. The tradition of decorating an evergreen tree at Christmas started in Livonia
Livonia
Livonia is a historic region along the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea. It was once the land of the Finnic Livonians inhabiting the principal ancient Livonian County Metsepole with its center at Turaida...

 and Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 in the 16th century. The Christmas tree is traditionally brought into the home and decorated with Christmas lights (originally candles), ornaments
Christmas ornament
Christmas ornaments are decorations that are used to festoon a Christmas tree.Ornaments take many different forms, from a simple round ball to highly artistic designs...

, garland
Garland
A garland is a class of decoration, of which there are many types.Garland may also refer to:-Places:*Garland, Arkansas, a town in Miller County*Garland County, Arkansas*Garland, Maine, a town in Penobscot County...

s, tinsel
Tinsel
Tinsel is sparkling decorative material that mimics the effect of ice or icicles. When in long narrow strips, it emulates icicles. It was originally a metallic garland for Christmas decoration. The modern production of tinsel typically involves plastic, and is used particularly to decorate...

, and candy canes during the days around Christmas.
Encyclopedia
The Christmas tree is a decorated evergreen
Evergreen
In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs...

 coniferous
Pinophyta
The conifers, division Pinophyta, also known as division Coniferophyta or Coniferae, are one of 13 or 14 division level taxa within the Kingdom Plantae. Pinophytes are gymnosperms. They are cone-bearing seed plants with vascular tissue; all extant conifers are woody plants, the great majority being...

 tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

, real or artificial
Artificial Christmas tree
Artificial Christmas trees are artificial pine and fir trees manufactured for the specific purpose of use as a Christmas tree. The earliest artificial Christmas trees were wooden, tree-shaped pyramids or feather trees, both developed by Germans...

, and a tradition associated with the celebration of Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

. The tradition of decorating an evergreen tree at Christmas started in Livonia
Livonia
Livonia is a historic region along the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea. It was once the land of the Finnic Livonians inhabiting the principal ancient Livonian County Metsepole with its center at Turaida...

 and Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 in the 16th century. The Christmas tree is traditionally brought into the home and decorated with Christmas lights (originally candles), ornaments
Christmas ornament
Christmas ornaments are decorations that are used to festoon a Christmas tree.Ornaments take many different forms, from a simple round ball to highly artistic designs...

, garland
Garland
A garland is a class of decoration, of which there are many types.Garland may also refer to:-Places:*Garland, Arkansas, a town in Miller County*Garland County, Arkansas*Garland, Maine, a town in Penobscot County...

s, tinsel
Tinsel
Tinsel is sparkling decorative material that mimics the effect of ice or icicles. When in long narrow strips, it emulates icicles. It was originally a metallic garland for Christmas decoration. The modern production of tinsel typically involves plastic, and is used particularly to decorate...

, and candy canes during the days around Christmas. An angel
Angel
Angels are mythical beings often depicted as messengers of God in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles along with the Quran. The English word angel is derived from the Greek ἄγγελος, a translation of in the Hebrew Bible ; a similar term, ملائكة , is used in the Qur'an...

 or star
Star
A star is a massive, luminous sphere of plasma held together by gravity. At the end of its lifetime, a star can also contain a proportion of degenerate matter. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun, which is the source of most of the energy on Earth...

 is placed at the top of the tree, representing the host of angels or the Star of Bethlehem
Star of Bethlehem
In Christian tradition, the Star of Bethlehem, also called the Christmas Star, revealed the birth of Jesus to the magi, or "wise men", and later led them to Bethlehem. The star appears in the nativity story of the Gospel of Matthew, where magi "from the east" are inspired by the star to travel to...

 from the Nativity
Nativity of Jesus
The Nativity of Jesus, or simply The Nativity, refers to the accounts of the birth of Jesus in two of the Canonical gospels and in various apocryphal texts....

.

The Christmas tree is sometimes called a Yule tree, particularly by those who wish to avoid Christian connections, but others explicitly distinguish between the two or identify the Yule tree with an undecorated evergreen tree.

Origin

The custom of erecting a Christmas tree can be historically traced to 15th century Livonia (present-day Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

 and Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

) and 16th century Northern Germany. According to the first documented uses of a Christmas tree in Estonia, in 1441, 1442, and 1514 the Brotherhood of Blackheads
Brotherhood of Blackheads
The Brotherhood of Blackheads was an association of local unmarried merchants, ship owners, and foreigners that was active in Livonia from the mid 14th century till 1940...

 erected a tree for the holidays in their brotherhood house in Reval (now Tallinn
Tallinn
Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It occupies an area of with a population of 414,940. It is situated on the northern coast of the country, on the banks of the Gulf of Finland, south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm and west of Saint Petersburg. Tallinn's Old Town is in the list...

). At the last night of the celebrations leading up to the holidays, the tree was taken to the Town Hall Square
Town Hall Square, Tallinn
The Town Hall Square is a city square beside Tallinn Town Hall at the center of Tallinn, Estonia. It is a venue for festivals or concerts like Tallinn Old Town Days , and several bars and restaurants are located in the near vicinity.- See also :...

 where the members of the brotherhood danced around it. In 1584, the pastor and chronicler Balthasar Russow
Balthasar Russow
Balthasar Russow was one of the most important Livonian and Estonian chroniclers.Russow was born in Reval . He was educated at an academy in Stettin in Pomerania...

 wrote of an established tradition of setting up a decorated spruce
Norway Spruce
Norway Spruce is a species of spruce native to Europe. It is also commonly referred to as the European Spruce.- Description :...

 at the market square where the young men “went with a flock of maidens and women, first sang and danced there and then set the tree aflame”. The Christmas tree became widely adopted by the Estonians themselves only in the 19th century.
In the German Middle Ages, mystery plays at Christmas time within churches often featured an evergreen "Paradise tree" from which an apple was plucked. The first evidence of Christmas trees outside of a church is of the 16th century, with trees in guild
Guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

 halls decorated with sweets to be enjoyed by the apprentices and children. (A Bremen guild chronicle
Chronicle
Generally a chronicle is a historical account of facts and events ranged in chronological order, as in a time line. Typically, equal weight is given for historically important events and local events, the purpose being the recording of events that occurred, seen from the perspective of the...

 of 1570 reports that a small tree decorated with "apples, nuts, dates, pretzels and paper flowers" was erected in the guild-house for the benefit of the guild members' children, who collected the dainties on Christmas Day.) Soon after, they are seen in the houses of upper-class Protestant families as a counterpart to the Catholic Christmas cribs
Nativity scene
A nativity scene, manger scene, krippe, crèche, or crib, is a depiction of the birth of Jesus as described in the gospels of Matthew and Luke...

. In the 18th century they begin to be adorned with candles, which were expensive items. Only in the 19th century did they come into use more widely, often in schools and inns before they appeared in homes. A decisive factor in winning general popularity was the German army's decision to place Christmas trees in its barracks and military hospitals during the 1870-1871 war. Only at the turn of the century did Christmas trees again appear inside churches, this time in a new brightly lit form.

While some take it that the Christmas tree is a Christianization of a pre-Christian winter rite, others see its origin in the "tree of Paradise" used as a prop in the medieval mystery plays that were given on 24 December, which as well as being Christmas Eve is in some countries the day of the liturgical
Liturgy
Liturgy is either the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions or a more precise term that distinguishes between those religious groups who believe their ritual requires the "people" to do the "work" of responding to the priest, and those...

 commemoration and name day
Name day
A name day is a tradition in many countries in Europe and Latin America that consists of celebrating the day of the year associated with one's given name....

 of Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve were, according to the Genesis creation narratives, the first human couple to inhabit Earth, created by YHWH, the God of the ancient Hebrews...

. To suggest the Garden of Eden, a tree decorated with apples (to represent the forbidden fruit) and wafers (to represent the Eucharist
Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

 and redemption) was used as a setting for the play. Like the Christmas crib, the Paradise tree was later placed in homes. The apples were replaced by round objects such as shiny red balls.
The tradition still persists that Christmas trees should not be decorated until Christmas Eve, which is the day of Adam and Eve.

Legends attribute the invention of the Christmas tree instead to Saint Boniface
Saint Boniface
Saint Boniface , the Apostle of the Germans, born Winfrid, Wynfrith, or Wynfryth in the kingdom of Wessex, probably at Crediton , was a missionary who propagated Christianity in the Frankish Empire during the 8th century. He is the patron saint of Germany and the first archbishop of Mainz...

 (c. 680 - 755), the Apostle of the Germans, and to Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

.

18th and 19th centuries

By the early 18th century, the custom had become common in towns of the upper Rhineland
Rhineland
Historically, the Rhinelands refers to a loosely-defined region embracing the land on either bank of the River Rhine in central Europe....

, but it had not yet spread to rural areas. Wax candles are attested from the late 18th century. The Christmas tree remained confined to the upper Rhineland for a relatively long time. It was regarded as a Protestant custom by the Roman Catholic majority along the lower Rhine and was spread there only by Prussian
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

 officials who were moved there in the wake of the Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...

 in 1815.

The tradition was introduced to Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 in the winter of 1781 by Brunswick soldiers
Germans in the American Revolution
Ethnic Germans served on both sides of the American Revolutionary War. Many supported the Loyalist cause and served as allies of Great Britain, whose King George III was also the Elector of Hanover...

 stationed in the Province of Quebec to garrison the colony against American attack
Invasion of Canada (1775)
The Invasion of Canada in 1775 was the first major military initiative by the newly formed Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. The objective of the campaign was to gain military control of the British Province of Quebec, and convince the French-speaking Canadiens to join the...

. General Friedrich Adolf Riedesel and his wife, the Baroness von Riedesel
Frederika Charlotte Riedesel
Frederika Charlotte Louise von Massow, Baroness Riedesel zu Eisenbach was the wife of General Friedrich Adolf Riedesel of Brunswick. She accompanied him during the Saratoga Campaign in the American Revolutionary War and kept a journal of the campaign.-Early life:Frederika was born in 11 July 1746...

, held a Christmas party at Sorel
Sorel-Tracy, Quebec
Sorel-Tracy is a city in southwestern Quebec, Canada and the geographical end point of the Lake Champlain Valley at the confluence of the Richelieu River and the St. Lawrence River, on the western edge of Lac Saint-Pierre downstream and east of nearby Montreal. The population as of the Canada 2006...

, delighting their guests with a fir tree decorated with candles and fruits.

In the early 19th century, the custom became popular among the nobility and spread to royal courts as far as Russia. Princess Henrietta of Nassau-Weilburg
Princess Henrietta of Nassau-Weilburg
Henrietta Alexandrine Friederike Wilhelmine of Nassau-Weilburg, then of Nassau was the wife of Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen...

 introduced the Christmas tree to Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 in 1816, and the custom spread across Austria in the following years. In France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, the first Christmas tree was introduced in 1840 by the duchesse d'Orléans. In Denmark the first attested Christmas tree was lit in 1808 by countess Wilhemine of Holsteinborg. It was the aging countess who told the story of the first Danish Christmas tree to the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author, fairy tale writer, and poet noted for his children's stories. These include "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," "The Snow Queen," "The Little Mermaid," "Thumbelina," "The Little Match Girl," and "The Ugly Duckling."...

 in 1865. He had published a fairy-tale called The Fir-Tree
The Fir-Tree
"The Fir-Tree" is a literary fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen . The tale is about a fir tree so anxious to grow up, so anxious for greater things, that he cannot appreciate living in the moment. The tale was first published 21 December 1844 with "The Snow Queen" in...

in 1844, recounting the fate of a fir-tree being used as a Christmas tree.

In Britain, the Christmas tree was introduced in the time of the personal union
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

 with Hanover
Kingdom of Hanover
The Kingdom of Hanover was established in October 1814 by the Congress of Vienna, with the restoration of George III to his Hanoverian territories after the Napoleonic era. It succeeded the former Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg , and joined with 38 other sovereign states in the German...

, by George III
George III of the United Kingdom
George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death...

's Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was the Queen consort of the United Kingdom as the wife of King George III...

 in early 19th century, but the custom hadn't yet spread much beyond the royal family. Queen Victoria as a child was familiar with the custom and a tree was placed in her room every Christmas. In her journal for Christmas Eve 1832, the delighted 13-year-old princess wrote, "After dinner… we then went into the drawing-room near the dining-room… There were two large round tables on which were placed two trees hung with lights and sugar ornaments. All the presents being placed round the trees…" After her marriage to her German cousin Prince Albert, by 1841 the custom became even more widespread throughout Britain. In 1847, Prince Albert wrote: "I must now seek in the children an echo of what Ernest [his brother] and I were in the old time, of what we felt and thought; and their delight in the Christmas-trees is not less than ours used to be".

A woodcut of the British Royal family with their Christmas tree at Windsor Castle, initially published in the Illustrated London News
Illustrated London News
The Illustrated London News was the world's first illustrated weekly newspaper; the first issue appeared on Saturday 14 May 1842. It was published weekly until 1971 and then increasingly less frequently until publication ceased in 2003.-History:...

December 1848, was copied in the United States at Christmas 1850, in Godey's Lady's Book
Godey's Lady's Book
Godey's Lady's Book, alternatively known as Godey's Magazine and Lady's Book, was a United States magazine which was published in Philadelphia. It was the most widely circulated magazine in the period before the Civil War. Its circulation rose from 70,000 in the 1840s to 150,000 in 1860...

(illustration, left). Godey's copied it exactly, except for the removal of the Queen's tiara and Prince Albert's mustache, to remake the engraving into an American scene. The republished Godey's image became the first widely circulated picture of a decorated evergreen Christmas tree in America. Art historian Karal Ann Marling called Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, shorn of their royal trappings, "the first influential American Christmas tree". Folk-culture historian Alfred Lewis Shoemaker states, "In all of America there was no more important medium in spreading the Christmas tree in the decade 1850-60 than Godey's Lady's Book". The image was reprinted in 1860, and by the 1870s, putting up a Christmas tree had become common in America.

Several cities in the United States with German connections lay claim to that country's first Christmas tree: Windsor Locks, Connecticut
Windsor Locks, Connecticut
Windsor Locks is a town located in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. As of the 2000 census, its population was 12,043. It is the site of Bradley International Airport, which serves the Greater Hartford-Springfield region. It is also the site of the New England Air Museum...

, claims that a Hessian soldier put up a Christmas tree in 1777 while imprisoned at the Noden-Reed House, while the "First Christmas Tree in America" is also claimed by Easton, Pennsylvania
Easton, Pennsylvania
Easton is a city in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 26,800 as of the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Northampton County....

, where German settlers purportedly erected a Christmas tree in 1816 and In his diary, Matthew Zahm of Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Lancaster is a city in the south-central part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is the county seat of Lancaster County and one of the older inland cities in the United States, . With a population of 59,322, it ranks eighth in population among Pennsylvania's cities...

, recorded the use of a Christmas tree in 1821, leading Lancaster to also lay claim to the first Christmas tree in America. Other accounts credit Charles Follen
Charles Follen
Charles Follen was a German poet and patriot, who later moved to the United States and became the first professor of German at Harvard University, a Unitarian minister, and a radical abolitionist.-Life in Europe:...

, a German immigrant to Boston, for being the first to introduce to America the custom of decorating a Christmas tree. August Imgard, a German immigrant living in Wooster, Ohio
Wooster, Ohio
Wooster is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Wayne County. The municipality is located in northeastern Ohio approximately SSW of Cleveland and SW of Akron. Wooster is noted as the location of The College of Wooster...

, is the first to popularise the practice of decorating a tree with candy canes. In 1847, Imgard cut a blue spruce tree from a woods outside town, had the Wooster village tinsmith construct a star, and placed the tree in his house, decorating it with paper ornaments and candy canes. The National Confectioners' Association officially recognises Imgard as the first ever to put candy canes on a Christmas tree; the canes were all-white, with no red stripes. Imgard is buried in the Wooster Cemetery, and every year, a large pine tree above his grave is lit with Christmas lights. German immigrant Charles Minnegerode accepted a position as a professor of humanities at the College of William and Mary
College of William and Mary
The College of William & Mary in Virginia is a public research university located in Williamsburg, Virginia, United States...

 in Williamsburg in 1842, where he taught Latin and Greek. Entering into the social life of the Virginia Tidewater, Minnigerode introduced the German custom of decorating an evergreen tree at Christmas at the home of law professor St. George Tucker, thereby becoming another of many influences that prompted Americans to adopt the practice at about that time.

The lyrics sung in the United States to the German tune O Tannenbaum begin "O Christmas tree", giving rise to the mistaken idea that the German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 word "Tannenbaum" (fir tree) means "Christmas tree", the German word for which is instead "Weihnachtsbaum".

20th century

Many cities, town
Town
A town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while...

s, and department store
Department store
A department store is a retail establishment which satisfies a wide range of the consumer's personal and residential durable goods product needs; and at the same time offering the consumer a choice of multiple merchandise lines, at variable price points, in all product categories...

s put up public Christmas trees outdoors, such as the Rich's Great Tree
Rich's Great Tree
The Rich's Great Tree, now the Macy's Great Tree , is a large tall cut pine Christmas tree that has been an Atlanta tradition since 1948. -History:...

 in Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is the capital and most populous city in the U.S. state of Georgia. According to the 2010 census, Atlanta's population is 420,003. Atlanta is the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, which is home to 5,268,860 people and is the ninth largest metropolitan area in...

, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 and the large Christmas tree at Victoria Square
Victoria Square
Victoria Square may refer to:Squares and Plazas* Victoria Square, Adelaide, South Australia* Victoria Square, Athens, in the centre of Athens - refer List of places named after Queen Victoria#Athens...

 in Adelaide
Adelaide
Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide has an estimated population of more than 1.2 million...

. During most of the 1970s and 1980s, the largest decorated Christmas tree in the world was put up every year on the property of The National Enquirer
The National Enquirer
The National Enquirer is an American supermarket tabloid now published by American Media Inc . Founded in 1926, the tabloid has gone through a variety of changes over the years....

in Lantana, Florida
Lantana, Florida
Lantana is a town in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The population was 9,437 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 10,389.-History:...

. This tradition grew into one of the most spectacular and celebrated events in the history of southern Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, but was discontinued on the death of the paper's founder in the late 1980s.

In some cities, a Festival of Trees
Festival of Trees
Festival of Trees is the name taken by a number of charity events/organizations that hold annual events around Christmas time to raise money for some local charity These events seem to be becoming more common in North America as of this writing and are centered around the decoration...

 is organized around the decoration and display of multiple trees as charity events. In some cases the trees represent special commemorative gifts, such as in Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square is a public space and tourist attraction in central London, England, United Kingdom. At its centre is Nelson's Column, which is guarded by four lion statues at its base. There are a number of statues and sculptures in the square, with one plinth displaying changing pieces of...

 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, where the City of Oslo
Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 presents a tree to the people of London as a token of appreciation for the British support of Norwegian resistance during the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

; in Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, where the tree is a gift from the province of Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

, in thanks for rapid deployment of supplies and rescuers to the 1917 ammunition ship explosion
Halifax Explosion
The Halifax Explosion occurred on Thursday, December 6, 1917, when the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, was devastated by the huge detonation of the SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship, fully loaded with wartime explosives, which accidentally collided with the Norwegian SS Imo in "The Narrows"...

 that levelled the city of Halifax
Halifax, Nova Scotia (former city)
Halifax, Nova Scotia may refer to any of the following:-Municipalities:* Halifax Regional Municipality , a regional municipality and capital of Nova Scotia...

; and in Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. Historically a part of Northumberland, it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne...

, where the 15 m-tall main civic Christmas tree is an annual gift from the city of Bergen, Norway, in thanks for the part played by soldiers from Newcastle in liberating Bergen from Nazi
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 occupation. Norway also annually gifts a Christmas tree to Washington D.C. as a symbol of friendship between Norway and the US and as an expression of gratitude from Norway for the help received from the US during World War II.

The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

' National Christmas Tree is lit each year on the South Lawn of the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

. Today, the lighting of the National Christmas Tree is part of what has become a major holiday event at the White House. President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 lit only the crowning star atop the Tree in 1979 in honour of the Americans being held hostage in Iran
Iran hostage crisis
The Iran hostage crisis was a diplomatic crisis between Iran and the United States where 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981, after a group of Islamist students and militants took over the American Embassy in Tehran in support of the Iranian...

. The same was true in 1980, except the tree was fully lit for 417 seconds, one second for each day the hostages had been in captivity.
The term Charlie Brown Christmas tree is used in the United States and Canada to describe any poor-looking or malformed little tree. Some tree buyers intentionally adopt such trees, feeling sympathetic to their plights. The term comes from the appearance of Charlie Brown
Charlie Brown
Charles "Charlie" Brown is the protagonist in the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz.Charlie Brown and his creator have a common connection in that they are both the sons of barbers, but whereas Schulz's work is described as the "most shining example of the American success story", Charlie...

's Christmas tree in the TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas is the first prime-time animated TV special based upon the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. It was produced and directed by former Warner Bros. and UPA animator Bill Melendez, who also supplied the voice for the character of Snoopy...

.

In New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, Pōhutukawa
Pohutukawa
The Pōhutukawa is a coastal evergreen tree in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae, that produces a brilliant display of red flowers made up of a mass of stamens. The Pōhutukawa is one of twelve Metrosideros species endemic to New Zealand...

 trees are described as "native Christmas trees", as they bloom at Christmas time, and look like Christmas trees with their red flowers and green foliage.

In Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, the Christmas tree was banned shortly after the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 but then reinstated as a New-year fir-tree (Новогодняя ёлка) in 1935. It became a fully secular icon of the New year holiday, for example, the crowning star was regarded not as a symbol of Bethlehem Star, but as the Red Star
Red star
A red star, five-pointed and filled, is an important ideological and religious symbol which has been used for various purposes, such as: state emblems, flags, monuments, ornaments, and logos.- Symbol of communism :...

. Decorations, such as figurines of airplanes, bicycles, space rockets, cosmonauts, and characters of Russian fairy tales, were produced. This tradition persists after the fall of the USSR, with the New Year holiday outweighting the Christmas (7 January) for a wide majority of Russian people.

Dates

Both setting up and taking down a Christmas tree are associated with specific dates. Traditionally, Christmas trees were not brought in and decorated until Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve refers to the evening or entire day preceding Christmas Day, a widely celebrated festival commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth that takes place on December 25...

 (24 December) or, in the traditions celebrating Christmas Eve rather than on the first of day of Christmas
Twelve Days of Christmas
The Twelve Days of Christmas are the festive days beginning Christmas Day . This period is also known as Christmastide and Twelvetide. The Twelfth Night of Christmas is always on the evening of 5 January, but the Twelfth Day can either precede or follow the Twelfth Night according to which...

, the 23 December, and then removed the day after twelfth night
Twelfth Night (holiday)
Twelfth Night is a festival in some branches of Christianity marking the coming of the Epiphany and concluding the Twelve Days of Christmas.It is defined by the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary as "the evening of the fifth of January, preceding Twelfth Day, the eve of the Epiphany, formerly the...

 (6 January); to have a tree up before or after these dates was even considered bad luck.

Many families in America will put up a Christmas tree soon after Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations can show up even earlier in retail stores. Some households in the U.S. do not put up the tree until the second week of December, and leave it up until the 6th of January (Epiphany
Epiphany (Christian)
Epiphany, or Theophany, meaning "vision of God",...

). In Germany, traditionally the tree is put up on the 24th of December and taken down on the 7th of January, though many start one or two weeks earlier, and in Roman Catholic homes the tree may be kept until late January.
In Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 the Christmas tree is put up on the 8th of December (Immaculate Conception day
Immaculate Conception
The Immaculate Conception of Mary is a dogma of the Roman Catholic Church, according to which the Virgin Mary was conceived without any stain of original sin. It is one of the four dogmata in Roman Catholic Mariology...

) and leave it up until the 6th January. In Australia, the Christmas tree is usually put up on the 1st of December, which occurs about a week before the school summer holidays; except for South Australia, where most people put up their tree after the Adelaide Credit Union Christmas Pageant in late November. Some traditions suggest that Christmas trees may be kept up until no later than the 2nd of February, the feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (Candlemas), when the Christmas season effectively closes. Superstitions say that it is a bad sign if Christmas greenery is not removed by Candle mas Eve.]

Types of trees used

Natural trees

The most commonly used species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 are fir
Fir
Firs are a genus of 48–55 species of evergreen conifers in the family Pinaceae. They are found through much of North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, occurring in mountains over most of the range...

 (Abies), which have the benefit of not shedding their needles when they dry out, as well as retaining good foliage colour and scent; but species in other genera
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 are also used.

In northern Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 most commonly used are:
  • Norway Spruce
    Norway Spruce
    Norway Spruce is a species of spruce native to Europe. It is also commonly referred to as the European Spruce.- Description :...

     Picea abies (the original tree, generally the cheapest)
  • Silver Fir
    Silver Fir
    Abies alba, commonly known as the European silver fir, is a fir native to the mountains of Europe, from the Pyrenees north to Normandy, east to the Alps and the Carpathians, and south to southern Italy and northern Serbia.-Description:...

     Abies alba
  • Nordmann Fir
    Nordmann Fir
    Nordmann Fir is a fir native to the mountains south and east of the Black Sea, in Turkey, Georgia, Russian Caucasus and northern parts of Armenia. It occurs at altitudes of 900-2,200 m on mountains with a rainfall of over 1,000 mm.It is a large evergreen coniferous tree growing to 60 m tall...

     Abies nordmanniana
  • Noble Fir
    Noble Fir
    Abies procera, the Noble Fir, is a western North American fir, native to the Cascade Range and Coast Range mountains of extreme northwest California and western Oregon and Washington in the United States...

     Abies procera

  • Serbian Spruce
    Serbian Spruce
    Picea omorika is a rare, local spruce, endemic to the Drina River valley in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina near Višegrad and western Serbia, with a total range of only about 60 ha, between 800–1,600 m altitude...

     Picea omorika
  • Scots Pine
    Scots Pine
    Pinus sylvestris, commonly known as the Scots Pine, is a species of pine native to Europe and Asia, ranging from Scotland, Ireland and Portugal in the west, east to eastern Siberia, south to the Caucasus Mountains, and as far north as well inside the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia...

     Pinus sylvestris
  • Stone Pine
    Stone Pine
    The Stone Pine , is also called Italian Stone Pine, or Umbrella Pine , and Parasol Pine. It is in the pine family Pinaceae and occasionally listed under the invalid name Pinus sativa. The tree is native to the Mediterranean region...

     Pinus pinea (as small table-top trees)
  • Swiss Pine
    Swiss Pine
    The Swiss Pine or Arolla Pine, Pinus cembra, is a species of pine tree that occurs in the Alps and Carpathian Mountains of central Europe, in Poland , Switzerland, France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Ukraine and Romania. It typically grows at to altitude. It often reaches the...

     Pinus cembra


In North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, Central America
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

 and South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 most commonly used are:
  • Douglas-fir
    Douglas-fir
    Douglas-fir is one of the English common names for evergreen coniferous trees of the genus Pseudotsuga in the family Pinaceae. Other common names include Douglas tree, and Oregon pine. There are five species, two in western North America, one in Mexico, and two in eastern Asia...

     Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • Balsam Fir
    Balsam Fir
    The balsam fir is a North American fir, native to most of eastern and central Canada and the northeastern United States .-Growth:It is a small to medium-size evergreen tree typically tall, rarely to tall, with a narrow conic crown...

     Abies balsamea
  • Fraser Fir
    Fraser Fir
    Abies fraseri is a species of fir native to the mountains of the eastern United States. It is closely related to Abies balsamea , of which it has occasionally been treated as a subspecies or a variety Abies fraseri (Fraser fir) is a species of fir native to the mountains of the eastern United...

     Abies fraseri
  • Grand Fir
    Grand Fir
    Abies grandis is a fir native to the Pacific Northwest and Northern California of North America, occurring at altitudes of sea level to 1,800 m...

     Abies grandis
  • Guatemalan Fir Abies guatemalensis
  • Noble Fir Abies procera
  • Red Fir
    Red Fir
    Abies magnifica, the Red Fir or Silvertip fir, is a western North American fir, native to the mountains of southwest Oregon and California in the United States. It is a high altitude tree, typically occurring at altitude, though only rarely reaching tree line...

     Abies magnifica
  • White Fir
    White Fir
    White Fir is a fir native to the mountains of western North America, occurring at altitudes of 900-3,400 m. It is a medium to large evergreen coniferous tree growing to 25–60 m tall and with a trunk diameter of up to 2 m . It is popular as an ornamental landscaping tree and as a Christmas Tree...

     Abies concolor
  • Pinyon Pine
    Colorado Pinyon
    The Colorado Pinyon, Two-needle Pinyon, or Piñon Pine, ', is a pine in the pinyon pine group whose ancestor was a member of the Madro-Tertiary Flora and is native to the United States....

     Pinus edulis
  • Jeffrey Pine
    Jeffrey Pine
    The Jeffrey Pine, Pinus jeffreyi, named in honor of its botanist documenter John Jeffrey, is a North American pine related to Ponderosa Pine.-Distribution and habitat:...

     Pinus jeffreyi
  • Scots Pine Pinus sylvestris
  • Stone Pine Pinus pinea (as small table-top trees)
  • Norfolk Island Pine
    Araucaria heterophylla
    Araucaria heterophylla is a distinctive conifer, a member of the ancient and now disjointly distributed family Araucariaceae. As its vernacular name Norfolk Island Pine implies, the tree is endemic to Norfolk Island, a small island in the Pacific Ocean between Australia, New Zealand and New...

     Araucaria heterophylla


Several other species are used to a lesser extent. Less-traditional conifers are sometimes used, such as Giant Sequoia
Sequoiadendron
Sequoiadendron giganteum is the sole living species in the genus Sequoiadendron, and one of three species of coniferous trees known as redwoods, classified in the family Cupressaceae in the subfamily Sequoioideae, together with Sequoia sempervirens and...

, Leyland Cypress
Leyland Cypress
The Leyland Cypress, × Cupressocyparis leylandii , often referred to as just Leylandii, is a fast-growing evergreen tree much used in horticulture, primarily for hedges and screens. Even on sites of relatively poor culture, plants have been known to grow to heights of 15 metres in 16 years...

, Monterey Cypress
Cupressus macrocarpa
Cupressus macrocarpa, commonly known as Monterey Cypress or Macrocarpa, is a species of cypress that is endemic to the Central Coast of California. In the wild, the species is confined to two small populations, near Monterey and Carmel, California. These two small populations represent what was...

 and Eastern Juniper
Juniperus virginiana
Juniperus virginiana is a species of juniper native to eastern North America, from southeastern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, east of the Great Plains...

. Various types of spruce
Spruce
A spruce is a tree of the genus Picea , a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the Family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperate and boreal regions of the earth. Spruces are large trees, from tall when mature, and can be distinguished by their whorled branches and conical...

 tree are also used for Christmas trees (including the Blue Spruce
Blue Spruce
Picea pungens is a species of spruce native to western North America, from southeast Idaho and southwest Wyoming, south through Utah and Colorado to Arizona and New Mexico. It grows at high altitudes from altitude, though unlike Engelmann Spruce in the same area, it does not reach the alpine...

 and, less commonly, the White Spruce
White Spruce
Picea glauca is a species of spruce native to boreal forests in the north of North America, from central Alaska east to Newfoundland, and south to northern Montana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, upstate New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine; there is also an isolated population in the...

); but spruces (unlike firs) begin to lose their needles rapidly upon being cut, and spruce needles are often sharp, making decorating uncomfortable. Virginia Pine
Virginia Pine
Pinus virginiana is a medium-sized tree, often found on poorer soils from Long Island in southern New York south through the Appalachian Mountains to western Tennessee and Alabama. The usual size range for this pine is 9–18 m, but can grow taller under optimum conditions. The trunk can be...

 is still available on some tree farms in the southeastern United States, however its winter colour is faded. The long-needled Eastern White Pine
Eastern White Pine
Pinus strobus, commonly known as the eastern white pine, is a large pine native to eastern North America, occurring from Newfoundland west to Minnesota and southeastern Manitoba, and south along the Appalachian Mountains to the northern edge of Georgia.It is occasionally known as simply white pine,...

 is also used there, though it is an unpopular Christmas tree in most parts of the country, owing also to its faded winter coloration and limp branches, making decorating difficult with all but the lightest ornaments. Norfolk Island Pine is sometimes used, particularly in Oceania
Oceania
Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

; and in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, some species of the genera Casuarina
Casuarina
Casuarina is a genus of 17 species in the family Casuarinaceae, native to Australasia, southeast Asia, and islands of the western Pacific Ocean. It was once treated as the sole genus in the family, but has been split into three genera .They are evergreen shrubs and trees growing to 35 m tall...

and Allocasuarina
Allocasuarina
Allocasuarina is a genus of trees in the flowering plant family Casuarinaceae. They are endemic to Australia, occurring primarily in the south. Like the closely related genus Casuarina, they are commonly called sheoaks or she-oaks, they are notable for their long, segmented branchlets that...

are also occasionally used as Christmas trees. But, by far, the most common tree is the Monterey Pine
Monterey Pine
The Monterey Pine, Pinus radiata, family Pinaceae, also known as the Insignis Pine or Radiata Pine is a species of pine native to the Central Coast of California....

. Adenanthos sericeus
Adenanthos sericeus
Adenanthos sericeus, commonly known as Woolly Bush, is a shrub native to the south coast of Western Australia. It has bright red but small and obscure flowers, and very soft, deeply divided, hairy leaves.-Description:...

or Albany Woolly Bush is commonly sold in southern Australia as a potted living Christmas tree. Hemlock
Tsuga
Tsuga is a genus of conifers in the family Pinaceae. The common name hemlock is derived from a perceived similarity in the smell of its crushed foliage to that of the unrelated plant poison hemlock....

 species are generally considered unsuitable as Christmas trees due to their poor needle retention and inability to support the weight of lights and ornaments.

Some trees, frequently referred to as Living Christmas trees, are sold live with roots and soil, often from a nursery
Nursery (horticulture)
A nursery is a place where plants are propagated and grown to usable size. They include retail nurseries which sell to the general public, wholesale nurseries which sell only to businesses such as other nurseries and to commercial gardeners, and private nurseries which supply the needs of...

, to be stored at nurseries in planters or planted later outdoors and enjoyed (and often decorated) for years or decades. Others are produced in a container and sometimes as topiary
Topiary
Topiary is the horticultural practice of training live perennial plants, by clipping the foliage and twigs of trees, shrubs and subshrubs to develop and maintain clearly defined shapes, perhaps geometric or fanciful; and the term also refers to plants which have been shaped in this way. It can be...

 for a porch or patio. However, when done improperly, the combination of root loss caused by digging, and the indoor environment of high temperature
Temperature
Temperature is a physical property of matter that quantitatively expresses the common notions of hot and cold. Objects of low temperature are cold, while various degrees of higher temperatures are referred to as warm or hot...

 and low humidity
Humidity
Humidity is a term for the amount of water vapor in the air, and can refer to any one of several measurements of humidity. Formally, humid air is not "moist air" but a mixture of water vapor and other constituents of air, and humidity is defined in terms of the water content of this mixture,...

 is very detrimental to the tree's health; additionally, the warmth of an indoor climate will bring the tree out of its natural winter dormancy
Dormancy
Dormancy is a period in an organism's life cycle when growth, development, and physical activity are temporarily stopped. This minimizes metabolic activity and therefore helps an organism to conserve energy. Dormancy tends to be closely associated with environmental conditions...

, leaving it little protection when put back outside into a cold outdoor climate. Often Christmas trees are a large attraction for living animals, including mice and spiders. Thus, the survival rate of these trees is low. However, replanting when done properly provides higher survival rates.

European tradition prefers the open aspect of naturally-grown, unsheared trees, while in North America (outside western areas where trees are often wild-harvested on public lands) there is a preference for close-sheared trees with denser foliage, but less space to hang decorations.

In the past, Christmas trees were often harvested from wild forests, but now almost all are commercially grown on tree farm
Tree farm
A tree farm is a privately owned forest managed for timber production. The term tree farm is also used to refer to plantations and to tree nurseries.-American Tree Farm System:...

s. Almost all Christmas trees in the United States are grown on Christmas tree farms where they are cut after about ten years of growth and new trees planted. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) agriculture census for 2002 (the census is done every five years), 21,904 farms were producing conifers for the cut Christmas tree market in America, 180897 hectares (447,006 acre) were planted in Christmas trees, and 13,849 farms harvested cut trees. The top 5 percent of the farms (40 hectares / 100 acres or more) sold 61 percent of the trees. The top 26 percent of the farms (8 hectares / 20 acres or more) sold 84 percent of the trees. Farms less than 0.8 hectare (two acres) comprised 21 percent of the farms, and sold an average of 115 trees per farm.

The life cycle of a Christmas tree from the seed to a 2 metres (7 ft) tree takes, depending on species and treatment in cultivation, between 8 and 12 years. First, the seed is extracted from cones harvested from older trees. These seeds are then usually grown in nurseries and then sold to Christmas tree farms at an age of 3–4 years. The remaining development of the tree greatly depends on the climate, soil quality, as well as the cultivation and tendance by the Christmas tree farmer.

Artificial trees

The first artificial Christmas trees were developed in Germany during the 19th century, though earlier examples exist. These "trees" were made using goose feathers that were dyed green. The German feather trees were one response by Germans to continued deforestation
Deforestation
Deforestation is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a nonforest use. Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms, ranches, or urban use....

 in Germany. Feather Christmas tree
Feather Christmas tree
A feather Christmas tree is a type of artificial Christmas tree that is generally considered one of the first artificial trees used as a Christmas tree...

s ranged widely in size, from a small 2 inches (50.8 mm) tree to a large 98 inches (2,489.2 mm) tree sold in department stores during the 1920s. Often, the tree branches were tipped with artificial red berries which acted as candle holders.

Over the years, other styles of artificial Christmas trees have evolved and become popular. In 1930, the U.S.-based Addis Brush Company created the first artificial Christmas tree made from brush
Brush
A brush is a tool with bristles, wire or other filaments, used for cleaning, grooming hair, make up, painting, surface finishing and for many other purposes. It is one of the most basic and versatile tools known to mankind, and the average household may contain several dozen varieties...

 bristles. Another type of tree, the aluminum Christmas tree
Aluminum Christmas tree
An aluminum Christmas tree is a type of artificial Christmas tree that was popular in the United States from 1958 until about the mid-1960s. As its name suggests, the tree is made of aluminum, featuring foil needles and illumination from below via a rotating color wheel.-History:Aluminum Christmas...

, is made from aluminum. The trees were manufactured in the United States, first in Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 in 1958, and later in Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Manitowoc is a city in and the county seat of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, United States. The city is located on Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Manitowoc River. According to the 2000 census, Manitowoc had a population of 34,053, with over 50,000 residents in the surrounding communities...

, where the majority of the trees were produced. Most modern artificial Christmas trees are made from 100% recycled plastics of used packaging materials, such as polyvinyl chloride
Polyvinyl chloride
Polyvinyl chloride, commonly abbreviated PVC, is a thermoplastic polymer. It is a vinyl polymer constructed of repeating vinyl groups having one hydrogen replaced by chloride. Polyvinyl chloride is the third most widely produced plastic, after polyethylene and polypropylene. PVC is widely used in...

 (PVC) or other plastics. Approximately 10% of artificial Christmas trees are using virgin suspension PVC resin and despite being plastic most artificial trees are not recyclable or biodegradable.

Other gimmicks have developed as well. Fiber optic Christmas trees come in two major varieties, one resembles a traditional Christmas tree. One Dallas-based company offers "holographic mylar" trees in many hues. Tree-shaped objects made from such materials as cardboard, glass, ceramic or other materials can be found in use as tabletop decorations. Upside-down artificial Christmas trees became popular for a short time and were originally introduced as a marketing gimmick; they allowed consumers to get closer to ornaments for sale in retail stores and opened up floor space for more products. Side Note: Hanging fir trees upside down goes back to the Middle Ages, when Europeans did it to represent the Trinity. But now, Christmas trees are shaped with the tip pointing to heaven, and some think an upside-down Christmas tree is disrespectful or sacrilegious.
Artificial trees became increasingly popular during the late 20th century. Users of artificial Christmas trees assert that they are more convenient, and, because they are reusable, much cheaper than their natural alternative. Between 2001 and 2007 artificial Christmas tree sales in the U.S. jumped from 7.3 million to 17.4 million.

Artificial

The debate about the environmental impact of artificial trees is ongoing. Generally, natural tree growers contend that artificial trees are more environmentally harmful than their natural counterpart. On the other side of the debate, trade groups such as the American Christmas Tree Association
American Christmas Tree Association
The American Christmas Tree Association is an American, non-profit organization and industry trade group that represents those involved in the artificial Christmas tree industry. The president of the group is Thomas Harman, who is also the president and CEO of Balsam Hill, a seller of artificial...

, continue to refute that artificial trees are more harmful to the environment and maintain that the PVC used in Christmas trees has excellent recyclable properties. In the past, lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

 was often used as a stabilizer in PVC, but is now banned by Chinese laws. Most trees are made of recycled PVC rigid sheets using Tin stabilizer in the recent years. Its use of Lead stabilizer in the old Chinese imported trees has been an issue of concern among politicians and scientists over recent years. A 2004 study found that while in general artificial trees pose little health risk from lead contamination
Lead poisoning
Lead poisoning is a medical condition caused by increased levels of the heavy metal lead in the body. Lead interferes with a variety of body processes and is toxic to many organs and tissues including the heart, bones, intestines, kidneys, and reproductive and nervous systems...

, there do exist "worst-case scenarios" where major health risks to young children exist. Another report, this time a 2008 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report, found that as the PVC in artificial Christmas trees aged it began to degrade. The report determined that of the 50 million artificial trees in the United States approximately 20 million were 9 or more years old, the point where dangerous lead contamination levels are reached. A professional study on the Life Cycle Assessment
Life cycle assessment
A life-cycle assessment is a technique to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product's life from-cradle-to-grave A life-cycle assessment (LCA, also known as life-cycle analysis, ecobalance, and cradle-to-grave analysis) is a technique to assess environmental impacts...

 (LCA) of both real and fake Christmas trees revealed that one must use its artificial Christmas tree at least during 20 years to leave an environmental footprint as small as the natural Christmas tree.

A small amount of real-tree material is used in some artificial trees. For instance, the bark
Bark
Bark is the outermost layers of stems and roots of woody plants. Plants with bark include trees, woody vines and shrubs. Bark refers to all the tissues outside of the vascular cambium and is a nontechnical term. It overlays the wood and consists of the inner bark and the outer bark. The inner...

 of a real tree can be used to surface an artificial trunk.

Natural

Natural Christmas trees on the other hand are entirely biodegradable and are generally disposed of in landfills.

Real or Cut trees are used only for a short time, but can be recycled and used as mulch
Mulch
In agriculture and gardening, is a protective cover placed over the soil to retain moisture, reduce erosion, provide nutrients, and suppress weed growth and seed germination. Mulching in gardens and landscaping mimics the leaf cover that is found on forest floors....

 or used to prevent erosion
Erosion
Erosion is when materials are removed from the surface and changed into something else. It only works by hydraulic actions and transport of solids in the natural environment, and leads to the deposition of these materials elsewhere...

. Real trees are carbon-neutral, they emit no more carbon dioxide by being cut down and disposed of than they absorb while growing. An independent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study, conducted by a firm of experts in sustainable development, states that a natural tree will generate 3.1 kg of greenhouse gases every year (based on purchasing 5 km from home) whereas the artificial tree will produce 48.3 kg over its lifetime. Some people use Living Christmas or potted trees for several seasons, providing a longer life cycle for each tree. Living Christmas trees can be purchased or rented in by local market growers. Rentals are picked up after the holidays, while purchased trees can be planted by the owner after use or donated to local tree adoption/urban reforestation services.

Live trees are typically grown as a crop
Crop (agriculture)
A crop is a non-animal species or variety that is grown to be harvested as food, livestock fodder, fuel or for any other economic purpose. Major world crops include maize , wheat, rice, soybeans, hay, potatoes and cotton. While the term "crop" most commonly refers to plants, it can also include...

 and replanted in rotation after cutting, often providing suitable habitat
Habitat (ecology)
A habitat is an ecological or environmental area that is inhabited by a particular species of animal, plant or other type of organism...

 for wildlife. In some cases management of Christmas tree crops can result in poor habitat since it sometimes involves heavy input of pesticide
Pesticide
Pesticides are substances or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest.A pesticide may be a chemical unicycle, biological agent , antimicrobial, disinfectant or device used against any pest...

s.

Concerns have been raised about people cutting down old and rare conifers, such as the Keteleeria evelyniana
Keteleeria evelyniana
Keteleeria evelyniana is a species of conifer native to southern China, Laos and Vietnam.In mid-December 2009, a Keteleeria evelyniana located in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum was cut down. It was thought that the unknown person who was responsible for the cutting down of the tree took it for...

, for Christmas trees.

Tree trimming decorations

Tinsel and several types of garland
Garland (decoration)
A garland is a decorative wreath or cord, used at festive occasions, which can be hung round a person's neck, or on inanimate objects like Christmas trees. Originally garlands were made of flowers or leaves.-Etymology:...

 or ribbon
Ribbon
A ribbon or riband is a thin band of material, typically cloth but also plastic or sometimes metal, used primarily for binding and tying. Cloth ribbons, most commonly silk, are often used in connection with clothing, but are also applied for innumerable useful, ornamental and symbolic purposes...

 are commonly used to decorate a Christmas tree. Silvered saran
Saran (plastic)
Saran is the trade name for a number of polymers made from vinylidene chloride , along with other monomers. The main advantage of Saran film is its very low permeability to water vapor, flavor and aroma molecules, and oxygen compared with other plastics...

 based tinsel was introduced later.

Delicate mould-blown and painted coloured glass Christmas ornaments were a speciality of the glass factories in the Thuringian Forest
Thuringian Forest
The Thuringian Forest running northwest to southeast, forms a continuous stretch of ancient rounded mountains posing ample difficulties in transit routing save through a few navigable passes in the southern reaches of the German state of Thuringia. It is about long and wide...

 especially in Lauscha
Lauscha
Lauscha is a town in the district of Sonneberg, in Thuringia, Germany. It is situated 13 km north of Sonneberg, and 24 km southwest of Saalfeld. It became known for its glassblowing.-Geography:...

 in the late 19th century, and have since become a large industry, complete with famous-name designers. Baubles are another common decoration, consisting of small hollow glass or plastic spheres coated with a thin metallic layer to make them reflective, with a further coating of a thin pigmented polymer in order to provide colouration.
Lighting with candle
Candle
A candle is a solid block or cylinder of wax with an embedded wick, which is lit to provide light, and sometimes heat.Today, most candles are made from paraffin. Candles can also be made from beeswax, soy, other plant waxes, and tallow...

s or electric lights (fairy lights
Fairy lights
In the United Kingdom, a common name for Christmas lights. A string of electrically powered lamps usually used for decoration and for special effect are known as fairy lights...

) is commonly done.

A tree topper
Tree topper
A tree topper is a decorative star, angel, santa or other item which is placed on the crown of a Christmas tree. The most popular tree topper is the angel, followed by the star...

, traditionally either an angel or a star, completes the ensemble.

Individuals' decorations typically include a mix of family traditions and personal tastes; even a small unattractive ornament, if passed down from a parent or grandparent, may come to carry considerable emotional value and be given a place of pride on the tree. Conversely, trees decorated by professional designers for department stores and other institutions will usually have a "theme"; a set of predominant colours, multiple instances of each type of ornament, and larger decorations that may be more complicated to set up correctly. Some churches decorate with Chrismon trees, which use handmade ornaments depicting various Chrismon
Chrismon
A chrismon is one of number of Christian symbols intended to represent aspects of the Person, life or ministry of Jesus Christ and the life, ministry or history of the Church through a single image, emblem or monogram. The term "chrismon" comes from the Latin phrase "Christi Monogramma", meaning...

 symbols.

Many people also decorate outdoor trees with food that bird
Bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

s and other wildlife
Wildlife
Wildlife includes all non-domesticated plants, animals and other organisms. Domesticating wild plant and animal species for human benefit has occurred many times all over the planet, and has a major impact on the environment, both positive and negative....

 will enjoy, such as garlands made from unsalted popcorn
Popcorn
Popcorn, or popping corn, is corn which expands from the kernel and puffs up when heated. Corn is able to pop because, like sorghum, quinoa and millet, its kernels have a hard moisture-sealed hull and a dense starchy interior. This allows pressure to build inside the kernel until an explosive...

 or cranberries
Cranberry
Cranberries are a group of evergreen dwarf shrubs or trailing vines in the subgenus Oxycoccus of the genus Vaccinium. In some methods of classification, Oxycoccus is regarded as a genus in its own right...

, orange
Orange (fruit)
An orange—specifically, the sweet orange—is the citrus Citrus × sinensis and its fruit. It is the most commonly grown tree fruit in the world....

 halves, and seed-covered suet
Suet
Suet is raw beef or mutton fat, especially the hard fat found around the loins and kidneys.Suet has a melting point of between 45° and 50°C and congelation between 37° and 40°C....

 cakes.

Tree mats and skirts

Since candles were used to light trees until electric bulbs came about, a mat
Mat
A mat is a generic term for a piece of fabric or flat material, generally placed on a floor or other flat surface, and serving a range of purposes including:* providing a regular or flat surface, such as a mousepad....

 (UK) or skirt
Skirt
A skirt is a tube- or cone-shaped garment that hangs from the waist and covers all or part of the legs.In the western world, skirts are usually considered women's clothing. However, there are exceptions...

 (US) was often placed on the floor below the tree to protect it by catching the dripping candle wax
Wax
thumb|right|[[Cetyl palmitate]], a typical wax ester.Wax refers to a class of chemical compounds that are plastic near ambient temperatures. Characteristically, they melt above 45 °C to give a low viscosity liquid. Waxes are insoluble in water but soluble in organic, nonpolar solvents...

, and also to collect any needles that fall. Even when dripless candles, electric lights and artificial trees have been used, a skirt is still usually used as a decorative feature: among other things, it hides the Christmas tree stand
Christmas tree stand
A Christmas tree stand is an object designed to support a cut, natural or an artificial Christmas tree. Christmas tree stands appeared as early as 1876 and have had various designs over the years. Those stands designed for natural trees have a water-well, which, in many cases may not hold enough...

, which may be unsightly but which is an important safety feature of home trees. What began as ordinary cloth has now often become much more ornate, some having embroidery
Embroidery
Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins....

 or being put together like a quilt
Quilt
A quilt is a type of bed cover, traditionally composed of three layers of fiber: a woven cloth top, a layer of batting or wadding and a woven back, combined using the technique of quilting. “Quilting” refers to the technique of joining at least two fabric layers by stitches or ties...

.

A nativity scene
Nativity scene
A nativity scene, manger scene, krippe, crèche, or crib, is a depiction of the birth of Jesus as described in the gospels of Matthew and Luke...

, model train, or Christmas village
Christmas village
A Christmas village is a decorative, miniature-scale village often set up during the Christmas season. These villages are rooted in the elaborate Christmas traditions of the Pennsylvania Dutch...

 may be placed on the mat or skirt. As Christmas presents arrive, they are generally placed underneath the tree on the tree skirt (depending on tradition, all Christmas gifts, or those too large to be hung on the tree, as in "presents on the tree" of the song "I'll Be Home for Christmas").

Generally, the difference between a mat and skirt is simply that a mat is placed under the Christmas tree stand, while a skirt is placed over it, having a hole in the middle for the trunk, with a slot cut to the outside edge so that it can be placed around the tree (beneath the branches) easily. A plain mat of fabric or plastic may also be placed under the stand and skirt to protect the floor from scratches or water
Water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

.

Christmas tree stand

A Christmas tree stand is an object designed to support a cut, natural Christmas tree or an artificial Christmas tree. Christmas tree stands appeared as early as 1876 and have had various designs over the years. Those stands designed for natural trees have a water reservoir to hydrate the live tree. Artificial Christmas trees usually have a plastic or metal stand, with 3 legs shaping like a Y.

Flocking

In the 1940s and 1950s flocking was very popular on the West Coast of the United States. There were home flocking kits that could be used with vacuum cleaners. In the 1980s some trees were sprayed with fluffy white flocking
Flocking (texture)
Flocking is the process of depositing many small fiber particles onto a surface. It can also refer to the texture produced by the process, or to any material used primarily for its flocked surface. Flocking of an article can be performed for the purpose of increasing its value in terms of the...

 to simulate snow. Typically it would be sprayed all over the tree from the sides, which produced a look different from real snow, which settles in clumps atop branches. Flocking can be done with a professional sprayer at a tree lot (or the manufacturer if it is artificial), or at home from a spray can, and either can be rather messy. This tradition seems to be most popular on the West Coast and Southern parts of the United States.

Because flock contains flame retardants, a flocked tree can be placed in a public building in accordance with local fire codes.

In the late 1800s and, most probably, long before, home-made white Christmas trees were made by wrapping strips of cotton batting around leafless branches creating the appearance of a snow-laden tree. This family tradition eliminated killing and care of a live tree and needle drop in the house while providing a beautiful way of displaying ornaments. After Christmas, the cotton batting was unwrapped and stored with the Christmas presents and the branches were burnt or discarded. It is thought these home-made white trees at least, in part, inspired flocking popularized by Hollywood films in the late 1930s.

Controversy

The Christmas tree has seen an amount of controversy, mainly involving separation of church and state
Separation of church and state
The concept of the separation of church and state refers to the distance in the relationship between organized religion and the nation state....

, the secular and non-secular usage of the tree as well as groups who oppose usage of the tree on the grounds of interpretation of scripture and pagan origins or pagan character of the custom.

In 2005, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
The Seattle–Tacoma International Airport , also known as Sea–Tac Airport or Sea–Tac , is an American airport located in SeaTac, Washington, at the intersections of State Routes 99 and 509 and 518, about west of Interstate 5...

 removed all of its Christmas trees in the middle of the night rather than allow a rabbi to put up a menorah near the largest tree display. Officials feared that one display would open the door for other religious displays, and, in 2006, they opted to display a grove of birches in polyethylene terephthalate
Polyethylene terephthalate
Polyethylene terephthalate , commonly abbreviated PET, PETE, or the obsolete PETP or PET-P, is a thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family and is used in synthetic fibers; beverage, food and other liquid containers; thermoforming applications; and engineering resins often in combination...

 snow rather than religious symbols or Christmas trees.

In 2005, the city of Boston renamed the spruce tree used to decorate the Boston Common a "Holiday Tree" rather than a "Christmas Tree". The name change drew a poor response from the public and was changed back to "Christmas Tree" after being threatened with several lawsuits by Rev. Jerry Falwell
Jerry Falwell
Jerry Lamon Falwell, Sr. was an evangelical fundamentalist Southern Baptist pastor, televangelist, and a conservative commentator from the United States. He was the founding pastor of the Thomas Road Baptist Church, a megachurch in Lynchburg, Virginia...

 and the Alliance Defense Fund. In the same year, Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., asked that the tree that decorates the Capitol grounds to be renamed back to "Christmas tree". It had been renamed "Holiday tree" in the 1990s.

Christianity

in the Bible says the following:


[1] Hear what the Lord says to you , O house of Israel.
[2] This is what the Lord says: "Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them.
[3] For the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
[4] They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter.
[5] Like a scarecrow in a melon patch, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good."


This is interpreted by some fundamentalist
Fundamentalism
Fundamentalism is strict adherence to specific theological doctrines usually understood as a reaction against Modernist theology. The term "fundamentalism" was originally coined by its supporters to describe a specific package of theological beliefs that developed into a movement within the...

 Christians as referring to a Christmas tree, and that therefore the Bible would explicitly forbid the practice. Others feel that since "Christmas Trees" are not biblically ordained, they should not be used.

Some churches however use Christmas trees as decoration at Christmas time. Others use the same stripped Christmas tree as a Christian cross
Christian cross
The Christian cross, seen as a representation of the instrument of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, is the best-known religious symbol of Christianity...

 at Easter
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

. See the poem The Dream of the Rood.

In some Catholic countries, the tree has been seen as a recent Protestant or American influence detracting from the Mediterranean traditions of the Christmas crib. However, in many Catholic homes both types of decoration coexist.

It was a Pope from northern Europe, Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

, who in 1982, four years after his election as Pope, introduced the Christmas tree custom to the Vatican. Although at first disapproved of by some as out of place at the centre of the Roman Catholic Church, the Christmas tree
Vatican Christmas Tree
The Vatican Christmas Tree, also called the Saint Peter's Square Christmas Tree, is the decorated tree that is erected annually in the Saint Peter's Square directly in front of St...

 has become an integral part of the Vatican Christmas celebrations, and in 2005 the next Pope, German-born Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

, spoke of it as part of the normal Christmas decorations in Catholic homes. In 2004, Pope John Paul called the Christmas tree a symbol of Christ. This very ancient custom, he said, exalts the value of life, as in winter what is evergreen becomes a sign of undying life, and it reminds Christians of the "tree of life" of , an image of Christ, the supreme gift of God to humanity. In the previous year he said: "Beside the crib, the Christmas tree, with its twinkling lights, reminds us that with the birth of Jesus the tree of life has blossomed anew in the desert of humanity. The crib and the tree: precious symbols, which hand down in time the true meaning of Christmas."

The Catholic Church's official Book of Blessings has a service for the blessing of the Christmas tree in a home.

Industry

Each year, 33 to 36 million Christmas trees are produced in America, and 50 to 60 million are produced in Europe. In 1998, there were about 15,000 growers in America (a third of them "choose and cut" farms). In that same year, it was estimated that Americans spent $1.5 billion on Christmas trees.

See also

  • Chrismon tree
    Chrismon tree
    Chrismon trees are a popular variation of the Christmas tree developed by Frances Kipps Spencer, a member of the Ascension Lutheran Church in Danville, Virginia. She originated the concept in 1957 when she set out to create decorations appropriate for a church's Christmas celebrations...

  • Festive ecology
    Festive ecology
    Festive ecology explores the relationships between the symbolism and the ecology of the plants, fungi and animals associated with cultural events such as festivals, processions and special occasions...

     
  • Festivus Pole
  • Hanukkah bush
    Hanukkah bush
    A Hanukkah bush is a bush or tree—real or simulated—that some North American Jewish families display in their homes for the duration of Hanukkah...

  • Holiday tree

  • New Year tree
    New Year tree
    New Year trees are decorations similar to Christmas trees that are displayed in various cultures, but should not be confused with a North American practice of not removing a tree until New Years; such a tree is still considered a Christmas tree....

  • Star of Bethlehem
    Star of Bethlehem
    In Christian tradition, the Star of Bethlehem, also called the Christmas Star, revealed the birth of Jesus to the magi, or "wise men", and later led them to Bethlehem. The star appears in the nativity story of the Gospel of Matthew, where magi "from the east" are inspired by the star to travel to...

  • Tree (mythology)
  • Weihnachten
    Weihnachten
    Weihnachten is the German observance of what is commonly known in English as Christmas Day. - Preparations :In preparation for Weihnachten , many German families celebrate Advent. This is a time of religious preparation for the arrival of das Christkind...

  • Yule log
    Yule log
    A Yule log is a large and extremely hard log which is burned in the hearth as a part of traditional Yule or Christmas celebrations in several European cultures...



Bibliographic

  • Hewitt, James. The Christmas Tree, (Google Books), Lulu.com, 2007, (ISBN 1430308206).

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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