Wednesday, November 30, 2011

O Tannenbaum!

Nuremberg Christmas Market
Christmas is my favorite time of the year.  People are so kind, the air is clean and crisp, stockings hang next to a fire…I just love it.  Nothing says Christmas, though, quite like a Christmas Tree.  The look of them, the smell, oh! the smell, and all the decorations and lights make me smile every time.  Unfortunately, this year I will not be enjoying a real tree.  It’s a real tragedy.  The lack of the smell of pine has made me wonder where exactly the tradition of a Christmas Tree came from. 
Christmas trees, as we know them, came from Germany, as do most awesome Christmas things.  It is widely believed that Martin Luther was the first to place candles on a tree in the early 16th century, to show his children how they shine like the stars in the sky.  Tinsel also came from Germany in around 1610.  Silver was the material of choice due to its light weight and was used up until the mid-20th century.  Oh yeah, I have real silver on my tree every year…right next to my Target ornaments. 
So how did Christmas Trees leave Germany?  That is yet another thing we owe to the lovely Victoria and Albert.  Prince Albert brought a Christmas Tree to Windsor Castle, and in 1846, he, Victoria, and their children were depicted as standing next to a decorated tree in the Illustrated London News.  Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were so popular and well loved that everything they did spread like wildfire.  Anyone who was anyone had a tree after that illustration was published. 

So, is your tree fabulously fake or resplendently real?

1 comment:

  1. I wish we still had a real tree... Fake ones are SUCH a hassle. But, I'll take what I can get. CHRISTMAS- I LOVE YOU. Those Germans, so clever.