The Christmas Tree Story, Part 3 (Advent Calendar Day 3)

The wonderful Kathryn Blake of “Headmistress Blake” fame (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3) joins us again today for Part 3 in her Christmas Tree Story. Many of you know Kathryn as the fearless leader of Saturday Spankings, a wonderful opportunity to sample spanking authors’ work.

This is Kathryn’s introductory comment from Day 1:

1. Yes, I have read and understood all 4 information pages
2. Sadly, no, I wasn’t aware of Ana’s advent calendar last year (I’m a newbie), so I didn’t participate.
3. I heard about the advent calendar this year through Facebook.
4. I plan to participate every day, and yes I aim for perfect attendance, but not for the prizes..
5. I’m here for the fun!
6. I love Christmas, and I want to share the spirit of the holiday with others.
7. I’m Kathryn, and I’ve been visiting Governing Ana since February this year when I started Saturday Spankings. I write paranormal and spanking romances and plan to have at least two books out next year.
8. Hello George! I’m glad you came out of the woodwork to join us. Like Ana, I agree it’s refreshing to hear from individuals who practice alternate dynamics from the standard M/F. I’m pleased for you that your wife was so understanding of your desires and willing to meet them. Undoubtedly that’s why you’ve been married for 37 years. My hubby and I have been married nearly that long, but not quite, and I attribute the success of our marriage to understanding, cooperation and a similarly wicked sense of humor. He can always make me laugh.

She brings us an amazing history of Christmas trees, and I learned many new things. How’s that for kinky blog reading? 😀 I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Kathryn is offering one lucky random commenter a special prize: one of her five spanking books!

  • Mortal Illusions (Vampire Romance)
  • Deadly Enchantment (Shifter Romance)
  • Arrested by Love (Spanking Romance)
  • A Dom’s Dilemma (BDSM Romance)
  • Acting Lessons (Spanking/DD Romance)

For your comment today, you can pick one or more of the following questions:

  1. What new information about Christmas trees did you learn from Kathryn’s post? (I was shocked that fake trees and toilet brushes have a common geneaology!)
  2. When did or will you put up your Christmas tree this year, if you have one? (Christmas tree? Today. Christmas tree decked out as a Halloween tree? The week before Halloween. Don’t judge.)
  3. What is your favorite kind of Christmas tree? (Big, full, and with lots of pretty branches. So I’m not good at tree names.)

If you don’t celebrate Christmas or don’t have Christmas trees, that’s okay! You can choose the #1 question. 🙂

Christmas Tree Story, Part 1

Christmas Tree Story, Part 2

Christmas Tree Story, Part 4

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The History of the Christmas Tree (or how we decided to bring the outdoors inside)

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The Romans and Egyptians

According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, “The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands to symbolize eternal life was a custom of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. Tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and survived their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian customs of decorating the house and barn with evergreens at the New Year to scare away the devil and of setting up a tree for the birds during Christmastime.”

The ancient Egyptians worshipped a god called Ra, who had the head of a hawk and wore the sun as a blazing disk in his crown. At the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, the Egyptians filled their homes with green palm rushes to symbolize life’s triumph over death.  Daylight was lengthening, so Ra was recovering from the illness that had held him back during the longer winter nights.

Winter Solstice Celebration

Early Romans marked the solstice with a feast called the Saturnalia in honor of Saturnus, the god of agriculture. The Romans knew that the solstice meant that soon farms and orchards would be green and fruitful. To celebrate, they decorated their homes and temples with evergreen boughs and exchanged gifts. They gave coins for prosperity, pastries for happiness, and lamps to light one’s journey through life.

The Celts

spirit-of-yule

In Northern Europe, the wood priests of the ancient Celts, called Druids, also decorated their temples with evergreen boughs during mysterious winter solstice rituals as a symbol of everlasting life. The Druids used holly and mistletoe as symbols of eternal life, and place evergreen branches over doors to keep away evil spirits. Late in the Middle Ages, Germans and Scandinavians placed evergreen trees inside their homes or just outside their doors to show their hope in the forthcoming spring.

Our modern Christmas tree evolved from these early traditions.

The roots come from Germany

16th Century Church Tree-LRG

Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. Some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles if wood was scarce. Reportedly, Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, was the first to add lighted candles to a tree. Walking toward his home one winter evening, composing a sermon, he was awed by the brilliance of stars twinkling amidst evergreens. To recapture the scene for his family, he erected a tree in the main room and wired its branches with lighted candles.

Pyramid Christmas Tree

Customs of erecting decorated trees in wintertime can be traced to Christmas celebrations in Renaissance-era guilds in Northern Germany and Livonia. A Bremen guild chronicle 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.

One of the best records we have of this custom is from a visitor to Strasbourg in 1601. He records a tree decorated with “wafers and golden sugar-twists (Barleysugar) and paper flowers of all colours”. The early trees were biblically symbolic of the Paradise Tree in the Garden of Eden. The many food items were symbols of Plenty, the flowers, originally only red (for Knowledge) and White (for Innocence).

16th Century Christmas Tree-crop

The Dark Years – When Christmas Trees were banned

 

In America, during most of the 17th Century, Christmas customs were suppressed in the New England American Colonies by the Puritans. The Puritan community found no Scriptural justification for celebrating Christmas, and associated such celebrations with paganism and idolatry. The earliest years of the Plymouth Colony were troubled with non-Puritans attempting to make merry, and Governor William Bradford was forced to reprimand offenders.

Puritans heaped contempt on Christmas, calling it ‘Foolstide’ and suppressing any attempts to celebrate it for several reasons. First, no holy days except the Sabbath were sanctioned in Scripture. Second, the most egregious behaviors were exercised in its celebration, and third, December 25 was an early Christian hijacking of the Roman festival Saturnalia, and to celebrate a December Christmas was to defile oneself by paying homage to a pagan custom. The Puritans attitude was most clearly expressed in their calendar with approximately 300 working days compared to the 240 typical of cultures from Ancient Rome to modern America. Days of rest were restricted to the Sabbath, Election Day, Harvard commencement day, and periodic days of thanksgiving and humiliation. This attitude prevailed in New England for almost two centuries.

A Puritan Christmas

In England, when the Puritans came to power following the execution of King Charles I, Parliament enacted a law in 1647 abolishing the observance of Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide. Not to be outdone, the Puritans of New England then passed a series of laws making any observance of Christmas illegal. A Massachusetts law of 1659 punished offenders with a five shilling fine (a hefty penance in those days).

Though the English repealed their law late in the 17th century, the Puritan view of Christmas and its celebration continued, despite the observance being made legal again in 1680. Even as late as 1851, a Cleveland minister nearly lost his job because he allowed a tree in his church.

No Christmas Tree_400x400

New England officials also frowned upon gift giving and reveling. Evergreen decoration, associated with pagan custom, was expressly forbidden in Puritan meeting houses and discouraged in the New England home. Merrymakers were prosecuted for disturbing the peace. The Puritan view was tenacious. As late as 1870, classes were scheduled in Boston public schools on Christmas Day and the punishments doled out to children who chose to stay home beneath their Christmas tree, included possible expulsion. Non-Puritans in New England deplored the loss of the holiday that was being enjoyed by the laboring classes in England.

A Gradual Restoration

After the Protestant Reformation occurred in Germany, trees similar to those displayed in guildhalls were seen in the houses of upper-class Protestant families as a counterpart to the Catholic Christmas cribs or manger scenes. This transition from the guildhall to the bourgeois family homes in the Protestant parts of Germany ultimately gave rise to the modern tradition as it developed in the 18th and 19th centuries.

christmas-tree-wallpaper-1

The United States was most likely introduced to the Christmas tree tradition by Hessian troops during the American Revolution, or with German immigrants to Pennsylvania and Ohio.  But the custom didn’t become truly popular with the masses until the mid 19th century. In the early 19th century, the custom of decorating trees for Christmas was observed by the nobility and spread to royal courts as far as Russia.

The Fir Tree-HCA

In Austria – Princess Henrietta of Nassau-Weilburg introduced the Christmas tree to Vienna in 1816. In France, the first Christmas tree was introduced in 1840 by the duchesse d’Orléans. And in Denmark, a Danish newspaper claims that the first attested Christmas tree was lit in 1808 by countess Wilhemine of Holsteinborg. Reportedly, the aging countess also told the story of the first Danish Christmas tree to Hans Christian Andersen in 1865, after he published a fairy-tale called The Fir-Tree in 1844, recounting the fate of a fir-tree being used as a Christmas tree.

Victorian Angel Ornament Banner

By the 1890s Christmas ornaments were arriving from Germany and Christmas tree popularity was on the rise around the U.S. Europeans, who prefer small and compact, used table-top trees about four feet in height, while Americans liked their Christmas trees to reach from floor to ceiling.

Victorian Christmas Tree-600

The early 20th century saw Americans decorating their trees mainly with homemade ornaments, while the German-American sect continued to use apples, nuts, and marzipan cookies. Popcorn joined in after being dyed bright colors and interlaced with berries and nuts. Electricity brought about Christmas lights, making it possible for Christmas trees to glow for days on end. At this point, Christmas trees began to appear in town squares across the country and having a Christmas tree in the home became an American tradition.

Addis Brush Christmas Trees2

In America, the Addis Brush Company created the first brush trees, using the same machinery that made their toilet brushes! Stronger than the feather tree, they could take heavier decorations. After 1918, because of licensing and export problems, Germany was not able to export its decorations easily, so the market was quickly taken up by Japan and America.

In the 1930s, there was a revival of Dickensian nostalgia, particularly in Britain. Christmas cards all sported Crinoline ladies with muffs and bonnets popular in the 1840’s. Christmas Trees became large, and real again, and were decorated with many bells, balls and tinsels, and with a beautiful golden haired angel at the top.

Tabletop German Goosefeather Tree

But wartime England put a crimp in the holiday. Britain forbade its citizens to cut down trees for decoration, and with so many bombing raids, many people preferred to keep their most precious heirloom Christmas tree decorations carefully stored away in metal boxes.  Instead, they decorated a small tabletop Goosefeather tree with homemade decorations, which could be taken down into the shelters for a little Christmas cheer, when the air-raid sirens sounded.

Large trees were still erected, however, in public places to help its citizens’ morale.

Postwar Britain saw a revival of the earlier customs. People needed the security of Christmas to help set them back on their feet. Trees were as large as people could afford. Though many poorer families still used the tabletop Goosefeather trees, America’s Addis Brush Trees were also imported into Britain, and these became immensely popular for a time. But real trees remained the favorite.

Silver Pine Tree with lights

The mid-1960s saw another change. A new world was on the horizon, and modernist ideas were everywhere. Silver aluminum trees were imported from America. The ‘Silver Pine’ tree, patented in the 1950’s, was designed to have a revolving light source under it, with colored gelatin ‘windows, which allowed the light to shine in different shades as it revolved under the tree. No decorations were needed for this tree.

Tree with garland and balls

With fewer people buying them, decorations became sparse. Glass balls and lametta (tinsel garlands) created an ‘elegant’ modern tree. Of course, many families carried on with tradition and continued to place their own well-loved decorations on their trees!

Pressed foil Dresden Ornaments

America made a return to Victorian nostalgia in the 1970’s, and it was a good decade later that Britain followed the fashion. Manufacturers quickly realized the potential and created more and more fantastic decorations. Some American companies specialized in antique replicas, actually finding the original makers in Europe to recreate wonderful glass ornaments, real silver tinsels and pressed foil ‘Dresdens’.

Today, with the ability to easily purchase items off the Internet from anywhere in the world, the Christmas Tree along with its lights and ornaments vary according to its owner’s tastes and values. So, you can even have visions of sugarplums dancing in your living room today, if you wish. The choices are as endless as your imagination.  Merry Christmas.

sugarplum-christmas-tree-decorating-ideas

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215 thoughts on “The Christmas Tree Story, Part 3 (Advent Calendar Day 3)

  1. abby says:

    Oh those New England puritans….did not know they were also against Christmas. Thanks for this post, i love learning about the history of what we do today. I used to put up 2 trees every year, a traditional one, and a not so traditional one. Now that i travel to celebrate with the grands i only put up the non-traditional one.
    It is all about frogs. Every ornament is a frog or has a frog on it, the lights are green frogs, there is a frog angel on the top, and a friend made me a frog tree skirt! I love it….my kids not so much…LOL!
    hugs abby

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      A frog tree! That’s cute. It sounds like it’s traditional for you. 🙂 It’s also cute about your kids not liking it so much. Sometimes those are the best things.

      I’ve saved decorating my tree until today so it will be extra special, and I can’t wait.

      Like

  2. JC says:

    WOW! I am surprised at how much of that 8 didn’t know! The most shocking was that the Puritans were against Christmas. I teach about the Puritans and the founding of America in my fourth grade history class and have never heard this. I will need to send more time studying this information could make for an interesting discussion in class before Christmas.

    Abby I think a frog tree is awesome!

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Kathryn did such a great job with all four of these posts, wow! I haven’t read her fourth part on her blog yet, but I’m heading over right now.

      I never learned exactly about the Puritans, but I could see why they wouldn’t like it. After all, Christmas originally was the date for a pagan holiday (Saturnalia). Let me think. I may ask a friend if she can tell us more about this.

      And how neat that you will use this to teach your students. That is the most fun part of teaching, learning new stuff and passing it on.

      Like

  3. Tara Finnegan says:

    Katherine’s posts have been amazing, it’s been wonderful to learn the history behind the tree. And the photo’s she has posted have been wonderful too. All I can say is thank God I wasn’t around in that puritan era, I love the cheer the tree brings to the dark days of December.

    Abby, I love the thoughts of a frog tree, talk about original and unique. It sounds amazing. Never mind your kids, it’s cool to be different.

    We’re much more boring here, and go for an artificial tree, although a nice big one. I used to like to hold off putting it up until the kids get their holidays from school as then it’s a celebration of family time and freedom from routine too, but now that they’re older they don’t want to wait and I cave in. It will probably go up in or round mid month when their excitement reaches fever pitch.

    I like to buy at least one set of new baubles every year, so each year it gets heavier and heavier because I haven’t the heart to say to the old decorations, “sorry no, your time is served, you don’t deserve your annual outing.” I might hurt their feelings, after all I’m getting older and less shiny too, and I don’t want to be locked in the dark dusty attic.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Sometimes I admit that it would be nice to go back to the solemnity of the church service on Christmas Day, rather than the weeks of endless shopping and advertisements and buying.

      Amen about being cool to be different!

      If it’s a fake tree, like mine, you might as well enjoy it for longer. 😀 I didn’t take mine down until March last year, and even that was a bit of a wrench.

      Aw, poor little decorations, but you must be very good at not breaking yours. How do you keep them intact for so long?

      Like

  4. Mona Lisa says:

    Very interesting story about the Christmas tree.

    Before Christmas we have Advent. We have Advent star in every window, and we have ‘Advent candlesticks with four candles and every Sunday until for Christmas we light one more candle.
    Then comes Christmas. Christmas tree is taken in and be decorated at night 23. December. When the kids were small, it was a surprise on the morning of 24. December. It is the day we share Christmas gifts. After dinner in the evening.
    Our Christmas tree is simple. Red balls and straw ornaments and decorations of home baked gingerbread.
    And white light.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Advent Stars! I’ve just remembered I forgot to make my paper chain for Christmas this year. I’ll have to do that.

      I always decorated the tree with my parents, so it seems different for parents to do it for the kids. Yet it must be magical.

      Yum, gingerbread!

      Like

  5. sassytwatter says:

    I just learned several very interesting facts about Christmas trees! Can’t wait to share with others. Thank you what a great post!

    Id truly like to skip the whole Christmas tree this year….but apherently that is being a buahumbug and not allowed. My giant wants a tree ASAP but since we aren’t home it wont go up until around the 15th. To afraid to leave the potential fireball just sitting in my house. I prefer my Tree tradition growing up we went to pick out a tree early on the morning of the 24 & decorate it….& the most fun part is on January 6 you dance around it have candy and toss it out the back door. You have it just long enough so the house smells wonderful but not long enough to get dry & die.

    Like

  6. Michelle B says:

    I’m gonna go with #3.

    Growing up, my grandfather always went out in the woods to find the perfect trees for his 3 daughters (his son was out of province) – usually it would be the regal looking Douglas Fir tree – described as:

    “Boasting a pyramidal shape and blue to dark green needles, Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) is a dependable, long-lived cut tree. It flourishes in mild, humid climates with dry summers.”

    To me that is *the* Chrismas tree.

    But living in cities for most of my adulthood, I’ve had tiny fake trees and even a few Charlie Brown trees! 😀

    Nowadays, with the boys no longer boys, we don’t even bother with a tree – let alone decorating (and if/when we do decorate, it’s very minimal).

    This year we moved smack downtown and nearby there is what is called the Distillery District which is completely decorated to look like a true German Christmas market – with a HUGE 44 feet tall tree all lit up. We will be sure to visit that in the coming days! 🙂

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      So no more talk of pleasing the mistress? I’m disappointed. 😀

      No tree at all?? Michelle! That’s terrible. I should spank you for that. At least put up a tiny tabletop one.

      Yay about the big tree!

      Like

  7. Irishey says:

    I love Christmas lore. I read out loud to my children anything I can find about Christmas traditions, legends, etc., throughout the world. The facts and conjecture surrounding the history of the Christmas tree has always been fascinating.

    1. What new information about Christmas trees did you learn from Kathryn’s post?

    I had forgotten about the goose feather trees, again! I guess I just have a hard time imagining feather trees, but don’t know why. Lol!

    2. When did or will you put up your Christmas tree this year, if you have one?

    We hoped to do the tree and decorations, and many other things, this past weekend, but D got sick with a bad cold, cough, sinus issues. I scaled way back on everything and just hung out with him watching tv, because that’s the only way to get him to rest. I may put up the tree myself this week, and have D and the kids help decorate this coming weekend.

    3. What is your favorite kind of Christmas tree?

    Favorite. Hmph.Every imaginable kind of tree! 😉

    Wonderful post, Kathryn! I am going to try to read your other posts, but I am struggling with electronic issues. Bah, humbug! 😉

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      I still don’t know what a goose feather tree is. I will have to look it up.

      Aw, I hope your D gets better very soon. You could do it the UK way and decorate on the 23rd. 😀

      I hope your electronic issues get settled. 🙂

      Like

      • Irishey says:

        Ana, I believe Kathryn may have posted a photo of a goose feather tree here – it certainly looks like one. It is a small, tabletop tree sitting on a wooden table in front of a mirror. The tree is mounted on a dark green box decorated with what appears to be a sprig of baby pine cones and red berries. It has an Angel topper, with ornaments that are silver swirls, red and green striped balls and dark bells. The branches look like goose quill feathers dyed dark green, with the quill ends inserted into the branch pole that is set into the top center of the box. The photo is above the paragraph that begins, “But wartime England put a crimp in the holiday.”

        Perhaps I am mistaken, but I do think this is a feather tree. Very cool!

        Like

  8. minellesbreath says:

    Loved this post about the Christmas tree. I knew there was a connection between celebrating Christmas with a tree and the pagan Holiday, but not that the celebration was banned in England and here by the Puritans.
    I love a traditional real Christmas tree. I believe we always get a Douglas fir tree.
    However because I love Christmas so much when my kids were little I convinced hubby we needed a fake tree so we could put the tree up early and enjoy the season longer. The tree was huge and about 11 feet tall. It was also very expensive. Then— I hated messing with the branches since I am anal about the branches being perfect….bought a smaller fake tree….ahem…. expensive too…..same thing happened….spent inordinate amounts of time placing branches and fiddling with them…..SO NOW WE GET A REAL TREE! (hubby not happy about the money spent on fake trees…lol)
    Don’t ask about tinsel….I place the strands artistically upon every branch….Gosh I drive myself crazy!

    Like

  9. SH says:

    Christmas trees are my favorite decoration for Christmas! I certainly learned a ton of stuff I never knew before, thanks Kathryn!

    We get a real tree for Christmas every year and always get it the first weekend of December so it will live through New Year’s Day. I absolutely adore the smell of a real tree. I am super picky when I go to the lot and my husband and children know I will pick through all the trees until I find the perfect one! I get the largest tree that will fit in my family room, between 9′ and 10′, and put on at least 1500 multi colored mini lights and all of the handmade decorations my children have made for me over the years 🙂 I used to prefer the Douglas Fir but the last 10 years Noble Firs have become my favorite.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Choosing the tree together is so fun…ah, I am glad I got to have a real tree as a child, even if I no longer do it. I loved watering the tree each day.

      I think handmade decorations are the best. 🙂

      Of course I have no idea the difference between Douglas and Noble Firs, but I’ll google. 😀

      Like

  10. Ami Starsong says:

    I wish I could say the name of our farm – but if you put two and two together it has a lot to do with the type of trees mentioned today!

    I would like to refer to question number two.

    We have a family tradition of buying a Christmas tree mid-December, but it stays outside in a bucket of water till Christmas Eve! As we live in a barn we buy a tall tree, and therefore require “sky hooks” in order to decorate it!

    I am forbidden to climb the ladder on my own to decorate it – and last year one of my very first spankings was due to ignoring this simple safety measure, and being caught wobbling around ten feet up. Needless to say my lack of concern will not be repeated this year! My bottom was as red as some of the baubles!

    Everyone in our family has a hand in decorating the tree, and bring in all the winter foliage we can find to decorate the barn – holly (usually minus berries as the migrating Fieldfares have usually eaten them all), lots of ivy, fresh fir boughs, and laurel. We also have a Yule Log that is brought inside at the same time, and which we have kept since the summer time. This is burned on Christmas Day together with lots of pine cones which give off a glorious scent.

    It is also a tradition that every family member receives an unusual decoration taped on to their present on Christmas Day. Over the years we have collected a large quantity of these, and each one has a great sentimental value. I still have some simple baubles I received as a small child over fifty years ago when we lived in Canada!

    These days, I also have to ensure there are lots of chocolate decorations, plus some homemade iced cookies tied with ribbons and put low down amongst the branches for my grandchildren to reach! And I never have a colour theme – our tree is a blaze of glory on Christmas Day with sticky, glittery ornaments made from eggshells jostle with intriguing designer Faberge lookalikes.

    Here in England you can buy any type, colour and size of artificial tree these days, and yes, many of them are shaped rather like lavatory brushes. There are even (squeak!) black trees! But for us, there is nothing like having a real Christmas tree with the colour, the scent and even if we have to sweep up thousands of pine needles after Christmas – it is worth it!

    I wish you all a Very Happy Christmas and would like to thank you all, especially you Kathryn for all that interesting information, some of which I will print off for future reference and reading more slowly.

    Hugs
    Ami

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Wow! Everything you write sounds so pretty. Well, except for the ladder stunt. AMI!!!

      Iced cookies hanging on the tree? That sounds fabulous.

      I love trees without a theme but with lots of assorted ornaments gathered over the years.

      Aw, and this year you’ll have a new grandbaby for Christmas.

      Like

  11. chickie says:

    You know, I have heard pretty much all of that before in some sense but this is the first I’ve seen it all together like this. It’s very interesting and need to read all 4 parts together later today.

    Darned puritans ruining everybody’s fun!

    We will probably get a tree this weekend. Really just putting off the inevitable at this point. We have hardwoods with lots of knots and “character” as they call it. I call it tree needle storage. Towards the end of the summer I’m convinced I’ve finally gotten the needles out, then it cools down and the wood spits out needles with a vengeance. I’m still getting a couple every time I sweep.

    I beg for a fake tree, no… I beg for a small tree, no…. It’s a large awkwardly shaped room with high ceilings. Usually about 10′ high and extremely wide. I admit that it looks fantastic. But I’m 5’2″ and would prefer an easier feat. He gets it in, I have to decorate and get the tree back out of the house – we’d still have it in April otherwise!

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Kathryn’s post is wonderful. 🙂

      But now we can have kinky fantasies about roleplaying as Puritans!

      “You! Christmas tree infidel! Bend over!”
      “No, no, please!”
      “Take your spanking like a big girl!”

      Hehe.

      Tree needle storage…ah, too true.

      Big trees are better! Just don’t wobble on ladders like Ami. 😀

      Like

  12. Angel says:

    I usually put up are real tree the day after Thanksgiving I haven’t yet this year because last year every time someone walked by the tree our cat jumped out and attacked them She was being playful but she keep scaring everyone She also would take off all the decorations on the bottom of my tree such a naunghty kitty have no idea where she gets it!!!!!!

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      LOL. Every time I wish I had a kitty, I remember that I couldn’t enjoy my Christmas tree as much if I did. I content myself by writing kitties into my stories.

      I bet your kitty is named Angel, since that’s the name of all the naughty ones. 😀

      Like

      • Leigh Smith (aka Sunny Girl) says:

        I just always put “kitty friendly” ornaments on the bottom and very loosely. They puill them of and play with them leaving the rest of the tree alone. I just keep putting them back every day. lol They have us trained well.

        Like

  13. Joelle Casteel says:

    blech, you know sometimes the fact that Puritans are a “spiritual ancenstor” of mine as a UU is just saddening. We’re all atheists in my household, but yet we have a tree. We have a plastic tree- my Master is seriously allergic to all pine. We don’t have our tree up yet, but I’m leaning towards being unsubmissive and putting it up myself- maybe our teen will help me 🙂 Especially since the last year or two, job stress has led my Master to not even wanting a tree 😦

    Like

      • Joelle Casteel says:

        I’ve never had a real one- before my Master, it was my mother’s allergy. At least, my teen is in agreement on our fake tree and has agreed to make it happen, one way or the other 😀 I always think it’s funny, with the religious make up of my household, but yeah, it’s fun, it’s pretty. and if my Master says we can finally go adopt a cat like we’ve been talking, we might even have some pet antics 😀

        Like

  14. terpsichore says:

    Such a wonderful job in sharing the history and fun tidbits about the Christmas tree. I knew some of the basic history…but not all the details and it was very interesting to learn more. We put up our tree whenever we have a week-end free to do so. It is usually the middle of December…but there have been years in which we put it up on Christmas Eve…then we always keep it up into the New Year (until the needles are dry and start to fall off) I do not know when we will get our tree this year. I have fond memories of childhood going to pick out a tree, my dad chopping it down while we stood and froze, and then drinking hot cocoa with marshmallows or whipped cream. It would be fun to do that with our family. Usually we just go to the local tree stand with pre-cut trees and the kids help pick one. And then we decorate it all together with colored lights and ornaments that each have a memory attached. I used to have a small fake tree I would decorate elegantly with white lights and a strings of faux pearls and snowflakes and dancer ornaments I have received as gifts since I was small. Alas we do not have space in our house for a second tree, even a small one, though the kids have little mini fake trees in their rooms they decorate. I am starting to get in the spirit of the season. 🙂 I do want to hear more about the dancing around the tree tradition… 🙂

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Somehow I think Christmas trees used to be up until 12th night.

      Wow, chopping your own tree? My family never got to do that, but it sure sounds cold. 😀

      I love when each ornament has a special memory. Those are the best ones, for sure. I have ornaments I received when I was a child, and I treasure them.

      Yay about holiday spirit!

      Like

  15. TravelingGal says:

    We never put up our tree until our daughter comes home for Christmas so it usually doesn’t go up until about December 21. Of course, it has then been known to stay up until Valentine’s Day! Always a real tree, as tall as we can get and still have it fit under a 9 1/2 foot ceiling. I’m not good on tree names either but it’s the kind with lots of spiky branches to hold all of our ornaments, which are a very mixed lot. I sort of have an angel theme but it gets mixed in with a Buddha, an Empire State Building, teddy bears, daughter’s first Christmas, etc. Not cohesive, but pretty. Oh, and lots and lots of icicles.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Kathryn said her last tree stayed up until Labor Day, and mine was up until March last year. So it’s all good. LOL.

      Buddha and Empire State Building? LOL! They must be rather surprised if they get put up together.

      I love trees that are a mixture of all kinds of ornaments. So homey. 🙂

      Like

  16. robskatie says:

    This was such a neat post Kathryn! Thank you for sharing all of this history surrounding the Christmas Tree!! 🙂 I am sure that I learned some of this over the years, but can’t remember much of this. So I feel as though I learned a ton readind here! Gosh those Puritans!!! And what was the problem in New England??? Harvard Commencement Day was a day of rest and not Christmastime??? The people who dreamed up that rule should have been spanked! So glad that they got that straightened out for the population in that area today!!! Good for Ohio and Pennsylvanians back in the day…

    Yes that was funny about the toilet brush materials used for Christmas trees! At least it wasn’t bathbrushes framing up the trees!

    I LOVE Christmas, and I especially love having a Christmas tree! We usually put our tree up closer to Christmas because I like for it to last through New Years Day! This year we will do it earlier because I would like it to be up when our daughter comes home from college. She and I will leave just after Christmas to get her situated for her next semester of college, so I’d like to be able to enjoy it for a while. And the kids are always up for doing it sooner than later.

    We have always had a real tree- sometimes we go to a tree farm and cut one down ourselves, sometimes we go to a farm stand and choose one. We have spent many a time circling trees at a farm, because I am just a teeny tiny bit picky. Picture Rob and four kids moaning and groaning as we continue to walk on… Yeah- we had some years like that. But it was always fun, and hot chocolate was often a part of that adventure.

    In more recent years we have just picked a fresh one out from a farm stand. Will likely be a fraser Fir tree. I like them to be about 8 feet tall, and nice and full so we can get lots of ornaments on them. Rob is very patient with me about that. I LOOOOOVVVE the smell of the tree in the house. I also like us all to be able to enjoy it from the kitchen, so it goes in just the right place in our familyroom!

    We usually make a family event out of decorating the tree. With Christmas music blasting, Rob or the boys put the miniature white lights on first, though I have been known to do that in years past. 🙂 Then we put on about 24 small glass balls- now we use only one color- the favorite color of Rob’s dad who passed away a few years ago. After that we add tons of ornaments that can be anything from store bought to homemade when the kids were little. My favorites are the ones with the kids’ pics on them. Another favorite is a simple ornament that my grandmother made me when I was a baby. Every single ornament has a story or a memory. Last year some had to stay in the box because we have so many. Likely be the same this year. Can you tell that I LOVE Christmas trees??? LOL!

    Oh and can’t leave here without telling you that it is tradition around here that Santa always leaves candy canes hanging on the tree when he visits. Sure sign that he has been to our house. My young adults and teens wouldn’t want it any other way! 😉 Enough from me!!!

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      I am sure a certain Katie T will receive a bathbrush for Christmas!
      What is a Fraser tree? I do love the smell of a tree in the house. It’s the best air freshener in the world, next to baking bread and clean laundry.
      What color are the balls?
      If you like Christmas trees, you’ve come to the right place. Be sure you read Kathryn’s post on her blog, because it is amazing. I love the pictures. 🙂
      I love candy canes on the tree! I never did it as a child, but as an adult I make sure to have at least one boxful on the tree. I don’t like the taste of candy canes, so decorating with them means I still get to have the holiday treat.
      Oh, and you’re the naughty elf in the corner!

      Like

      • robskatie says:

        Oh good grief, Ana!!!! You are certain??? We are not receiving THOSE kinds of packages here!!!! NO BATHBRUSHES or WOOD allowed here!!!!! 😛

        A Fraser tree info from about.com:

        Fraser fir is a high-altitude tree and related to the northern Balsam fir. Abies fraseri occupies a very restricted native range in higher locations in the southern Appalachian mountains.Fraser fir is widely used as a Christmas tree. Its fragrance, shape, strong limbs, and ability to retain its soft needles for a long time when cut (which do not prick easily when hanging ornaments) make it one of the best trees for this purpose. The Fraser fir has been used more times as the Blue Room Christmas tree (the official Christmas tree of the President of the United States’s White House) than any other type of tree. In the UK it is grown in plantations in Scotland and sold by the thousand throughout the UK and Éire.

        You can see some pics here:
        http://www.freshchristmastree.com/6-7_Foot_Fraser_Fir.html

        The small glass balls are pink and shiny. We switched to those the year Rob’s dad passed away and kept it that way. It is a nice way to remember him each year.

        I’m with you on not liking the taste of candy canes. I am not a big peppermint fan. But that doesn’t stop my kids, nieces and nephews from enjoying. They are usually gone by New Years! I agree- they are very pretty on Christmas trees. 🙂

        I will read Kathryn’s other posts! I know that I will enjoy! 🙂

        AND I AM NOT THE ELF IN THE CORNER!!!!! THAT IS YOU!!!! 😛

        Like

    • terpsichore says:

      sounds like we have had some similar traditions of finding the perfect tree and decorating with family. I remember my mom wanted just the perfect plump tree. I tend to let my perfectionist tendencies rest a bit for this activity because the kids love choosing so, but I do like to arrange the ornaments with them as the music is playing. I love the idea of the candy canes appearing on Christmas morning – we do candy canes and then put them in our hot cocoa so they melt and make minty cocoa. yum! 🙂 I also remember stringing popcorn and cranberries…what a pain that was – I mean what a pleasant and peaceful memory…:-)

      Like

      • catrouble says:

        LOL Terps…didn’t string popcorn when I was a child but did with my kids and those little suckers..just kept eating the popcorn! Took forever to get enough popped and strung to hang on the tree. 😉

        Like

        • terpsichore says:

          Cat, I seem to recall eating the popcorn too 🙂 and as Katie said below…pricking my fingers with the needle… 🙂 Ana, one year I was feeling nostalgic and did it with my own kids – and we did hang a string for the birds and made pine cone ornaments with peanut butter and birdseed. 🙂

          Like

      • robskatie says:

        Candy canes in hot cocoa!!! Yuuummm Terps!!! I think that I would like that. And I will tell my daughter about it as she insists that she has to get to Starbucks here and there for some peppermint moca concoction. Now she can make her own! I know the secret! LOL!

        Yeah I am kinda choosy! But the fam is used to it I think. I prob drive the guys at the farm stand a little crazy as he shakes out the trees and spins them for us. Wellll… they are very nice about it. 🙂

        Oh I remember doing popcorn stringing. I used to prick my finger all the time with the sewing needle!!! And yeah- lol a pain and the pain! Ha! My mom did has us put them on outside trees and the birds did like those. And lol it appears that Cat’s kids liked the popcorn too! Must have kept Cat busy popping corn- she didn’t have time to misbehave!! ;D

        Like

  17. Maren Smith says:

    1.) I did not know had no idea we’d been making fake Christmas trees for so long. That feather tree was awesome looking!
    2.) I put my tree up the week before Thanksgiving. My entire living room is decorated to the Christmas nines this year.
    3.) When we lived in Oregon, we would buy living trees, usually a baby fir only about 2-3 feet high and then plant it after Christmas. But now we live in a state unfriendly to evergreens, so we’ve gone to fake trees. I think mine is supposed to be a spruce, but the branches are thick and full and I currently have it decorated with owls, doves, nests with eggs, and the occasional ornament ball.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      I had never heard of a goose feather tree before reading Kathryn’s post (part 4 on her blog). It is neat!

      Yay, you were earlier than I was for Christmas trees.

      What a great idea to buy a baby tree and plant it! I wish I could do something like that.

      Nests with eggs? I have never heard of that, but it sounds neat. 😀

      Like

  18. Leigh Smith (aka Sunny Girl) says:

    I loved reading about the history or trees. Knew many of the facts but the memory forgets and it’s nice to relearn.

    We put up our tree yesterday. it is not my favorite kind of tree but it fits which is very important. My favorite kind of tree is a Noble Fir.

    I know, I know. I broke the rules again because I answered two questions. Oh well,

    Like

  19. Renee Meyer says:

    1. I did not know the puritans were so anti-Christmas but of course they were pretty much anti anything fun.
    2. We decorate the weekend after Thanksgiving.
    3. We decorate two trees – the traditional live fir in the living room and since we live in the South we decorate our palm trees out front.

    Like

  20. Holla Dean says:

    Thanks for the history of the Christmas Tree, Kathryn! It was very informative and I learned a ton of stuff. But I’m going to answer the third question. My favorite kind of Christmas Tree is a big, full fir tree. I think the name of it is a Noble fir. It’s the kind we had when I was growing up.
    I’m a city girl, grew up in Chicago so there was no going out and chopping a fresh tree down. I’m not sure why we never went to a tree farm, probably because my parents were immigrants and those early years were a struggle.
    I love the old style tree lights, you know, the big bulbous lights. I think they’re so much prettier than the little twinkling lights. And I like old-fashioned decorations, handmade stuff, and the strands of tinsel. I don’t care for the big ropes of tinsel. I guess I just don’t care for the modern style of tree decorations. My mother still has her old decorations that she puts on her tree. But now she lives in a condo and real trees are not allowed.
    These days I don’t put up a tree or any Christmas decorations. Mostly because I go back to Chicago for Christmas and I’m not home to enjoy it. Then when I get home I’d have to take it all down. Plus, it’s our very busiest time of the year at our business and we don’t really have time to decorate. Finally, we both have knee replacements and feel it’s safer to stay off ladders.
    Does that make me a Christmas scrooge? I hope not because I love Christmas and decorations, but enjoy the ones my family in Chicago has up.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Noble Fir seems to be a favorite, tied with Douglas Fir.

      My mom loved clip-on bubble lights. They were a pain to use because they were so heavy, but they did look pretty.

      That is too bad about not being able to have real trees. Such a nice tradition.

      We have a few others from Chicago here…I bet we could have a spanky convention. 😀

      Nah, Scrooge would be hating the season. Protecting your knees is a good reason to abstain, but little tabletop trees could be a compromise. Unless you are really a Scrooge. 😀

      Like

  21. JoanneBest says:

    Wow, what a wonderful post Kathryn! So much information I never knew, for some reason the idea of Christmas during wartime and the little trees so they could bring them into the shelters brought tears to my eyes. I can’t wait to read the other posts Kathryn has written, I love Christmas, it’s always been my favorite time of year.
    Growing up, we always had an artificial tree, I remember one year when I was about 6 years old we went to sleep on Christmas Eve with no tree, my Parents waited till we were all asleep then they put up the tree and decorated it as we slept; when I woke up I scrambled out of bed to see the most beautifully decorated tree surrounded by piles of presents and I thought Santa brought the tree with him 😀
    Hubby and I always get a real tree, usually a Douglas Fir, and always so big we have to cut it down to size. We have 2 dogs and 3 cats (we had 4 cats but our little Dinka died 2 days ago 😦 ) so we have to decorate with the animals in mind. I’m always the tree decorator so I first put on tons of lights and then the fun really begins; I put on Christmas music and we have so many boxes of decorations it’s impossible to use them all so I have a large box of “must haves” that I use first then fill that tree with decorations till there’s no bare spaces anywhere. Although the bottom of the tree always gets the unbreakable decorations because the animals love to steal whatever they can reach.
    I have a problem with Christmas decorations, I’m addicted to them! 😉 Anytime I go away I always come home with a new decoration, my Mom and I would go to Cape May 2-3 times a year and spend hours in the Christmas Store.
    Oh! The pickle! I hide the pickle ornament amongst the rest and whoever finds the pickle gets an extra gift.
    I’m so happy to be included in the fun here, this year will be the hardest Christmas ever, the First Christmas without Mom…thank you so much for this Advent Calendar, you have no idea how much this is helping me get through Christmas without her. You’ve managed to do the impossible, I have a smile on my face every day now looking forward to each new day of the Advent Calendar. Thank you!!! 😀 xox

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Aw…there are so many special memories about trees for most of us.
      Silly pets who make Christmas trees more “interesting.” 😀
      I love decorations, too. More than I really should, but I love to look.
      LOL! That is too funny about the pickle ornament. I’d love to see a photo sometime.
      Oh wow, you’re not the only one to face Christmas without a loved one this year. We’ve lost a very special friend in blogland, and several have lost friends and parents and siblings/children. There will be a special day to honor/remember the ones who made each Christmas special for us.
      I am so touched and feel so privileged that I could bring a smile to your face. Thank you, and thank you for sharing that with me. I have tears in my eyes thinking of this silly little calendar making you smile. Aw. Words fail me, but I am sending you a virtual hug. xox back.

      Like

    • Sherilyn says:

      Joanne, I’m so sorry about you losing your kitty! It’s so hard to lose a pet, especially at this time of year. I’m glad you;re smiling about Ana’s gift to all of us. You’re in my prayers, along with little Dinka.

      Like

  22. Sheila says:

    Just got back from a weekend in Detroit. What an interesting series of articles. I did not know that Martin Luther is credited with the movable Christmas tree by using candles. I have a nativity set that it is the form of a tree that moves when the candles are lit. It is so fun to watch children’s eyes light up when the tree starts moving. I haven’t put a tree up for years. When I get the opportunity to clean out my house (after retirement) I want to start again. For now I’ll enjoy others’ trees. I like a tall tree that’s fat with lots of decorations and tinsel. I like to throw the tinsel on the tree. How about everyone else’s tinsel? Throw it or place it piece by piece?

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      I feel all educated and smartened up by Kathryn’s posts. 😀
      Wow, a moving tree? How neat!
      I hope you will have at least a little tree. 😀
      Don’t ask Minelle about tinsel! LOL! I do a garland of tinsel but the kind that’s stuck together. I don’t think I’d have the patience for the loose kind.

      Like

  23. Renee Meyer says:

    Awww so sorry to hear about your kitty. I had a friend who always hid a pickle in her tree. That is the only time I ever heard of that tradition. I love reading about all the different traditions. Have a happy!!

    Like

  24. Michael says:

    Wonderful post, Kathryn! Much fun and very informative. Thank you for such a great job. 🙂

    1. While I knew the Christmas tree had origins in Germany I did not know Martin Luther is credited with first using and popularizing lighted candles on the tree. Who knee?
    2. Season and I put up our tree this past Saturday.
    3. Our favorite tree is the money tree but so far we have not found one of these elusive rascals. Our favorite Christmas tree is a Scotch pine. It has firm branches which hold up well for ornaments, and it has a nice full shape.

    Ana, another great Advent post which is made more special by being presented by one of your good friends. Thanks so much. 🙂

    Like

  25. Tracey Horton says:

    Kathryn kudos to you that was amazing. I read them all!!! Very interesting. I knew about Saturnalua because my son is going to be a history professor and he told me just last week. I forgot about how President Carter only lit the star for the Iranian hostages. Brought back memories of it on TV. Again, thanks for the work put into this!
    I put ny tree up Saturday and found out all the lights were dead! Ugh. Got a new one and finished it on Sunday!
    I used to have a real tree–tall and fat. But the kids started getting croup or bronchitis at Christmas — it took me until our 3rd Christmas to notice it was right after the tree was put up. Ugh!! So we have had an artificial for 20 years now.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      I’m glad reading this comments makes me go back and re-read things I missed the first time. I forgot about the star.

      I hate lights that burn out. Grr! Glad you got new ones.

      Well, fake trees are far cheaper and less work. 😀

      Like

  26. Ruth Staunton says:

    We’ve had just about every combination of tree growing up, but always green. I hate silver, white and oddly colored trees. Trees should be green, whether artificial or real, IMHO. I have an artificial tree now and all plastic ornaments, owing to my two cats, who have broken everything else.

    Like

  27. michellewillms2013 says:

    We should be putting our tree up this week. We have an artificial tree, with built-in lights; it’s so much easier to care for. Thank you for the lovely posts. I’ve enjoyed reading about trees, as well as about when others put up their trees and what kinds of trees they like. We are finally able to use some breakable ornaments since our children are past the ages of toying with the ornaments. Thank goodness!

    Like

  28. Merna says:

    We like to get a live Christmas tree. So a couple of years ago we bought a small Nobel Fir tree in a 10 gallon pot. We keep it outside and bring it in for the holidays. Currently it is still outside. We may bring it in this weekend. So far it has lasted for the past 3 years, and been repotted once. Probably needs a bigger pot now.
    The Christmas tree post is really interesting. I knew most of the stuff already, but it is great to have it all explained chronologically.
    Incidentally, in the Scandinavian countries, where hubby’s ancestry is from, once of the Christmas traditions is dancing simple ring dances around the tree. This sounds especially pagan to me…., but it is lot’s of fun.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Wow! The same tree for three years in a row…what an economical and environmentally friendly diea. 🙂

      I love Kathryn’s post. 😀 No wonder we call her Headmistress Blake.

      The ring dances…is that part of the candy eating celebration when getting rid of the tree, like Sassy Twatter mentioned? Or holding hands and going around it at Christmas time?

      Like

  29. pao says:

    Wow, such an educational post 😀 I love this series of Christmas tree posts! I’m going to have to come back and read through the comments. Mm, I was shocked about the toilet brush and Christmas tree link and the. That’s pretty neat. It’s also good to be reminded that in tougher times such celebrations can/have been used to lift morale.

    I think… my favourite Christmas tree is one that’s green, taller than me… and does not have too many ornaments on it. I think gold, light peach (or pearl) and just a little bit of red would go well on a Christmas tree 🙂

    Like

  30. bellabryce says:

    I ❤ headmistress blake.

    I choose question 1 . . . my favourite kind of tree is the one which has mountains of presents beneath it for me. I can be found beneath the tree in a cranberry coloured dress with ivory lace on the bottom and an UNtied sash, ivory tights and patent shoes – opening my present a week early 🙂 Yes, that's my favourite tree.

    Like

  31. catrouble says:

    Wow…Thank you Kathryn for sharing all of this history surrounding the Christmas Tree!!! I love learning about the history of traditions.

    I went on a blind date with a guy one time and he spent the evening informing me all about his ‘roots’ and how he was a direct descendant from the Mayflower…he really shouldn’t have bored me…I just had to tell him that he looked nothing like the paintings I had seen of that ship. *snicker* He was not amused and proceeded to ‘educate’ me on his antecedents. Finally informed him that I could see the resemblance to the puritans…he had inherited the same stick up his butt that they had! ROFLMBO!

    I can remember when the silver aluminum trees with the revolving colored lights were popular…my mom wanted to get one but my dad put his foot down. He always got a live tree and for years, we decorated them with the individual strings of tinsel. Then he decided he liked the ‘flocked’ trees so that’s what he started getting…never did like those.

    When I was younger, I worked as a floral designer (dried and silk flowers and terrariums) for a chain store called ‘Flower City’ so I always made all kinds of Christmas and other holiday arrangements. We also sold artificial Christmas trees and decorations, so I also got to decorate all the trees…it was fun to get creative and decorate each one in a totally different way. 😀

    Hugs and Blessings…
    Cat

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      lol…there’s the Cat attitude for you!

      I never understood the appeal of flocked trees.

      I love decorating trees, but I don’t do it in a certain way. I just like to fill empty spaces.

      Hugs and blessings back. Miss Barn Burner.

      Like

      • catrouble says:

        Awww thanks Terps. Whenever my mom wants any kind of arrangement for her house, I get a call. Lots of times she goes and buys what she wants in the arrangement along with a container and then I’m just expected to make them work. 😉

        Like

  32. Kelsey Summer says:

    I loved this post. Thanks so much for doing all the research. I’m answering all three questions.

    1. I loved reading about the Puritans. I live in Massachusetts. While I have some very recent Irish and Italian immigrant roots, I recently traced my one branch of my family back to the Mayflower (I have 5 ancestors who were on the Mayflower and several more who arrived shortly thereafter). My husband has traced his genealogy back to the first governors of the Massachusetts Bay Colony (Winthrop, Dudley, etc). I’ve read accounts of different ancestors being fined, whipped, and other punishments for not observing the Sabbath properly, I hadn’t come across anything about Christmas trees or Christmas itself. The more I read about these people the less I think I would have liked them. Very interesting!

    2. Haven’t yet done the Christmas tree. My two older kids are really involved with music and have so many concerts and rehearsals that there hasn’t been time. We’ll probably get to it on Saturday afternoon. My 7 year old has been hounding me non-stop about it so we can’t wait too much longer.

    3. My favorite kind of tree is a Douglas Fir, but we have to have a fake tree. The last time we had a real tree in the house I was absolutely miserable with allergies. I had a runny nose, cough, and headache the entire time it was up. It wasn’t until it was down that I realized what caused it. Sigh. At least my fake tree isn’t made of toilet bowl brushes.

    Like

      • Kelsey Summer says:

        I love Christmas music too, but these days Christmas songs aren’t allowed in schools. So the kids have holiday concerts with no holiday music. My daughter does sing with the Handel an Haydn society in Boston and they are singing actual holiday music, but most of the concerts (including tonight’s) don’t have any.

        Like

  33. PT Wyant says:

    As a Pagan I was aware of the origins of Christmas being in December — the Saturnalia, Winter Solstice, etc (and don’t forget Mithras!), and of the origins of the Christmas tree. I even knew about the Puritans. I didn’t know about the WWII part of the history, but I guess it makes sense.

    It seems that all of my favorite holiday memories revolve around Christmas trees, ranging from funny:
    Mom: “Be careful you don’t break the bulbs.” Not two minutes later she stepped on a box of them.

    to the bizarre:
    My maternal grandmother managed to get a tree with two tops, so she put a star on one and an angel on the other

    to the bittersweet:
    My paternal grandfather had prostate cancer and it had spread to his bones. At the last minute Mom decided to do a live tree instead of an artificial, as we’d always had live trees. The only thing we could find was a pine tree (long needles). I told her we’d hear about it when we got home. (We’d always had spruce trees.) Sure enough, he took one look at it and said, “A pine tree? I thought I’d taught you girls better than that.” (That was his last Christmas.)

    Anyhow…
    I would rather have a real tree but sadly have an artificial one which I’m probably not going to set up and decorate. I live with Ebenezra Scrooge so I end up doing all of the setting up, decorating, undecorating… I wouldn’t mind, but the bah-humbug attitude sort of sucks all of the fun out of it. I’m thinking of getting a small one to set up in my room, though.

    (Growing up we had one of those silver trees. I loved setting it up and decorating it. I wonder if I can find a small one of them… *wanders off to Amazon and eBay…*)

    Like

    • Kathryn R. Blake says:

      My hubby isn’t a Scrooge or Grinch, but he does leave most of the tree decorating to me. He’ll help me with the lights under protest. Instead, he puts up Christmas villages. We have a Victorian and an Alpine one. I have pictures on my web site if anyone is interested. They need to be updated (since he does a new village each year), but they will give you an idea of what he does.

      It’s on my personal page. Just scroll down to the Christmas photos and click on any of them to enlarge. http://www.kathrynrblake.com/home/personal.html

      I love the story you told about your grandfather. I can just picture him saying that, even though I never met him.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Like

  34. Terry says:

    Thank-you Kathryn for your articles about the history of Christmas trees. They were very interesting to read.

    I knew about the sliver aluminum trees with the 4 color revolving lights (my husband’s Mom had one when he was little) but I hadn’t heard of a feather tree or a brush tree before.

    As a child we always had a real tree that we put up the week before Christmas and took down right after New Years because the needles would be starting to drop by then. Usually we tried to get a short needle type tree like a Douglas fir. My parent did get an artificial tree when I was in college so they could keep it up longer.

    My husband and I put up our tree around Thanksgiving and take it down after New Years. It is always an artificial tree because he is a retired firefighter and he has seen to many tragic fires because of real trees and faulty lights. (So to everyone out there with real trees please be extra careful with them). We have a wide collection of ornaments that were from my parents and his and new ones we have collected over the years. Some of the ornaments are older than me! My daughters have taken some ornaments for their trees now that they have their own families.

    Like

    • Kathryn R. Blake says:

      Ah, ornament collections. Okay, I confess. We buy at least one dated Hallmark ornament a year. I try to get one that reflects something we did that year. Like for the year we purchased our waterbeds, I purchased a little ornament of a polar bear sleeping on a tray of ice cubes. And for the year we went to London, New York and Toronto, I purchased an ornament that plays “City Sidewalks – Silver Bells.” I made a small banner with the logo for each city as our reminder for where we went. Hey, as you get older the memory tends to slip so when we unpack the ornaments each year we say, “Remember when?” It’s kind of nostalgic.

      We’ve been collecting for nearly 36 years now and at my last valuation our ornament collection was worth over $2,500. Some of those older Hallmark ornaments are worth quite a bit of money, if they’re in pristine condition and you have the original box they came in. Not that we’re looking to sell any of them, but once we’re gone I’m sure our nephew will be out on eBay hawking them to any interested buyers. I mean, he doesn’t care when we bought our waterbeds, though he does enjoy the tree every year.

      Like

  35. Kathryn R. Blake says:

    I love all the comments that have been listed so far, and wanted to reply to a few, but wasn’t sure how to do it. Clearly it would have helped if I’d been able to put captions under at least some of the photos. The goosefeather tree is the small table top tree standing before the mirror. I’d never heard of goosefeather trees before I researched this article, nor was I aware that the Christmas tree wasn’t popular in American prior to the 19th Century. Nor did I realize Christmas was made illegal in both America and Britain by the Puritans. And toilet brush Christmas trees just seem wrong to me. Really wrong. On so many levels.

    We’re intending to put up our skinny tree this year (easier to put up and take down) since we still have a lot to do after our two month holiday overseas. This tree definitely won’t see Labor day and will be lucky to see Candlemas (Feb. 2) next year. I suspect it will come down the weekend following Epiphany (Jan. 6).

    My favorite kind of tree is one that looks like a children’s toy land with toy-like ornaments that twinkle, move and play music. I make at least one new ornament each year that has the cover of the book I released that year. Still have to make the one for this year. Unlike many authors here, I’m not prolific enough to have five or six releases a year, which is probably a good thing or I’d be spending all my time making ornaments and would have nothing but book covers on our tree – (cough, I won’t name you, but you know who you are).

    These articles truly were a labor of love, and I’m glad to see some of you have enjoyed them and learned as much as I did when I put them together. Thanks for visiting, and I’ll pop in later to chat more.

    Like

  36. Thianna D says:

    Since I don’t decorate for holidays, I’m going with #1. Too bad they haven’t invented smellavision yet, Ana, you could have the scents of pine, cinnamon and other holiday goodies floating to us as we read.

    The part about the puritans made me both amused and roll my eyes. It is always so fascinating to me how the US was founded by people who came here to get away from religious persecution only to persecute others who didn’t believe the same thing they do.

    Oh, wait…that still happens today! (Okay, only snide comment of the day…so far 😉 )

    But when I read the following paragraph, I started to laugh because…yeah, the puritans would have a total cow at this advent calendar:

    “New England officials also frowned upon gift giving and reveling. Evergreen decoration, associated with pagan custom, was expressly forbidden in Puritan meeting houses and discouraged in the New England home. Merrymakers were prosecuted for disturbing the peace. The Puritan view was tenacious…”

    hee hee, Yeah, our reveling would give them a heart attack, not to mention all the gifts that are being given. Can you imagine the look on one of the leaders faces?

    So they would probably think we should be stolid, unbending, frowny (yeah, that’s a word. Yes, it is! Yes, it is! *pout*)…but I think I prefer being a brat…No! Wait! I mean I prefer to make merry during this and every time of the year. Yeah, that’s what I meant.

    *Sits down, crosses ankles and folds hands lightly in lap like a good girl. Never mind the evil twinkle in the eye. Ignore the twinkle.*

    Like

  37. Emily Tilton says:

    Wow, Kathryn! What a wonderful piece of writing! One unsolicited comment: Charles Dickens has a wonderful little essay about a Victorian Christmas tree, with little presents actually hanging from the branches. . .

    We’ll be cutting ours at a farm on Saturday and decorating that night!

    Like

  38. Janey says:

    I love Christmas and especially the tree in the living room. We do have a fake tree but I would much prefer a real one, they are just so expensive! I like to have red and gold decorations on the tree and buy one or two each year to add to the collection although I do also have some from when I was a child.
    I look forward to putting the tree up, turn the tree lights on and the room light off and snuggle on the sofa just looking at it. However, by the 3rd or 4th January I’m looking forward to taking it down again and getting my room clear.
    When I was a child I was always allowed to put the star on the top as I was the tallest child and also have a Christmas time birthday. Now I let my kids decorate the tree and wait until they go to bed to do it right. We have a tradition of having Christmas tree presents which are usually small funny pressies we open before going to bed on Christmas Eve. Sometimes my Christmas tree present is given to me by H when we are alone in our bedroom so no one else sees it!
    Oh Kathryn, thank you so much for your posts, such a lot of information and great pictures too.
    Janey

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      I agree. Real trees are far more expensive…wow. I remember when $50 was a lot for a tree, and now you can’t get anything for less.

      I love opening a present on the night before…those presents always seemed extra special.

      Like

  39. Corinne Alexander says:

    I love history and I was surprised to learn a few new things here. Kathryn, thank you for sharing your knowledge. It was a real treat! I know there are sects of the Christian religion who do not celebrate Christmas, Easter, etc.. to this day. It’s interesting to track it back to the Puritans & not surprising.

    I love the Christmas tree and you will never find it’s presence banned in my house! We have yet to put ours up. I need to give the house a thorough cleaning first & get the girls on board to help. I love putting on music and making some goodies first. I’m so glad I have the girls because the boys of course could care less.

    I love full trees with lots of different sized branches. I love the smell of real trees, but allergies won’t allow for us to put them up in our house. We had the perfect artificial tree for years. I loved the way it looked so much. It bit the dust last year and we were gifted a new tree. It’s not perfect in the way the other was, but it’s nice to have. Hopefully we will put it up this next weekend!

    Like

  40. Kathryn R. Blake says:

    LOL, Thianna. Yes, I’m sure the Puritans would put on their “frowny” faces if they saw how we reveled today. They wouldn’t at all approve of what we put in egg nog since most of us include “demon rum,” and our pagan trees would give them heart attacks.

    Emily, you are right. I even have a picture (portrait) of Dickens with a small fir tree, and read an article about his thoughts behind “A Christmas Carol.” I didn’t mean to leave him or his wonderful little essay out, so if I decide to make these articles and pictures a holiday offering, I’ll have to make sure I add him in. And PT Wyant mentioned “Mithras.” I didn’t come across that observation in my research, so I’ll have to look it up, too.

    There’s a lot of history in those ornament laden branches, and I barely scratched the surface of it, though I tried to cover a lot of area as my fingers scrambled about the Internet.

    Like

  41. George K says:

    Kathryn, I am very impressed! I read all 4 posts and the amount of work you did is awesome!

    I was most fascinated at how the puritans found the Christmas tree, and Christmas celebration so objectionable. Also was surprised that the tree was not common in the USA until after the mid 1800’s. When you grow up with such tradition’s some how the idea they were once new is hard to grasp.

    I had not heard of a goose feather tree, but when I was little I do remember the rotating silver tree with the colored lights. As a kid my favorite ornament was unquestionably the bubble lights!

    When we were first married we would wait until Dec 23 or 24 and then go to the Christmas tree lots to pick out a real tree. In a kind of tree anthropomorphic way we always like to think we rescued some sad tree 🙂

    After the kids arrived we went with an artificial tree and would put it up after Thanksgiving and then down soon after Jan 1. Nina and the kids always decorated the tree with lights and ornaments the kids made and other special things. However, after Christmas I was always granted the honor of taking it down!

    Now that the kids are gone we are back to a real tree, and our anthropomorphic ways!

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Kathryn works HARD.

      I think it’s neat to see how much things have changed. It makes me wonder what will change next. Hopefully Giving Tuesday will catch on. 🙂

      Bubble lights are sure pretty.

      Aw, that is cute about rescuing a tree.

      Like

  42. quiet sara says:

    1. I had no idea Christmas trees were banned at one point.

    2. We usually put our tree up two weeks before Christmas and take
    it down two weeks after Christmas.

    3. I like a nice full tree with traditional type ornaments. I do not
    put things on my tree that have dates such as Christmas 2001.
    I don’t like that. When I was a kid we had a mouse themed tree
    every year.

    Thank you so much for the lovely information on Christmas trees.
    I learned a lot and it was a joy to read.

    Like

  43. leslie says:

    Every year I really want a real Christmas tree. Problem is we have wood heat that we use the majority of the time instead of our central heat and air. So I am stuck with a fake tree every year. Mainly because I want it up the weekend after Thanksgiving. Wood heat will dry out a real tree.

    Like

  44. DelFonte says:

    As a kid we had a real Christmas tree, within a few days of arriving in our house it would undergo a sudden autumnal affliction and shed its needles. My mum grew tired of vacuuming, so my parents got an artificial one. It’s in 30th (ish) year. The big problem was the legs it stood on broke. My dad improvised and used the base of the garden sunshade (not in use during the winter) to stand the tree in. Being metal it weighed a ton and had to be wheeled through the house on a skateboard.
    We have an artificial one too – a bushy fir one. The girls will decorate it – and then when they go to bed, I do some re-arranging. The only thing missing this year for the first time in 17 years will be my cat, who used to attack the baubles.
    No tinsel. Lots of home made decorations. It will be making its appearance this weekend.
    Great piece on Christmas trees.
    Thank you

    Like

    • Kathryn R. Blake says:

      I laughed at this. We have a nice rotating stand that occasionally squeaks in protest, but I can’t imagine having to drag in a huge metal container every year. The cardboard spine for our tree, on which the dark-brown plastic tree-like trunk sections slid onto, broke one year, so we strung it to the wall with thin ropes of gold garland. Poor thing. Looked like we were holding it hostage. Anyway, hubby finally improvised with a broom handle that has worked really well (knock wood).

      I know you’ll miss your kitty. I’ve heard stories about how cats will attempt sneak attack leaps on unsuspecting trees. It’s the predator in them. I still miss my doggies, and the last one passed on Christmas Eve 2008, so I know exactly how you feel.

      Happy Holidays.

      Like

  45. Sherilyn says:

    Kathryn, thank you so much for your articles! Your research is amazing; you are clearly as fanatical about it as I am. I did not realize the Christmas trees the Brits hauled into the shelters were made of goose feathers! I did know they took Christmas decorations down to keep their spirits up. What a courageous, tenacious bunch they were (are).

    I don’t know when our tree will go up. As I type this, we are waiting for a major winter storm to hit and the Christmas tree and decorations are in a garage about a block away from the house. I want it up for my granddaughter’s second birthday on the 13th, though.

    We have a fake tree now, but I grew up with real trees and made sure my kids did as well. Once, when my son was about two, our tree actually sprouted roots. I cried when the landlord wouldn’t let me plant it in the common area! That was not the norm, however! My poor dying RAV4 still has pine needles from 15 years of hauling live trees embedded in the carpet! We always put them up late because a) we could get them really cheap if we waited until after the 20th, and b) they had to stay up until after my kids’ birthdays on the 10th and 13th of January. Usually, they were pretty sad by then! My son gets real trees for his kids; my persnickety daughter has a fancy white fake tree that she decorates with blue ornaments only. I take pride in making a red or green or pink ornament for her every year. It reminds her who her mother is. Fortunately, she does have the family sense of humor!

    We have a tradition of the “annual late Christmas ornament.” When I did a lot of counted-thread needlework (NOT cross stitch; I hate making X’s), I usually wouldn’t have time to start something for us until Christmas eve. The tree couldn’t come down until I finished it. When I started beading, the ornaments were ready sooner, but still after Christmas. Now that I do a lot of polymer claying, the ornaments are early, but there are lots more of them. My family can’t win, but I have fun! I also have collected my share of spankings for ornaments over the years, as my hubby is not long on patience and wants me working on late ornaments every time my hands are free!

    Love everyone’s memories about Christmas and Christmas trees! Thank you so much!

    Like

  46. October Woman says:

    What an interesting article! I didn’t realize Christmas trees dated back so far!

    I’m being a scrooge this year and not putting up the tree. We have a nice tree with built in lights, and it’s already decorated – in January I just drape a sheet over it and put the entire tree in a closet in our storage room, with all the decorations still on it, minus a few that fall off on the way from the living room to the closet! I have to rearrange the living room to make room for the tree, which means moving some furniture to another room temporarily. But this year…my dryer died, and was moved into the storage room, and then the (used) replacement dryer didn’t work, and was moved into the storage room, and I can’t get to the closet without moving them out of the way. My younger daughter lives with her boyfriend now and is putting up her own tree, and my other daughter doesn’t care enough about having a tree to help me with it. So I’m just not gonna bother with it this year.

    Like

  47. Leah says:

    I would happily wait on the tree but my daughter insists we put it up the Sunday after Thanksgiving. My husband and kids pick it out and decorate while I watch next to the fire. We also play my Willie Nelson Christmas album, which, even I admit, is BAD, but it’s tradition.

    Like

  48. TL says:

    Banning Christmas trees… that just makes me sad. I love the tradition of drinking hot chocolate, and decorating the tree. Hopefully it won’t be 70 degrees here this weekend so we can do that.

    I always had real trees growing up. They were lots of fun, but I got to be the “tree waterer” and that job sucked. Pine needles to the knee caps. Never fun. Bucko always grew up with an artificial tree and refused to have a real one, so that is what we have now. I tried to tell him it wasn’t the same. It doesn’t smell like Christmas. The smart ass bought me a car air freshener. Hmph!

    My favorite Christmas tree that we have though is an official Charlie Brown Christmas Tree that my brother in law bought us one year with a Linus blanket. I use the blanket year round, but I love setting out my Charlie Brown tree and I get so many compliments on it. 🙂

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      lol…oh I liked watering the tree. I felt important. 😀

      LOL about the air freshener. I’m sure you’ll find an appropriate way to get revenge!

      Poor Charlie Brown. I hope someday he gets a lovely big tree.

      Like

  49. Penelope says:

    Thanks for a really interesting post, Kathryn! So much history wrapped up in something we tend to take for granted as an intrinsic part of Christmas.

    It’s funny how trends come and go, isn’t it? I don’t think I will ever be fond of ultra-fake trees – just too brash for my taste – though having said that 🙂 we do have an artificial tree here. It’s lovely and very handsome, and quite realistically green, but it just isn’t as magical as the real trees my mum used to get each year. Oh, how I love the scent of a Christmas tree.

    Our tree is still sitting patiently in its box in the cupboard, but (in answer to question #2) I hope to put it up this weekend: I love spending a couple of hours doing that with my boyfriend… all snug and cosy in our little nest, safe from the winter chill outside… getting gently merry as we hang baubles and bows and wrestle with inexplicably tangled fairy lights. Christmas music playing on the TV… 😀

    Oh, and I have a super-cute miniature tree that I sit on my writing desk! It has its own set of mini-baubles and lights and everything. And now I can’t wait to put it up!

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Real trees are lovely. Wish I could have one…sigh…but on the flipside I get to have my tree up for as long as I want. Until it gets dusty. 😀

      I’m thinking you’ll be decorating the tree with a very sore bottom, dear. Mrs. Claus knows.

      Like

  50. constance Masters says:

    What a tree of knowledge about Christmas trees Kathryn! Pardon the pun LOL. I think the most interesting fact to me was the silver tinsel trees with the revolving lights beneath it. I remember those tinsel trees but I think the revolving lights must have gotten lost in transit. It would make more sense if the trees changed colours. They were a bit on the ugly side just plain.:)

    Like

  51. Regan Nicole says:

    2. When did or will you put up your Christmas tree this year, if you have one?

    I haven’t put my tree up yet!! I was planning to on Thanksgiving but…I ate and then had some drinks….
    I will for sure put it up this week since I have two days off!

    Like

  52. Marybeth says:

    Wow, Kathryn, what an amazing amount of information! Some I knew (puritans) but I didn’t know how artificial trees came about!

    When I was a kid, my dad and my five brothers and me would pile in the station wagon and drive to a friends woods and spend the next few hours trying to find the perfect tree. Mom would stay home and have a huge pot of hot chocolate (homemade!) and fresh sugar cookies ready for us. We didn’t decorate until after the 19th because that was my brother’s birthday and, God Forbid, no Christmas until after. Wonderful memories. We went to midnight mass on Christmas Eve and then, when we got home, we would get in line according to age and I got to put baby Jesus in the manger as I am the youngest. lol

    When we got married, we started decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving. We lived in the South then and we found a Christmas tree farm so that we could cut down our own. We moved back to NY in 2001 and again, found a Christmas tree farm and we cut our own on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Everyone goes and helps pick out the tree. It takes less time than you think! Then we put it in the stand and let the boughs fall and decorate Sunday night. My husband and I put the 1st Christmas tree ornament on. It is the first one we bought. And then we kiss. Then the oldest puts her birth ornament on, the second and then the third. Then, they put on the ornaments they have made on the tree. I love having that tree! It stays up til after New Year’s. Cutting the tree yourself makes sure it is fresh and doesn’t dry out.

    Well, this is long enough! Again, Ana, thanks for doing this. I love reading all the comments. I sit here and giggle the whole time.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      The toilet brush thing cracks me up every time I read it. 🙂

      Those sound like wonderful Christmas memories. Your tradition with your husband is so sweet and loving. Aww.

      We all giggle…like lunatics, but we giggle. 😉

      Like

  53. Katy Beth McKee says:

    My kids put up our tree this weekend. It’s fake so they only had to drag it out of the attic. Other than a few times I’ve had fake trees my whole life.

    I remember taking pieces off the tree and pulling them over those big bulbs and watch them melt. Good thing I didn’t burn something down.

    The funniest was the year my mom decided it was the last year for our fake tree. She said she was now vacuuming up as many needles as if it was real. So when Christmas was over it went to the trash. It had been my tree for the first 15 years of my life.

    Like

  54. Erzabet Bishop says:

    This was an awesome post. I had to save it until the end of the day so I could spend some time with it.

    I love the history of customs for holidays and this article really brought those out. 🙂 Also, the types of trees were helpful. I had never really compared them like that.

    I put up my tree in a frenzy in the beginning of November. My last four days of vacation from work and I squished it into my deadline schedule. The big tree in the front room, three little trees in the living room with the evergreen on the mantle.

    We always had an artificial tree growing up and I have continued the tradition. White lights, handmade stitched ornaments, beadwork…and a few Hallmark ornaments make up our tree. It is prelit-thank goodness or it might have not gotten put up this year. 🙂

    Thanks for the wonderful article. It was wonderful-the history behind the holiday is fascinating.

    Like

  55. Erzabet Bishop says:

    Wow. lol. I sure like the word wonderful. Someone needs coffee…and eggnog. lol. Deck the Halls with cups of egg nog…fa la la la, la la la…give me caffeine so I can write…fa la la la la la la…don we now our Christmas sweaters…fa la la, la la la la la la…maybe I can make this rhyme a little better…fa la la la la la la. 🙂 Happy Advent everyone!!!

    Like

  56. Renee Rose says:

    Our tree is not up yet. The timing of putting the tree is entirely dependent on when Daddy pulls the boxes out of the shed, and since I”m a submissive, I don’t nag, I just leave it up to him. 🙂

    Like

  57. angieia says:

    I enjoyed learning about Christmas trees. I am hopefully going to put my Christmas tree up this next weekend. We have a fiber optics tree that is neat since the tips of the branches change colors.

    Like

  58. Patty Devlin says:

    My favorite kind of tree is a real one. it doesn’t matter if it is scraggly, bare, short, fat- whatever! It is fun to go to the woods and find it.

    We however haven’t had a real tree in years because of allergies. And we always put our tree up the day after thanksgiving. After black Friday shopping of course. So ours is up and done.

    We did have a minor issue and came home from Christmas shopping today to fine our tree down- as in totally laying on the floor down!

    Like

  59. M. Palmer says:

    I learned a lot from Sue’s entry… the poor Christmas tree has been through a lot!! We are firm believers in live trees… and because of that, we don’t put our tree up until mid December. This year should be particularly adventurous… we have a very busy 6 month old puppy!

    Like

  60. Adaline Raine says:

    My favorite Christmas tree is the type you put up with those you love. Family, friends, pets, whomever is special to you. This is the part which make the tree magical. The color of lights, or how much tinsel or even what type of ornaments are not important because as long as you put thought and effort into it and surround it with love it will look majestic. I may have rose-colored glasses on but one year we did not have enough money to buy a tree and some very special elves at my job chipped in and bought one. It was not 6 feet tall or have sparkling decorations but it was the most beautiful because of the spot it came from. 🙂

    So glad to be participating in Ana’s calendar. I love the questions!

    Like

  61. 00sarah says:

    I wanted to wait until the 15 to put up our trees. But the kids won. The bugged and pestered until I finally gave in. We put up one today. I’m trying to put off the other one for a while. Don’t worry. They’re coming down on Dec. 26!

    Like

  62. Blondie says:

    Being that it is only pm where I live, I should still have a little over three hours to comment….
    What I learned, that I never knew before was that Our modern Christmas tree evolved from the early traditions of the ancient Celts, who decorated their temples with evergreen boughs and holly and mistletoe as a symbol of everlasting life.Our modern Christmas tree evolved from these early traditions . Evergreen – Always alive.
    We have not put up our tree yet. This is unusual, since in the past we got our tree on the way home from Thanksgiving with my folks. We love to pick the perfect tree and cut it down to bring home. We will be doing that this weekend instead.
    What is my favorite Christmas tree? It depends on what kind of ornaments we are using. The ones that are all spaced out can hold all of the kids home made ornaments. But the big fluffy one looks prettier.
    My very favorite tree is the one in my parents from yard. We decorate that beautiful Christmas tree every year. Now the tree is too tall for us to put a star on top.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Only PM? Oh, do you mean you’re several hours later? Ah, but this is Ana Standard Time. I shall have to amend that for next year. All time is in Ana Standard Time. 😀

      I hope your tree event this year will be a good one and that the love will give you peace and strength.

      You must have good weather if you can decorate an outside tree. Neat!

      Like

  63. Kathryn R. Blake says:

    I really appreciate everyone dropping by and leaving a comment. Patty, that’s terrible about your tree. Did it just give up the ghost or was there a pet or child involved with it suddenly going prone? We had a tree collapse on us once, but I think our doggies helped it along. And I’d like to extend a special thanks to those who read all four posts and to Ana for inviting me to do a “surprise day.” This was fun.

    Like

  64. Kitty says:

    we have r tree but we don’t have it up yet. still trying to clear a spot 4 it.
    me i like a tree i can hang lots of decorations on. like a lot of lights to.and tinsil the old kind really thin stuff but i can’t seem to find it anymore.

    Like

  65. Leona Bowman says:

    I did not know that everygreen kept sprits away.. good to know.
    I still have not put my tree up. hope tomorrow maybe.
    I love huge and thick sparkling white tree.. I love my tree. haha.

    Like

  66. thelongbean says:

    I do not have a tree. They are not easy to obtain in Greece and the cost is high. The main form of decoration is setting up lights outdoors and I do put up a star that can be seen from some areas in the upper town.

    Like

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