Christmas Trivia - Christmas Tree
What is the origin of the Christmas Tree?
The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands to symbolize eternal life was an ancient custom in many places. Moreover, tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and druids, 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.
Despite these likely ancient roots, the first evidence of decorated trees associated with Christmas come from the guildhalls of north Germany, where trees were decorated with sweets to be enjoyed by the apprentices and children. 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.
After the Protestant Reformation, Christmas trees were seen in the houses of upper-class Protestant families as a counterpart to the Catholic Christmas cribs.
In the 19th century, the Christmas Tree custom rapidly spread among the nobility of many different countries, including Austria, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, and Russia.
Christmas trees were introduced in the United States by german settlers.