The holiday season is often a time for people to turn to their storage and unbox an assortment of exciting, colourful and often unique accessories to help with the celebrations. Home décor can be a huge deal for many at this time of year – and there’s no piece of decoration quite as traditional as Christmas trees.
It can be easy to look at the baubles, colour schemes and styles of these accessories and be reminded of the festivities, but a question that more and more people find themselves asking as the knowledge of Christmas is replaced by presents and partying, is where this tradition actually comes from.
The origin of the Christmas tree
Years ago, our ancestors would have relied on certain times of the year to keep them well fed and nourished. Spring time was the most popular season as a result, mainly due to the fact that it brought with it a new tide of fruit, vegetables and crops ready to be harvested. Decorations were hard to come by back then, so many people took to enhancing the look of their home by placing fir tree branches in an effort to breathe a little more life into their living spaces.
These branches served two purposes; the first being to make the home look and smell fresher, whilst encouraging those present to look forward to the Spring (a season that takes place immediately after Winter). And this was the earliest use of the fir trees that we have all come to know and love within our homes.
What happened next?
With the birth of Christianity over 2,000 years ago, many Pagans found their traditions being replaced, but there were those that tried hard to maintain the practices that they had grown up with. And over time, many Christians began to welcome these ancient traditions – if only to tolerate and express their respect of other cultures and beliefs.
As the centuries passed by and home sizes began to increase, many people found themselves desiring larger solutions to help to bring in the Spring. And this led to folk seeking larger branches, which soon evolved into full trees being uprooted and used within homes. As time went by, even these trees weren’t enough, so people took to decorating them.
This is where society currently stands and we seem to have met a comfortable balance where a decorated tree can bring happiness and joy to a home, whilst giving a gentle nod to our historical traditions and ancient practices. There’s no feeling quite like the one that comes with unboxing a tree (if it’s synthetic), erecting it proudly within a room and then decorating it with the family for everyone to enjoy.