The Evergreen Tree, a Common Christmas Tradition


Photo credit: Kai Farley © 2013

Trees for sale can be found at Fry’s Marketplace, Home Depot, Lowes, and local farms. The price of your tree depends on the type and height.

Kai Farley, Columnist

Going and picking out the biggest and greenest tree, tying it on top of your car, driving home, and shoving as many ornaments as possible onto each branch. How did all of this start? The evergreen tree was important in many cultures before Christianity came about; with harsh climates and survival instincts intact, ancient civilizations had a special respect for anything that could survive all year.

However, the Christmas tree began with the Protestants in 16th century Europe. Evergreen wreaths and trees symbolized eternal life and protected the homes from evil spirits. When the idea of Christmas trees spread to the United States, we differed from Europeans in that our trees were usually floor to ceiling, while the Europeans’ trees were around four feet high.

Decorating it with colorful ornaments, ribbons, and lights compliments the huge star or angel topper. The presents are located underneath it all, waiting for the big day. Initially, the tree was decorated with sweets and candles and later evolved into tinsels, lights, and ornaments. Flocking paints to create the look of snow can give your home a more wintery feel.

The Christmas tree welcomes holiday excitement. Decorating as a family, putting the first present under the branches, and seeing the little lights throughout your home are all memories that can only come from this tradition.