Article by Sappken
In the midst of the holiday season with Christmas right around the corner everyone is hustling and bustling to get their Christmas shopping done and their homes decorated for the holidays so they can enjoy their family Christmas traditions. Offices, shops, and churches are also being decorated for the Christmas Season. One of the most common and beloved Christmas traditions is putting up a Christmas tree. Christmas Trees are also a common Christmas decoration in shops, public places and churches.
The origin of the Christmas Tree
According to tradition, the Christmas Tree originated in Riga, Latvia. The Christmas legend says that a monk named Boniface used its triangular shape of an evergreen tree to to explain the trinity – that God was Father, Son and Holy Spirit. From that point on, the Germans called the tree “God’s Tree.”
In Western Germany in the 16th century, evergreen trees were used in plays to represent the tree in the garden Eden with Adam and Eve and they were decorated with apples. (Actually an apple is never mentioned in the Bible as the forbidden fruit from the Graden of Eden, but that’s the tradition.) Anyway, they were called “Paradeisbaum” (Paradise Trees) and were soon brought into homes and decorated with apples and other fruits to celebrate Christmas. Later, dates, pretzels, and nuts were also used to decorate the tree.
To add meaning to the tradition, the evergreen tree was also recognized as a symbol of eternal life because its leaves were always green. Soon candles were also added to the evergreen branches to represent the stars that would have shown in the sky the night of the Savior’s birth and to symbolize that Jesus was the light of the world.
Besides apples and other fruits, tradition says they also added Communion wafers wrapped in gold and silver foil that represented the fact that Jesus came into the world to save it, that like the communion bread, his body would be broken to save us from sin. Later the wafers were replaced with cookies cut into the shapes of bells, angels, stars, and hearts. All of these add to the tradition of the Christmas Tree and how it is used in Christmas Celebrations around the world today.
Trimming the Tree
Many families have their own unique ways of setting up the Christmas tree for the holidays. Putting up and trimming the tree is a great way to bring the family together and enjoy the Christmas holidays. There are many excellent ideas for decorating your Christmas tree to consider too. Of course, all Christmas Trees look great with lights on them.
When setting up your Christmas Tree, the very first decision that has to be made is to decide exactly what kind of Christmas tree you want to decorate. There a several kinds of trees that are traditional holiday favorites. Some Christmas trees are considered regional favorites, but you can usually get any kind of tree you want to have. Fir trees are always a great choice and the three that stand out are the Noble, Douglas, and Frasier Firs. The boughs of these Firs are usually very full and they smell terrific. The Blue Spruce is an excellent choice for the same reasons as the Firs. Some pines are also very good for Christmas decorating too.
When decorating your Christmas tree you should consider using both garlands and tinsel in order to add color and to fill in the open areas of your Christmas tree, which will give your Christmas tree a fuller appearance. The good thing about garland and tinsel is that it is relatively inexpensive, which is not something you generally hear about anything over the holidays. Another great thing about garland and tinsel is that it comes in a wide variety of colors, which means that you should be able to find your favorite Christmas colors easily. One drawback to garland and tinsel is that it is flammable so be careful when hanging these items on your tree.
Most people who have been brought up in families where the celebration of Christmas and trimming the tree in particular is a very important tradition tend to have many heirloom decorations that they place on the trees. It is always a great idea to decorate the Christmas tree with ornaments that are important to the family and have sentimental value. Just be careful with these types of tree decorations because they tend to be very fragile. Many of the older Christmas Ornaments are made of glass, or some kind of ceramics, although they may be made of other materials as well.
If you need to go shopping for Christmas ornaments there are a couple of things to consider before you make your purchases. The first thing to think about is how safe they will be, and that question is usually answered by whether or not you have children. Children like to play with ornaments particularly if they are of favorite carton characters or something similar, and in this case plastic ornaments are a safe bet. Glass ornaments are of course very beautiful and come in many shapes, colors, and sizes and if your children are older or if you do not have any are safe and a great investment.
In addition to store bought ornaments, and heirloom ornaments, hand-made ornaments are also great and can be very meaningful. Check out a craft site for great ideas for hand made ornaments.
About the Author
Hopefully, this has given you a few ideas for planning the food and snacks for your Christmas Party. After all, one of h best parts of any Christmas Celebration is the food! If you need activity ideas for your Christmas Party, check out Creative Christmas Ideas
Ken has been actively involved in youth ministry for almost 20 years and has been writing youth materials since 1988. He has written for numerous Youth weekends and summer camps around the world. He also does training workshops for youth leaders and teachers in Asia and is recommended by others for his creativity and for his passion in mentoring youth.
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