Learn about the history of the Christmas Tree and how and why Artificial Christmas Trees were first created.
The Christmas Tree is one of the prominent symbols throughout history that marks the time that Christmas season has arrived. Families for centuries have wandered out into the woods in the dead cold of winter to find that perfect Fir or Spruce to brighten up their living room for the holiday season. In modern times Christmas Tree lots pop up in cities and towns across America and Europe signaling the start of the season. Families have also adopted buying Artificial Christmas Trees that can last them years and years instead of cutting down a live tree.
For most countries, December 25th, Christmas Day marks the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Celebrating Christmas came into prominence slowly after Charlemagne was crowned king on Christmas Day in 800 A.D. Christmas in the middle ages saw the birth of the 12 days of Christmas and the origin of public festivals where people incorporated ivy, holy, and gift giving as part of the rituals of Christmas.
While we can date the celebration of Christmas as early as 800 A.D. the prominence of the Christmas tree being used as a symbol of the holiday isn’t found until the 12th century when people in Europe hung Fir Trees upside down marking the holiday season. In the early 16th century Martin Luther is credited with decorating the first Christmas tree with candles. It is said he did this to show his children how stars twinkled through the dark night. In the 16th Century Germany was the first country to open Christmas markets where gifts, wreaths, trees and food were sold to the masses.
America dates the arrival of the Christmas Tree to German settlements in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. In America settlers used Douglas Firs and Virginia Pines to decorate their living rooms. In 1847 August Imgard in Wooster Ohio decorated a blue spruce with candy canes and every year a tree is erected above his grave honoring his vision for using candy canes as tree decorations.
By the 1800’s Germany’s trees began to suffer as the mass destruction of Christmas trees was well on its way. It was fashionable to cut of the top of a large Fir tree and leave the remainder of the tree to die. It was because of this mass destruction that the introduction of the first goose feather artificial tree was introduced in Germany in the 1880’s. By the early 1900’s the Addis Brush Company in America realized that there must be a better way to build an Artificial Christmas Tree. Addis was known for making one of the first toilet bowl brushes. They used the same methods for constructing an artificial Christmas tree, which had huge advantages over the goose feather trees and they could hold more weight and subsequently more ornaments.
In the 1960’s silver aluminum pine trees were vogue and brought the Artificial Christmas tree into prominence in America. The manufactures installed a revolving light under the tree that was able to change colors and create different reflections off of the tree. These trees led to the mass production of all types of artificial pine and spruce trees in the late 1900’s and 2000’s. These artificial trees have gained in popularity as families can erect a 10 foot fake tree in their living room without a single dropped needle on the floor. And if they miss the real smell of the tree, manufacturers sell pine scented sprays to add to the ambiance.
Today families enjoy the choice of buying Artificial Christmas Trees in all shapes, colors and sizes. You can buy white, pink, green, flocked or iced Christmas trees ranging in size from 12 inches up to 40 feet. and they come pre-wired with an assortment of different types of lights to brighten your holidays.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
About Doug Hopeman