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OTHER ITA SITES:
Christmas Tree Traditions
Modern day Christmas trees originated in the 19th century Britain by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. During the Victorian era trees were the focus of celebration and were decorated with toys, cakes, bonbons and other sweet treats.
Young women in the households made decorations from paper, silk, feathers, and lace to hold the treats.
After 1865 glass trinkets, wire ornaments were began in Germany.
By the 1880's Woolworth's sold commercially produced Xmas tree ornaments.
In the early years real silver tinsel was used for Christmas decorating and the modern version was began in the 1950's. Spiders are sometime given credit for building webs in trees which sparkled in the morning dew and sunlight which inspired the invention of tinsel.
In America fake trees gained popularity early in the twentieth century but not in Britain until the 1950's. While plastic and aluminum were the trees of choice in America, the UK had a penchant for feather trees in the 1920's which quickly disappeared by the 1930's.
Originally in Victorian times candles were used for lights on trees. The invention of electricity brought fairy lights to America in the mid 1880's. By the 1920's candles were rarely used.
President Franklin Pierce brought the first Christmas tree in the White House during the mid-1850's. President Calvin Coolidge started the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the White House lawn in 1923.
The fairy at the top of the Christmas tree was originally a little figure of the baby Jesus.
Christmas tree farms originated during the depression. Nurserymen found that they could make a profit by cutting evergreens for Christmas trees when they couldn't sell them for landscaping.
But all Christmas trees were not started as a symbol of Christianity.
The Egyptians, Romans, Druids, and other cultures regarded the tree as a symbol of life. They brought green branches into their homes on the Winter Solstice as a symbol of life's triumph over death.
Druid priests decorated oak trees with golden apples for their winter solstice agricultural festivities.
In the middle ages, evergreen trees were decorated with red apples on December 24 as the symbol of the Feast of Adam and Eve.
Even today, Christmas trees are unique to individual countries.
In Brazil where Christmas occurs during the summer, pine trees are decorated with little pieces of cotton to represent falling snow.
In Greenland Christmas trees have to be imported because no trees live this far north.
In South Africa, Christmas is a summer holiday. Instead of trees, windows are often draped with sparkling cotton, wool, and tinsel.
And in the Ukraine a Christmas tree is not complete unless it has a spider and web for good luck.
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