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Free images of Decorated Christmas Trees 

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What is the origin and meaning of the Christmas Tree?

Many fanciful stories about the origin of the Christmas tree can be found on the internet.  Which is correct? Dr. Richard P. Bucher writes for Our Redeemer Lutheran Church and did much research on the topic.  

According to Dr. Bucher, scholarly consensus states that the Christmas tree originated in Germany.  The earliest record of an evergreen tree being used and decorated for Christmas is 1521.  A resident of Strasbourg writes in 1605 that "At Christmas they set up fir trees in the parlors at Strasborg and hang thereon roses cut of many-coloured paper, apples, wafers, gold-foil, sweets..."  

It is assumed that the popularity of the Christmas tree grew and trees were first used in America around 1700 when the first wave of German immigration settled in western Pennsylvania.  Dr. Bucher found that the first Christmas tree in England was in 1841 when the husband of Queen Victoria set up a tree in Windsor Castle.

According to Dr. Bucher, evergreens have since the ancient times been a symbol of rebirth.  Greenery was brought into homes to symbolize life.  Living trees were brought in during the old German feast of Yule beginning in November.  No evidence can be found, however, that our Christmas tree was a descendent of the Yule tree.

Dr. Bucher's research brings evidence that our Christmas tree was more likely a descendent of the "Paradise" tree that was used in plays performed in churches.  The Paradise play depicts the story of Adam and Eve.  The only prop that was used with a Paradise tree adorned with apples. Because immoral behaviour crept into these plays, the Church forbade the plays in the 1500th century.  People, however, put up their own Paradise trees on December 24th during the feast day of Adam and Eve.  The tree symbolized both sin and a tree of life.  The belief is that the trees were decorated with apples, homemade wafers representing the fruit of life and later candy and sweets.  

Another custom in Germany since the late Middle Ages was the placing of small candles upon a wooden pyramid on December 24th.  The candles represented Christ as the light of the world.  

It would appear, that our present Christmas trees are descendants of both the Paradise tree and Christmas light pyramids.

Thank you to Dr. Bucher.  You may read his original article here.

 

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Other unsubstantiated stories include a belief is that the needles of spruce trees point toward heaven and symbolize man's connection with the Lord.  Christmas tree species are typically evergreens that further signify abundant life throughout the year.

In addition to being decorated with candles, trees long ago were also decorated with cookies, nuts, sugar ornaments and later small toys.  Glass ornaments became popular later and have now been replaced with plastic decorations, ribbons, garlands and tinsel. Since there were no Christmas tree stands, trees in the olden days were erected with wood planks.   An elderly friend of mine from Europe recalls how their tree was hung from a rafter at her family farm.   Her father, being afraid that the children would knock over the tree and the lit candles, hung it from the rafters.  Apparently many people in Europe thought the same way at the time and many trees hung from rafters.

 

 

Decorated Christmas Tree with lights.

Xmas Tree Decor - 6

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Christmas tree decorated branches ornaments.

Xmas Tree Decor - 5

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Christmas tree lights ornaments balls.

Xmas Tree Decor - 4

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Decorated Christmas tree lights ornaments.

Xmas Tree Decor - 3

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Christmas tree decorations lights.

Xmas Tree Decor - 2

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Decorations on Christmas tree.

Xmas Tree Decor - 1

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Decorated christmas tree lights

Christmas Tree png1  Note:  This is a png file!

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Decorated Christmas tree with lights

Xmas Tree - 1
This is a jpg image of tree on white background.

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christmas tree decorated with red ribbons in snowy cemetery

Decorated Christmas Tree - 3    (Cemetery-46)

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christmas tree made with potted poinsettia plants

Poinsettia Tree - 1
(From
greenhouses of Tree Valley Garden Centre Ltd. )

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artificial decorated christmas tree purple gold balls lights

Decorated Christmas Tree - 2

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decorated christmas tree purple gold balls lights

Decorated Christmas Tree - 1

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Christmas Tree - 1

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xmastree_png_1

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xmastree_presents_png_1

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Merry
Christmas !


 

 

 

 

 

"Christmas can be celebrated
 in the school room 
with pine trees,
 tinsel and reindeers, 
but there must be 
no mention of the man 
whose birthday 
is being celebrated.  
One wonders how 
a teacher would answer 
if a student asked 
why it was called
Christmas."

~ Ronald Reagan ~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I will honour 
Christmas in my heart, 
and try to keep it 
all the year." 

~ Charles Dickens ~

 

 

 

          

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