Trimming Christmas Trees has been happening for hundreds of years. Originally a pagan practice, the Christmas tree then became a part of Christian religious celebrations, and today it’s central to the holiday tradition of many. (More history of the Christmas Tree is on the December 8, 2017 blog post.) In earlier days, trees were decorated with fruits and berries and lit with candles. Over time ornaments have been made of glass, paper, plastic, metal etc. and often the most cherished are the ones made by children nestled in tree branches draped with popcorn garlands.
Today only about 20% of us (mostly nostalgic millennials) set up a fresh tree. As early as the 1880s, Germany was making artificial trees using goose feathers that were dyed green and by the 1930s, an American company that manufactured toilet brushes, Addis Brush Company, was also making artificial trees using the same bristles (also dyed green) as their brushes. Now, most artificial trees are made in China.
Judging by the Christmas trees I see displayed in front windows in my neighbourhood, it seems people are setting up their trees earlier and earlier in the season. At one time, it was a Christmas tradition to cut the tree and decorate it on Christmas Eve and leave it up until 12 days after Christmas day coinciding with the Feast of the Epiphany.
This year I’m only setting up one tree, but it will hold all my favourite ornaments. As I lay them out, you might assume that it is an “ode to Paris”. Although there are multiple Eiffel Towers, Marie Antoinettes, and other Paris monuments, I can assure your there are also many vintage glass baubles and other treasured ornaments that have been collected over time.
A “Table for Two” please…my dining room set for display only for an Instagram shot. Sadly the chef did not show!
However grand or modest your tree may be, I hope it’s adding to the sparkle and magic of the season that we need more this year than any other in recent history!