Friday, 16 December 2011

The Christmas Tree

A potted history


In medieval times in Germany the Christmas tree was originally the Paradise tree, a fir tree hung with apples representing the garden of Eden eventually replaced by red baubles.  The German people set up a tree in their homes on 24th December, the religious feast day of Adam and Eve.  Wafers were hung on it (symbolizing the host) which are now replaced by cookies.  Candles were added as a symbol of Christ.

In the same room would have been the Christmas pyramid

 a triangular construction of wood with shelves which held figurines, decorated with evergreens , candles and a star.

By the  16th century the pyramid and paradise tree merged, becoming the Christmas tree we know today, which was introduced to Britain by Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, in the 1800's and was popularised by Charles Dickens in his Christmas tales.

All information thanks to Wikipedia


  1. Hi Elaine, we've already got our Weihnachtspyramide out and running! They always have a great selection at any German Christmas market.

  2. Hi Elaine!
    I really enjoyed reading the history of the Christmas tree, seeing the photos cheered me up because I cannot have my tree up this year due to house renovations :(

    I will take this opportunity to wish you a merry Christmas, and thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. I'm hoping sometime next year, once everything is finished with the house (and other things that I will mention soon) I will have more time to visit more often xx

  3. We just stick up some wreaths and decorate with holly and ivy and candles. But no tree, cats playing with baubles and bald Christmas trees led us to forgo it. But I do admire other peoples!
    Merry Christmas Elaine.

  4. I think that the centrepiece of Christmas decorations has to be the tree.
    I like to see big ones outside decorated! Flighty xx

  5. Loving your Holiday Miracle. Interesting history of the Christmas tree. With 3 dogs spending time indoors we don't put up a Christmas tree. We do however put up lights, which I love, lots of Holly and Ivy and of course all our Christmas cards.

  6. I did not know all the history of the German tree as you told it. I am of German heritage too. I really liked the singing sheep, it is such a cute video. Thanks for posting it.

  7. Boy, that Christmas pyramid brings back memories! I didn't know what it was called -- this propeller thing powered by candles. Thanks for history lesson! And a happy warm Christmas to you.