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Wahoo State Bank

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The History of the Christmas Tree

Why do we celebrate the holidays with a Christmas tree? How did the widely popular tradition begin? 
To start, it is believed that in ancient times, people thought evergreens had a special meaning because they remained green all year round. They decorated with evergreens to keep away ghosts, evil spirits and illness. 
With some traditions the winter solstice meant that farms and orchards would be growing in the spring so they would decorate their homes with evergreen boughs. 
In Northern Europe Christmas Trees mean ever lasting life. 
The traditional Christmas tree began in Germany; " It is a widely held belief that Martin Luther, first added lighted candles to a tree. Walking toward his home one winter evening, composing a sermon, he was awed by the brilliance of stars twinkling amidst evergreens. To recapture the scene for his family, he erected a tree in the main room and wired its branches with lighted candles." 
The first Christmas trees in America showed up around the 1830's. They were actually first viewed as a pagan symbol and our "now" popular Christmas traditions were offensive. "In 1659 the General Court of Massachusetts enacted a law making any observance of December 25th  (other than a church service) a penal offense; people were fined for hanging decorations." 
In 1846 Queen Victoria officially made the Christmas tree popular because she was very well followed and loved. 
In the 20th century Christmas trees began to show up in households and towns. The Christmas tree has came a long way throughout the centuries to what it is now, with our twinkling lights, glittery bulbs and bright red bows. I, for one, am thankful for the beautiful trees that create a wonderful, peaceful, Christmas morning. :)