Welcome to Day 8 of our 12 Days of Christmas and Holiday Cheer!
Lisa here, with some fun facts, inspiration and a FREEBIE today!
But first and foremost, we have a fabulous SPECIAL OFFER and a ONE DAY ONLY 30% off sale from our very own Maya de Groot!
Thank you, Maya!
Here on the O Blog today it is all about CHRISTMAS TREES! Why do we have them? Where did the tradition start? Well, let’s find out!
The Christmas Tree
The tradition of Christmas trees has ancient origins which date back long before the first Christmas. Many ancient cultures treasured and worshiped evergreen plants and decorated their homes with them at the time of the winter solstice. Evergreens were considered a symbol of eternal life or the triumph of life over death. It is from these early traditions that our modern Christmas tree evolved.
Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. Some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles if wood was scarce. Legend has it that Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, 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 Christmas tree tradition most likely came to the United States with Hessian troops during the American Revolution, or with German immigrants to Pennsylvania and Ohio. After the war in 1776, many Germans stayed in the United States, introduced the Christmas tree, and shared their traditions. The size of the tree was limited to 8 feet, and decorations consisted of dolls, as well as sugar items. In the early 19th century, the custom became popular among the nobility and spread to royal courts in Russia, Austria, France, Denmark and Britain.
The American Christmas tree market was born in 1851 when Catskill farmer Mark Carr hauled two ox sleds of evergreens into New York City and sold them all. By the 1890s Christmas ornaments were arriving from Germany and Christmas tree popularity was on the rise around the U.S. It was noted that Europeans used small trees about four feet in height, while Americans liked their Christmas trees to reach from floor to ceiling. By 1900, one in five American families had a Christmas tree, and 20 years later, the custom was nearly universal.
The early 20th century saw Americans decorating their trees mainly with homemade ornaments, while the German-American sect continued to use apples, nuts, and marzipan cookies. Popcorn joined in after being dyed bright colors and interlaced with berries and nuts. Electricity brought about Christmas lights, making it possible for Christmas trees to glow for days on end. With this, Christmas trees began to appear in town squares across the country and having a Christmas tree in the home became an American tradition.
(Sources: History.com, Wikipedia, AllAboutHistory.org, Christmas-Tree.com)
So now that you know all about the history of Christmas trees, how about a look at a few of the wonderful products in the shop that feature all sorts of Christmas trees to inspire your scrapping? Take a look at these beauties!
Photo of The Day: Christmas Trees
Of course for your photo today we want to see some trees! Your Christmas tree, a Christmas tree display, evergreens, a tree of lights or any tree you find festive – As always interpret this prompt as you wish and be creative, and don’t forget to post your photos in our 12 Days Forum so we can all enjoy them.
And finally, what would a Christmas Tree be without PRESENTS?
To finish up our post all about Christmas Trees we have a little gift for you! Once again Sandrine has worked her creative magic and has designed these beautiful Christmas trees for you to decorate any way you wish. This isn’t a challenge so there are no deadlines or requirements. Please just enjoy this gift and feel free to post your pages in the gallery for us all to see. Stop back tomorrow for more fun and inspiration!