The Meaning behind the Christmas Tree
Long before anybody ever heard of Christianity, ancient Egyptians and other ancient tribes throughout the world, believed that the evergreen tree had some magical properties. In fact, these primitive folk believed that any plant that could stay green all year round must contain some special (magical) properties within itself, especially with the severe and harsh winters that are infamous in the northern regions of North America.
These simple folk would decorate their huts and homes with branches of an evergreen tree; believing that these evergreen branches could keep witches, ghosts, evil spirits and especially illness away.
During the winter solstice, the shortest day (and longest night) in the Northern hemisphere, usually falls on December 21 or December 22, these ancient people believed that their sun-god must have fallen ill. And so to help them remind themselves that their god will get well, summer shall return and the plants will grow again. So they would decorate their living quarters with evergreens.
Ancient Egyptians believed that it was their sun-god (who they called Ra) who had fallen ill, and during the winter solstice marked the fact that life shall always conquer over death.
The ancient Romans and Celts decorated with evergreen boughs to mark everlasting life.
The Christmas Tree Tradition
It’s Germany who should take the credit on how we associate the Christmas Tree with Christmas.
It was during the 16th century that Germany first started using the Christmas Tree to symbolize the holiday.
Devoted Christians would bring decorated evergreen trees into their home to symbolized their devotion to the Christian holiday. It is believed that it was Martin Luther that first started decorating his Christmas Tree with lit candles; but this can’t be proven.
Christmas Presents under the
Soon, presents found their way under the Christmas Tree, but not until about the 19th century. Since then, most Americans considered the Christmas Tree just another pagan symbol. But it soon got accepted, then it was believed that Santa Claus would visit the homes of children and leave presents under a Christmas Tree. But just to those children who were “nice” that year and not on the “naughty” list.