A Tree-Riffic Tradition
“Sprucing” up the holidays since the 1500s, Christmas trees typically prove a common sight during December. Like many customs, this annual evergreen exposition has experienced evolution over the course of past centuries and varying cultures. Join The StickerTalk as we needle into the lifeblood, er… sap, of the tradition of the Christmas tree!
- Many historians credit German Christians with the innovation of the Christmas tree. Decking an evergreen with apples and other assorted fruits, these unorthodox pioneers symbolically celebrated the purity mankind abandoned in the Garden of Eden. These German “sweet trees” crossed the Atlantic where Americans eventually embraced this European endeavor with Franklin Pierce becoming the first American president to decorate a Christmas tree in the White House in 1856.
- While tinsel has been a popular Christmas tree decoration since the 1930s, its mythology remains disputed. The most popular legend recalls the story of a poor widow attempting to surprise her children with a decorated tree on Christmas morning. Much to her chagrin, spiders littered the tree branches with webs overnight, laying waste to her heartfelt efforts. However, Jesus noticed her anguish and transformed the cob webs into brilliant strands of tinsel.
- Artificial Christmas trees first came onto the market in the 1800s. German inventors dyed goose feathers green and attached the dyed down to wire branches. It wasn’t until 1958 that mostly aluminum trees were manufactured. Many environmentalists oppose artificial evergreens due to their unrecyclable nature. Real trees, they assure, can serve many roles after the holiday is over. They can be used in fish ponds and erosion barriers to help ensure environmental stability.