Christmas Traditions: Start Your Own Christmas Tree Traditions This Holiday Season

Begin special Christmas traditions for your children this year

There are many wonderful and meaningful Christmas traditions. Some are well known some are not. One of the most well-known and well-loved traditions during the holiday season is that of the Christmas tree - but its history is quite confusing.

The First Christmas Tree

When did the Christmas tree first appear and who is responsible for it? Good question. There are many different versions. Some say the Germans get the credit for first having Christmas trees. Beginning in the 16th century, the German people often decorated their Christmas trees with roses, apples, and colored paper.

Some say Martin Luther, a Christian reformer, gets the credit of placing and lighting candles on the Christmas trees of early years. As the story goes, one night, as he was walking home, the beauty of the stars in the night sky stunned him as they shined through the branches of fir trees. This reminded him of the first Christmas and the stars of Bethlehem shining down on the Christ child. To capture this look, he placed lit candles on the Christmas tree in his home.

Yet some others say the first Christmas tree, as we know it, came from France. In 1521, so the story goes, Princess Helene de Mecklembourg brought a Christmas tree to Paris after her marriage to the Duke of Orleans.

Modern Christmas Traditions of the Christmas Tree

Regardless who is responsible for the very first Christmas tree, we know for certain that Germans brought the Christmas tree to America in the 1820s when they settled in Pennsylvania. We also know they weren't widely used in Britain until the 19th century.

No matter how they got their start, today there are many Christmas traditions and styles when it comes decorating Christmas trees. Usually, there is a combination of lights, ornaments, a tree topper and skirt. While some decorate with what they have and don't have any particular 'theme' others put a lot of thought into their tree decorating, as it's one of their Christmas traditions.

Why not start your own Christmas tradition with your Christmas tree? Your tradition can be anything from having a special time set aside to decorate, to who is involved in the decorating and what you decorate with.

It's easy to start the tradition of when you get the tree. Pick a time that is special to your entire family and make that the date from that point on to have the family go together and pick out the tree. This could be the day before Christmas, Christmas Eve, two weeks before Christmas, or the first snow. Whatever would have special meaning and create special times for your family works.

You can also make traditions out of who decorates the tree. It could be the tradition to have a family party to decorate, or one night when the family is away from home, mom can decorate the tree and surprise the family.

A tradition can also be what you use to decorate the tree. Some families use only ornaments passed down through the years and some use ornament made by the children.

Whatever you choose can become the beginning of your special family traditions. And remember, it's never too late to start. Decide what your family Christmas traditions will be and begin them now. There's no time like the present!

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