Christmas Tree Lore

Christmas Tree Lore

O, Tannenbaum!

The history of the Christmas tree extends a long way back to the Norsemen who inhabited the dark and mysterious forests of Northern Germany. When the season turned cold and dark, plants such as mistletoe, holly and evergreen trees were brought indoors to ward away the evil, winter spirits. People would decorate with wreaths of evergreens, hanging them over doorways and windows to brighten the sunless, medieval homes with nature’s beauty and fill the air with their fresh, clean fragrance. 

In the 1600s, the Church tried to discourage its members from using evergreen trees in their celebration of Christmas. These trees were viewed as pagan symbols because of their original connection to the celebration of the winter solstice which arrived on Dec. 21 or 22. However, the decorative Christmas tree tradition was so tempting to so many people that the leaders of the Church decided to allow these trees to become a part of the Christian Christmas celebration.

The Yule trees of Northern Germany re-surfaced in 1848 and became the Victorian idea of a “Christmas tree.” Prince Albert of Germany brought his German customs to England when he married Princess Victoria. Once the newly married couple shared this decadently, decorated Christmas tree with the public, most people in England wanted to bring an evergreen tree into their home. Wealthy Victorians decorated with delicate glass ornaments, silver tinsel, gold stars and lit candles. Evergreen wreaths were trimmed with berries, apples and fine ribbons. Evergreens were thought of as a symbol of the holiday season, a time for charity, goodwill and also a wonderful way to brighten the darkest days of winter. Our current Christmas tree decorating traditions resemble most closely to those of the Victorian holiday tree.    


Why Choose a Fraser Fir as Your Christmas tree?

This species, Abies fraseri, is a classic Christmas tree known for its special citrus-y fragrance, slender shape, strong branches and its ability to hold onto its soft needles after being cut. Its softer needles are especially nice when hanging lights and ornaments. Because of the Fraser fir's narrow shape, it fits nicely into smaller spaces, too. The Fraser fir is known as the official Christmas tree of the White House and has been celebrated in the Blue Room more often than any other type of evergreen.


Tips for Caring for Your Fraser Fir Christmas Tree

All cut Christmas trees are very thirsty. If you would like your tree to look its best throughout the Twelve Days of Christmas, the most important advice is to keep it consistently watered.

  • If you aren’t able to put your tree into a stand within 30 minutes of a fresh cut, it’s best to put it in a bucket of water in a cool location until you’re ready to bring it inside the home.
  • Each tree needs about one quart of water for every inch in diameter (at the base) of its trunk. Check water in tree stand at least once a day, especially after first bringing it indoors. Maintain a consistent level of water always keep the fresh cut of the trunk submerged.
  • Keep the tree from drying out by placing it away from a heat source such as a vent or fireplace.
  • Use a larger tree stand that will hold more water, so there is less of a chance of the tree drying out.


It’s a Wrap…

Many times, when you set up your Christmas tree, you don’t want to see the tree stand. Although there are many beautiful tree skirts that can be wrapped around the tree stand, burlap fabric also works well as a casual cover-up. Try wrapping a swath of natural burlap around the base of the tree and secure it with twine or a contrasting wide ribbon. When decorating with multiple Christmas trees, burlap is an inexpensive choice and its neutral coloring works well with any decor.