I printed this several years ago but I get questions about why we have Christmas trees every year so I thought I would bring back this oldie but goodie.
The use of evergreens as a symbol and celebration of life during Winter Solstice celebrations started in ancient Roman and Egyptian times. This practice evolved over the centuries to be incorporated in the celebration of Christmas in the Germanic areas of Europe.
The first recorded display of a decorated Christmas Tree was in 1510, in Riga, Latvia. Christmas Trees were decorated with fruit, cookies and candy that would later be shared among family members as gifts after the Holiday Season was over.
By the 1700’s, the tradition of celebrating the holidays with a Christmas Tree was widely used throughout Europe. Decorations included lace, ribbon, tin, food items and lit candles. Hessian mercenaries brought the tradition to the United States during the Revolutionary War.
In 1804, U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Dearborn, in Chicago, used evergreen trees in their barracks for Christmas. The popularity of the Christmas Tree then proliferated. In 1856, Franklin Pierce, our 14th President, brought the Christmas Tree tradition to the White House.
Today the White House Christmas tree is a grand event in the Washington holiday season. We sell a number of trees to houses with more than one tree in the house! This northern European tradition stays as U. S. tradition in spite of massive immigration from Latin America and Asia as well as Africa.
Strangely, the biggest threat to the Christmas tree market does not come from people who don’t want Christmas trees but from the use of artificial trees. Less than half of U.S. households use real Christmas trees. Common complaints include falling needles, expense, and allergies. While I can’t quarrel with these issues it does seem that if tradition and custom is the reason you have a tree than an artificial tree does not smell or act like the real thing.
For those of you on the fence we have tried to address the above problems. We give tree bags to each customer and bale each tree so they are easy to get in the house and out of the house without a mess. We have a number of kinds of evergreens so that those who are allergic to spruces may find firs acceptable. We also sell by the foot so that if you buy a six foot tree it is more reasonable than that eight foot tree next to it. We do u-cut trees to make them more reasonable as well We supply string so you can tie the tree on your car.
Give a real tree a try and tie into a century old traditon.