THE HISTORY OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE
No, Christ wasn't born under a Christmas tree as God’s gift to the world. In ancient Egypt, people had the custom of bringing branches of palm trees into homes on the shortest day of the year each December.
The Chinese and Hebrews had similar customs. Many other cultures had similar traditions, making it hard to know when the idea of Christmas trees really started.
No one is certain whether it started from Pagan celebrations or from Christian influence. One idea is that Saint Boniface used the fir tree in his ministry as an analogy of the Holy Trinity with each of the tree’s triangular shape representing either the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit—as an easy analogy to make for the newly converted—but not an an object of worship itself. The fir tree became God’s tree. By the 12th century, an inverted fir tree was hung from the ceiling at Christmas as a symbol of Christianity.
Another idea is that Martin Luther once noticed the stars shining through the limbs of evergreen trees while walking through a forest one evening. The trees looked as if they were bejeweled with light. Inspired by this sight, he cut down a small fir tree, took it home, and decked it with tiny candles so that he could share it with his children. There seems no proof that this happened at Christmas, though.
The first Christmas tree as we know it today, appeared in 1521 in German territory. Ten years later, the first printed mention of Christmas trees was published.
In the 16th century, a scarcity of trees in the area prompted a local ordinance allowing only one tree per home. Families then erected pyramids from plain wooden structures that they adorned with branches and candles.
In the 17th century, Christmas markets were held in German towns to provide villagers with gifts, food and holiday trinkets to place on their trees. Early Christmas trees came to symbolize the Paradise Tree in the Garden of Eden. Trees that were covered with a variety of color represented plenty. Trees also used only two colors of flowers: red and white. Red stood for knowledge and white stood for innocence.
In the years since that time, more decorations have been added. Between 1903 and the 1930’s, the Christmas tree nearly disappeared. At that time in America, “immigration prompted a flux in Christmas tradition and customs.”
Despite famous sermons like “The Cross is God’s Christmas Tree”, it really isn't. Should we as Christians have a Christmas tree? Should churches have them? Are we to follow the vain traditions of men? Or do we have the liberty (within certain limits) to celebrate a custom and use a pretty decoration? In either event, I can’t find where anyone put up a Christmas Tree with the intention of worshipping it.