27 Dec 2012
WHY FIRS BECAME FAMOUS
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday
The fir has the advantage, that it stays forever green. No autumn can change its color and no winter makes it to a naked tree, it is stubborn like a mule, it remains green, whatever season. The wood of most firs is considered unsuitable for general timber use, but the fir is not only giving a green spot in the leaveless woods but it became very popular as Christmas tree !
The Germans were the first once to use a fir as a Christmas tree with predecessors that can be traced to the 16th and possibly the 15th century, in which "devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes.". Today the Christmas tree is used by everybody who wants to decorate its home, the cities decorate their streets and the shops use it to attract clients to buy gifts and also food ! Christmas trees apparently make people think to load their stomacs with lots of special food, with the disadvantage, that you are full for the following week !
In Britain, the Christmas tree was only introduced in the early 19th century, but the custom hadn't yet spread much beyond the royal family. Queen Victoria as a child was familiar with the custom and a tree was placed in her room every Christmas. In her journal for Christmas Eve 1832, the delighted 13-year-old princess wrote, "After dinner... we then went into the drawing-room near the dining-room... There were two large round tables on which were placed two trees hung with lights and sugar ornaments. All the presents being placed round the trees...After her marriage to her German cousin Prince Albert, by 1841 the custom became more widespread throughout Britain.
Several cities in the United States with German connections lay claim to that country's first Christmas tree: Windsor Locks, Connecticut, claims that a Hessian soldier put up a Christmas tree in 1777 while imprisoned at the Noden-Reed House, while the "First Christmas Tree in America" is also claimed by Pennsylvania, which recorded the use of a Christmas tree in 1821 !
Nobody cares anymore about the origin or history of the evergreen tree and how it became a Christmas tree ! The very first once in Germany were only decorated with apples and nuts, while today they are sometimes overloaded with glittering stuff of all kind, with balls, sweets, and fancy decorations. The real candles (which are still used in Germany) were replaced by electric little lamps or candles on a garland.
In countries where no firs are growing, artificial firs were invented and stand amongst palm or other exotic trees unusual for us Northern people
Cities all over the world want to have the biggest and most beautiful Christmas tree and it became a real competition.
I am not sure which country has the most beautiful tree, but sure is that this year in Brussels, they had the ugliest one ever standing on the Grand'Place !
This "Christmas tree", even lightended looks awful !
and very different from the simple once used at Victorian times !