The idea of the Christmas tree has existed for millennia. Though the meaning and look have changed, one thing was constant; it is a symbol of wintertime.
Earliest records show that the Romans would decorate their homes with evergreen branches to celebrate the New Year and the Winter Solstice. They specifically used evergreen branches because they remained green and thriving even throughout winter. It appeared a sign of strength and hope.
In the Middle Ages, a legend became popularized that stated the night Christ was born, all trees throughout the world shook off their coverings of snow and ice and had new, green growth on them. As Christianity spread, the symbolism of evergreen branches in this legend were ingrained into history.
The Germanic culture was the first to supposedly bring evergreen trees into their homes. During the 16th century, trees inside would get decorated with cookies to represent the Eucharist. Some legends say that Martin Luther was the first person to add candles to the tree, saying the candles reflected the twinkling stars in the sky.
In the New World, German settlers brought this tradition of Christmas trees with them, but it was slow to catch on. It wasn’t until 1846, when the popular Queen Victoria and her family were drawn in an article for the London News around their Christmas tree. Her popularity traveled over to the New World, where within the next 30 years, Christmas trees were highly in fashion. Since then, it has become a staple for many homes worldwide.
“History of Christmas Trees.” History