Oh, Christmas Tree, Oh, Christmas Tree

Every year at the beginning of December the head of the household starts to worry about where they are going to get a Christmas tree from, and whether or not they should invest in a plastic one or buy a real one this year. The choices available are huge and can be quite confusing for those who aren’t sure what they want, from farm grown trees and table top fiber optic versions, to plastic versions and pot grown options.

And it doesn’t finish there either, once the type of tree has been decided upon, the order completed and it has been delivered the work still isn’t complete as then there are the decorations to consider. Most families simply recycle the same old decorations year after year, climbing up to the attic or digging around in the garage in search of the box where they were stored away last Christmas, or if money isn’t a problem they might decide to splash out this year on brand new glitzy decorations.

Putting up the tree and decorations can cause family rows in some households; dad gets frustrated at having to unravel the lights again but takes on the task anyway whilst grumbling away to himself; mum wants everything to look perfect and everyone to chip in and help, but is more than likely going to end up doing most of the work herself; and the kids squabble over who hangs which ornament and what’s the story behind the special ones that have been in the family for years. But, hopefully, it’s all done cheerfully and in a light-hearted manner, and once the tree is up and ready with the ornaments hung and the lights twinkling it’s more than worth all the effort.

Real fir trees are almost certainly the most familiar representation of Christmas and have been around for hundreds of years as decorative purposes. You can buy real trees that have been harvested from a farm from the actual farm itself, or from a Christmas tree website, or go for the artificial option and buy from the store. Fake trees are made from plastic, aluminum, or feathers and can be found in a traditional green colour, or go for something a bit fancier and choose one that’s bright blue, classy white, sexy silver or frosted, or even fiber optic.

For most of us Christmas brings to mind images of a tall gloriously green real tree with brightly wrapped gifts stacked underneath. Inside the house, the family is warm and snug, admiring the sparkly baubles and twinkly lights, whilst outside the snow is falling creating a beautiful white blanket.

The clues as to why we have a tree in our home at this time of year can be traced all the way back to the ancient Egyptians who fetched green palms into their homes to signify life’s conquest over death, and the Romans who celebrated the Paradise Tree, using the evergreen as a symbol of Paradise and man’s fall, and the promise of salvation. In 1841 Prince Albert erected the first English Xmas tree at Windsor Castle to make his wife, Queen Victoria, happy and it caught on and has remained just as popular in the modern world.

There are various stories that surround why an evergreen is used for Christmas trees. One particularly wonderful tale tells of Mary and Joseph’s flight to Egypt as they tried to escape from Herod’s soldiers who were searching for baby Jesus on his orders. Stopping to rest in a forest the story goes that a twisted old pine tree invited the family to take a rest and hide inside its trunk, hiding them in its branches to keep them all safe. When the danger had passed, Jesus is said to have put his hand in blessing upon the pine and left the imprint of his hand as a mark of his appreciation.

Even to this day the Christmas tree is still the main feature in our homes at this cheerful time. Artificial trees have the advantage of being re-used year after year, however there is nothing to compete with a real tree for its delicious smell and appearance. Find one for sale in your local high street, at the shopping centre, or in the markets, or look online for farm grown trees that are environmentally-friendly option and include delivery.