The Christmas Tree - Bringing In The Green

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

The Christmas tree tradition is generally attributed to Norse legends and German practices.  The German tradition is said to begin with Martin Luther who saw a group of snowy fir trees and was so impressed with the gentle quiet of the sight that he decorated a small tree in his house for his family.

Prior to the early 1800s, Christmas in this country was not celebrated the way it is now.  It was a drunken, sloppy, loud celebration and not conducive to anything religious or family.

Then two things happened - a lady's magazine article and a poem.

The traditional, annual tree began as ladies in the United States, enthralled with everything Queen Victoria did, began keeping up with the British Royal Family. 

Queen Victoria married her cousin, the German Prince Albert, in 1841.  She wore a white dress, which practice caught on in this country following publication of that announcement.

As a child Victoria remembered a Christmas tree being placed in every room.  By the mid 1840s the German tradition had caught on everywhere in Europe.  They called it "bringing in the green."  The tree she wanted placed in the dining room after her marriage to Prince Albert impressed even him, and he wrote, "Their delight in the Christmas tree is not less than ours used to be."

A woodcut of this celebration was made, and published in a London magazine in 1848.  It was discovered by Godey's Lady's Book Magazine, and published here in 1850.

Godey's smartly altered the woodcut, removing the queen's crown and Albert's mustache to make the scene appear as any normal American family home.  Godey's called the scene, simply, "The Christmas Tree."

A similar article, and the woodcut, was printed every year and by 1870 the practice had really caught on.  The holiday was proffered to the American public as a family day and day of worship.

Trees were decorated with candles, paper ornaments, candy canes (which were all white, but minty) and a tin star.  Yes, they were dangerous!

Another thing to change the American Christmas holiday first happened in 1822.  It was a poem, written anonymously by Clement Clark Moore, originally to his children and entitled, "An Account of a Visit From St. Nicholas."  It was published by a New York magazine, The Sentinel, in 1823, author anonymous.

Later, on 13 March 1862, he rewrote it by hand for his daughter, calling it, "The Night Before Christmas."  His family made it known that Moore was the author, and he is given credit today.

In 1881 the popular political illustrator Thomas Nast (responsible for the elephant and donkey so familiar to our political parties) came up with the visual concept we all now regard as Santa Claus. 

It was later printed in color and the modern Santa was born.

Nobody has sold more products, advertised more products, been the impetus behind more products than Santa Claus.

It was in 1858 that one R. H. Macy established his famous store in New York City, soon after seizing upon Santa as a way to sell dry goods and wrapping paper at Christmas time.  And we all know the parade started in 1924.  The rest is retail history.

So, in less than 100 years, a drunken celebration was transformed into a familial, religious and retail tradition that continues today.

Oh, Clark's original poem ended with the phrase "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night."  That was changed too, to "MERRY," by the same magazines and publishers.  They thought the word merry had a more appealing twist.

And so, as you decorate your homes and trees this Christmas season, really remembering of course the reason for this season, remember also that the holiday did not always contain the traditions we now hold.

And don't stay up tonight to try to see the red, round guy.  He knows when you are sleeping, and if you are awake.  He doesn't come if you stay up all night.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

 

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


close

Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Patricia Kennedy 12/24/2012 12:43 PM
  2. Roy Kelley 12/24/2012 09:51 PM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Virginia Prince William County Bristow
Groups:
Active Rain Block Party
Addicted to Active Rain
Celebrating Free Enterprise
WeBlog Anything (almost)!
Best Practices
Tags:
santa
christmas tree

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainer
284,218
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Jay -- thanks for posting this enlightening bit of history, especially with the original images you were discussing.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Dec 24, 2012 04:38 AM #10
Ambassador
2,071,566
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Wishing you and your entire family an absolutely wonderful Christmas Holiday! Blessings to you and yours!

Dec 24, 2012 04:38 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,737,566
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

You're welcome Steven and the same wishes at you and yours, of course.

Thanks Barbara-Jo.  And again, same backatcha!

Dec 24, 2012 08:36 AM #12
Ambassador
3,617,710
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Jay, what a wonderful history of the modern Christmas.  Of course, here on Webster Street, It is going to be a bit of a drunken celebration!  And Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Dec 24, 2012 12:34 PM #13
Rainmaker
3,246,527
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good mornng Jay,

I saw this from Pat when she re-blogged your post......I love the history of our traditions and how they evolved into our modern Christmas! I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!!

Dec 24, 2012 04:51 PM #14
Rainmaker
1,737,566
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

That was a lot of fun to research Pat.  And thanks for the reblog!  I hope you didn't stay up all night and Santa brought everything you wanted.

Dorie - thank you and I am very glad you liked the post!

Dec 24, 2012 07:07 PM #15
Rainmaker
2,284,984
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Jay had some kin come in last night and they went back to their vehicle and the drinking started.  Nothing out of hand just a few and I'm glad I did not participate. 

Dec 24, 2012 08:10 PM #16
Rainmaker
2,607,207
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce - Short Sale

Ho ho ho ...happiest of holidays....a joyous and wonderful new year with good health, happiness and prosperity to you and yours.

Dec 24, 2012 08:31 PM #17
Rainmaker
1,737,566
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Given your recent history you shouldn't participate James!  And that will contribute to a happy Christmas!

S&D - merry, merry!  So, you two have been tearing into your gifts since 4am?  Wow, Santa is the man!

Dec 24, 2012 08:58 PM #18
Ambassador
2,860,839
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Northern VA

And here I thought I wouldn't be learning anything new on Christmas.   Thanks for the history lesson and Merry Christmas!

Dec 25, 2012 12:05 PM #19
Rainmaker
1,737,566
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Isn't that fun stuff Chris Ann?  I had a great time researching it.

Dec 25, 2012 07:35 PM #20
Ambassador
2,356,937
Steve Hoffacker
Steve Hoffacker LLC - West Palm Beach, FL
Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Instructor

Jay,

Thanks for the trip down the Christmas traditions trail. :)

Steve

Dec 27, 2012 09:43 AM #21
Rainmaker
1,737,566
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Wasn't that a fun post Steve?  It was fun to research.

Dec 27, 2012 04:10 PM #22
Ambassador
3,617,710
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hey Jay, I included this post in Last Week's Favorites.  And Happy New Year to you and all of your favorite people.

Dec 30, 2012 04:27 AM #23
Rainmaker
1,737,566
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Grathiath Mith Pat!

Dec 30, 2012 05:03 AM #24
Rainmaker
419,738
Debbie Cook
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc - Silver Spring, MD
Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate

Wonderful Post - Enjoyed every word.  Didn't know Queen Victoria was such a trend setter - but it makes sence since it was called the "victorian era".  Thanks for writing this and Happy New Year! 

Dec 30, 2012 08:38 AM #25
Rainmaker
1,737,566
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thank you Debbie.  I did not know she was such a fashion trend setter until researching this post.  But the era seems to come from her many influences.

Dec 30, 2012 09:01 AM #26
Ambassador
2,356,937
Steve Hoffacker
Steve Hoffacker LLC - West Palm Beach, FL
Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Instructor

Jay,

So glad that Pat Kennedy featured you in her top 10 list. Good for others to see this post. :)

Steve

Dec 31, 2012 02:38 PM #27
Ambassador
2,356,937
Steve Hoffacker
Steve Hoffacker LLC - West Palm Beach, FL
Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Instructor

Jay,

Congratulations. This post is now featured in "Celebrating Free Enterprise."

Steve

Dec 31, 2012 02:40 PM #28
Rainmaker
1,737,566
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thank you Steve.  So often our history gets lost in the modern and we forget our roots.  Victoria had a lot to do with our pop culture and traditions (like white wedding dresses) and those sorts of things get lost over time.  I had a lot of fun researching this post and think it is a fun and informative one.

Dec 31, 2012 06:49 PM #29
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
1,737,566

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
You may contact me anytime...
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information