Reflections Of The Christmas Tree

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

Reflections of the Christmas Tree.

We buy and decorate Christmas trees.  Why?  When did this start?

Apparently in the 1400s and 1500s in Europe.  White pine trees have been used for millennia to celebrate various things, Christians began using the pine tree as a sign of the Everlasting God.

My Christmas tree and a reflection thereof can be seen in the thermal image to the right.

The word "Christmas" comes from a religious meeting, Christ's Masse, meaning "Christ's celebration."  So the tree, as a decoration thereof, would be a simple way to decorate a holiday such in such an honorable way.

Apparently no one knows when fir trees were first used for the celebration.  And originally they were hung upside down! 

The first documented use of Christmas trees was in Tallinn, Estonia in 1441 and Riga, Latvia, in 1550.  In Riga there is a plaque which proclaims a location as that of the first Christmas tree.  Read about it on the link here.

Obviously the custom of decorating Christmas trees, and bringing them into the house, spread throughout Europe, and from there throughout the world.

Christmas trees were first decorated with small, edible things.  Then glass makers began to design and produce ornaments. 

Early on, apparently, a small cradle with the baby Jesus was placed on top of the tree.  Then that changed to an angel representing the announcement to the shepherds.  And from there a large star at the top of the tree became prevalent, obviously representing the Star of Bethlehem.

Prince Albert and Queen Victoria brought a Christmas tree into Windsor Castle, and an article about this was published in the Illustrated London News.  Anything Victorian was popular in the United States and the custom spread here.  You can read one of my previous blogs about this history by clicking here.

And lights on the tree?  In 1880 Thomas Edison put a string of lights around his workshop, and in 1882 an employee of his, Edward Johnson, fashioned a string of 80 red, white and blue lights and put them on his Christmas tree.  Electric lights on the tree became popular when in 1895 President Grover Cleveland put a string of lights on the White House Christmas tree.  The National Christmas Tree tradition began when President Calvin Coolidge decorated a tree on the White House lawn in 1923.

Symbolism surrounding the tree is rife, with lights representing the stars in the sky which accompanied the Star of Bethlehem; ornaments on the tree and the presents under it can represent the gifts given by the Three Wisemen to the baby Jesus; the tree itself representing the humble Carpenter who fashioned things out of trees, and was eventually hung on one.

Whatever you do to celebrate Christmas is still the same - the decorations, the food, the gifts, and the worship - it is up to you.  But keep in mind, it all reflects back to the Carpenter whose birth is noted at this time.  Whether He was born in December (the Roman 10th month) or not is irrelevant.  That He was born is the important thing, and it is this time of year that this great day is remembered.



Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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

Comments (13)

Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Jay. Having a little fun with Mighty Mo? Thanks for that! Enjoy your day!

Dec 20, 2017 04:24 AM
Greg Large
ERA Real Solutions - Grove City, OH
A Tradition of Trust

interesting history of the Christmas tree, thanks for your research and sharing, my hope is that people truly stay focused on the reason for the season.

Dec 20, 2017 06:00 AM
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Nice job, Merry Christmas to you and your family Jay!!

Dec 20, 2017 06:37 AM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Jay. Leave it to you to share the history of the tree with a thermal image. Merry Christmas.

Dec 20, 2017 06:40 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Wayne - Mighty Mo has fun with me.  I can't stop him.

Greg - would that this was so, but sadly the reason seems to diminish with every season - with decorations in the store in July and Black Friday starting a week early and lasting 3 or 4 weeks!

Thanks Fred.  Mighty Mo gets the credit, of course.

And Sheila?  What's your point?

Kidding... but you see I did get a reflection.


Dec 20, 2017 06:49 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

The thermal pictures could be framed and used as Christmas decorations.

Dec 20, 2017 07:33 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thank you, Joe.  They are very artistic at times!

Dec 20, 2017 02:33 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Jay- I'm so glad that Sally K. & David L. Hanson reblogged this because I would not want to have missed it. I love what Might MO can do!!!!

Dec 24, 2018 06:20 PM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thank you Kathy.  It seems I have a lot of posts out there that few people have seen!

Dec 25, 2018 12:49 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Jay, for sharing this Christmas Tree history.

Related image

Dec 25, 2018 05:27 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

You're welcome, Roy.  Thanks for the card!

Dec 25, 2018 02:20 PM
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525

Jay Markanich Thanks for including this link in your response to Mimi Foster's post today.  A well-done history on the Christmas tree and so interesting.  Glad to find it!

Oct 23, 2019 09:01 PM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thank you Kris!  The post has been out there a while.  I have many Christmas posts on AR which are historical and full of information, with my own fun twist.

Oct 24, 2019 03:04 AM