Meaning of Christmas Tree
The Christmas Tree
Our Christmas tree surely does pray; it surely does honour God with its decorations and lights and white-winged angels and robins and drummer boy and shining star on top. A nicely decorated tree ‘lifts the spirit and is a lovely adjunct to the crib. Martin Luther declared the lights on the Christmas tree were the images of the starry heavens. That is so, but above all, they are meant to remind us that Christ is the Light of the world and that the tree is a symbol of life.
The Egyptians brought palms into their homes and the Romans honoured greenery and hung decorations on it, especially at the time of the Saturnaija which was a time of festivity in December, in honour of the planet Saturn, worshipped as the god of agriculture and vegetation. Centuries later, potted blossom trees were brought inside for festival time. The veneration of the tree has been around for a long time, long before Martin Luther popularized it by adding lights and using it as Christmas allure. Small tokens were hung on it, the pinecones were left on fir trees as an assortment of edibles graced it and in no time this bright uplifting idea caught on. Prince Albert, the German-born husband of Queen Victoria, delighted his family by introducing a decorated tree to Windsor Castle in 1841.
Thereafter the custom, favoured previously by a mere handful of immigrants from Germany, spread, until today trillions of fir trees sparkle and add warmth to the Christmas scene all over the world where Christian beliefs are practised. A week or so before Christmas (earlier in shopping centres and public places) the tree is made ready. Children love to do their bit here. Last century they were not permitted to see the tree until the candles were alight and everything was in place. Now the pre-Christmas strol reveals many a festive tree sparkling behind a blindless curtained window, as well as in the square or mall where the tree hungrily awaits a gift for the under-privileged, a thoughtful custom that originated in America. In the Church the tree is a little bit of heaven on earth opening wider still the heart to grace.
“I think that I shall never see A poem as lovely as a tree. A tree that looks at God all day And lifts her leaq arms to pray.” -Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)