NEW YORK, NY – The Christmas tree was originally banned by the Christian church because it was linked to the pagan Winter Solstice!
“In ancient times pagans brought live trees into their homes and decorated them in honor of old Roman and Persian gods,” said a spokesman for the National Christmas Tree Association.
“The Romans celebrated the pagan ritual of Saturnalia by trimming various types of trees with trinkets and topping them off with an image of their sun god.”
Druid sorcerers hung golden apples to represent plentiful foods to come, and lit candles on oak trees to symbolize the warmth of the sun, soon to return. After January 1, the Pagans would burn the tree, or Yule log, in remembrance of the past year.
“So the Christians banned the use of these decorated trees for a time because they symbolized the celebration of false gods.”
More than 36 million live Christmas trees will be sold this holiday season. But no one knows for sure when the Christmas tree first became popular in Christian households.
Some historians think it evolved from the Paradise tree, a fir tree hung with apples and wafers, which represented the Garden of Eden in a medieval miracle play often performed on December 24. By the 1700s, most Germans decorated small trees in their homes at Christmas.
The first Christmas trees in America appeared during and shortly after the Revolutionary War, when German mercenaries fighting for the British hauled trees into their barracks. The custom slowly spread throughout America. And the first recorded Christmas tree lot was set up on a New York City sidewalk in 1851.
Five years later, Franklin Pierce became the first President to decorate a Christmas tree in the White House.
But by the time Theodore Roosevelt became President, he was so concerned about the number of trees being chopped down that he banned all Christmas trees in the White House!