Balsam Hill artificial trees. I ordered a 4 1/2-foot because our daughter told me that our youngest granddaughter likes to "throw" the Christmas balls off the lower limbs! Her tree is now bare below the level this almost 2 year old can reach!
The Christmas Tree is certainly a symbol of the season--traced backed to the 16th or possibly the 15th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. It is speculated that the tree originated in Germany and it was the reformer Martin Luther, according to the History channel, who "first added lighted candles" to it.
Interestingly, the custom of the tree didn't flourish in Great Britain until the marriage of Victoria to her German cousin, Prince Albert in 1841. In 1847, Prince Albert wrote that he must seek an "echo" of what he and his brother, Ernest had felt with their delight of the Christmas tree in their home.
In North America, the town of Windsor Locks, Connecticut claims they had the first Christmas tree when a Hessian soldier put one up in 1777 while imprisoned. Additionally, there are several more accounts throughout the colonies of trees being used at Christmas time and laying claim to the first tree in America--from Lancaster, Pennsylvania to Boston, Massachusetts.
If you can't settle the argument when the first tree was put up, how about when is the correct time to decorate your tree. Would it surprise you to know that most trees were decorated on Christmas Eve? I know after I was married that's exactly what my hubby's family did. Our own family went with the Advent Calendar to determine the time...which meant sometime after Thanksgiving.
Only since the 20th century in the United States has it become common to decorate evergreen trees outside. The National Christmas Tree has been lit each year since 1923 on the South Lawn of the White House. Furthermore, some cities organize a Festival of Trees for charity events, which may have its roots from Manchester, England who sent a tree and money to buy chocolate and cakes for the children of the much-bombarded town of Lillie in northern France after the Armistice in 1918.
Our home maybe lacking some decorations, but at least the tree is up and now, the baking begins. I would love to hear what special decorations you have on your Christmas tree and the story behind them while you listen to...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNeLKCqsPJM
(BTW...it's sitting on top of my antique silver chest that was in my mother's family. I helped my grandfather reconstruct one of the lion's head, carved in wood, that had been broken.) Happy Holidays to All!