History of the Christmas Tree

The well-known Christmas Carol sings of a Christmas Tree that much of the western world is familiar with.  The first verse is as follows:

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree!

Thy leaves are so unchanging

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree,

Thy leaves are so unchanging

When this song is sung or heard we all think of the traditional Christmas tree, an evergreen pine with lights and tinsel strewn over the branches and presents piled high underneath.  It is something we all understand, we know what a Christmas Tree looks like and that is that.  The tree that we call a Christmas tree was developed in Germany, there is some dispute over where the first Christmas tree was displayed but Christmas is not a time to argue and we accept that a Christmas tree is what it is.

The Christmas tree tradition goes back thousands of years to the Egyptians, Romans and Druids; each culture decorated trees or used evergreen branches to trim their homes during the winter. The modern Christmas tree tradition began in Germany during the Middle Ages; the custom of decorating trees with lit candles is attributed to Martin Luther, who came up with this idea after trying to recapture the experience of a starlight evening sky. German immigrants brought the Christmas tree tradition to America when they settled here.

We have all seen pictures of large Christmas trees in Victorian England and there are countless movies where Christmas Trees are picture perfect, who can forget the great Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation as he takes his family on an adventure into the wild to find the perfect family tree?  That is just it, we all want the perfect tree and the tree is so much a part of Christmas and it is part of the family at Christmas, many would say “No Christmas Tree, No Christmas”

In the late 1800s the first artificial Christmas trees appeared and over the next fifty to seventy years these grew in popularity. Convenience was one reason for them evolving, an artificial tree is a lot less hard work than a real one whose pine needles soon begin to drop and there are even artificial Christmas trees today that are pre-decorated and simply fold up or down with the decorations on – just how much more convenience do you want?

Large Trees adorn town squares and the more larger homes all over the world but as times have changed homes have become smaller and space of large trees has become limited. Table Top Christmas trees have become fashionable and they have found new homes in reception areas and office desks spreading Christmas cheer in the workplace.

But essentially the Christmas Tree has changed very little in 200 years. The trees are either still real, and the environmentalists are not sure just how good or bad this is or they are fake trees that mimic real ones, a tree is a tree is a tree. Big ones small ones and everything in between, green ones and silver ones even blue ones and pink and they all look like the tree we have in our head. That was until now, today there is something new, something different but still something that is essentially and clearly a Christmas tree.

The Modern Christmas Tree, as the trees have been called is a work of art but remain at the heart a family Christmas Tree.  Made from a variety of materials that acts as their own decorations these modern Christmas trees take everything that a Christmas tree means and give it a 21st century twist.  Available in a variety of sizes including large hanging Christmas Trees the Modern Christmas Tree has become a sought after tree photographed in homes of the rich and famous.

Lawrence “Bud” Stoecker, first made the trees in the 1960’s for his family and they were made from Cardboard. The trees were made available to the public and the uptake was quite amazing.  Over time the Modern Christmas tree developed to what it is now. Today these works of art are made from modern acrylics with stylish and elegant decoration giving them a certain grace that sets them apart from the conventional tree. Bud Stoecker passed away in 2012 but his legacy lives on, each tree no matter its size has his signature engraved in the bottom ring and the family are still involved in the business of designing and producing these fabulous Christmas trees.

The Modern Christmas tree brings a whole new magic to Christmas and modern lighting and technology has taken them to a whole new level of style and sophistication that the modern family cannot get enough of.  The trees offer the convenience that all artificial trees provide and yet there is something that says these trees are not artificial but real, their charm, elegance and beauty make them Christmas works of art that can be displayed all year round.  They exude charm and fill a room and indeed a home with that Christmas feeling that seems to have got lost in the sands of time.  Even the smallest table top Christmas tree will have people stop and stare in wonder, dreaming of Christmas past, Christmas present and Christmas yet to come. There is no baa humbug with a modern Christmas tree and the final verses of the song Oh Christmas Tree could not be truer

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree,

You’ll ever be unchanging!

A symbol of goodwill and love

You’ll ever be unchanging

Each shining light

Each silver bell

No one alive spreads cheer so well

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree,

You’ll ever be unchanging

Unchanging indeed, a Modern Christmas Tree sets the tone for Christmas and brings back the magic so many people have lost or never even found and the memory of a man who loved Christmas more than anyone else, Bud Stoecker,  lives on forever.

Happy Christmas!

Based in Cape Town, South Africa Matt Newnham is a writer who has a cup that is always a little more than half full. Matt is passionate about life and success and his writing has earned him the title “The Master of Emotional Appeal” as he manages to find the true heart and human feeling of almost any subject.  Matt is also the Author of the children’s book Space Ranger Fred and the Shoelace Adventure.  Follow Matt on Twitter @MattNewnhamZA  , on Facebook and on his website www.mattnewnham.co.za

 

 

 

 

By |2016-12-19T02:32:00+00:00December 14th, 2016|christmas, modernism|0 Comments