Pagans used Fir tree branches to decorate their houses during the Winter Solstice (the shortest day of the year) because it made them think of Spring.
The Ancient Romans also used Fir Trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia, which was held to honour one of the Roman gods, Saturn, on December 17th.
But the ‘Christmas Tree’ as we know it today, began in Germany in the 1500s! The first Christmas trees were decorated with edible things, like gingerbread, gold covered apples and sweets. Later, the glassmakers began to make special small ornaments for the trees instead.
Tinsel was also created in Germany, but it in the beginning it was made from real silver; which was not only very expensive, but also very heavy!
Christmas tree lights, however, were invented by an American, Ralph Morris, in 1895. Before the use of electric lights, people used to put candles in their trees, which resulted in many fires. In fact, in 1885, a whole hospital in the USA burned down because of candles in a Christmas tree!
As you can see, the Christmas tree has come a long way! Happy decorating!
Below are some useful words and phrases for Christmas: