The Christmas Tree! Some Snippets of History

15308239_s• The first use of evergreen trees was to celebrate the winter season – and it was before the birth of Christ.
• The first decorated Christmas tree was in Riga, Latvia, in 1510.
• Cherry and hawthorn trees were also used as Christmas trees before the evergreen was
• Christmas tree “lights” made of small candles were first used in the middle of the 17th century.
• Thomas Edison’s assistant, Edward Johnson, came up with the idea of electric lights for Christmas trees in 1882. Christmas tree lights were first mass-produced in 1890.
• The tradition of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree was started in 1933. The tree is generally a Norway spruce that is 69 to 100 feet tall. It’s found by helicopters scouting the Northeastern states, and is often in someone’s yard. Interestingly, when it’s taken from someone’s yard, they are never paid for it; it’s considered an “honor” for their tree to be chosen. The Rockefeller tree is only decorated with lights, and generally has about 30,000 of them, with a 550-pound Swarovski crystal “star” on top.
• 98% of all Christmas trees are grown on Christmas tree farms, and growers plant three seedlings for every tree harvested. Trees have to be trimmed regularly to conform to the proper “Christmas tree shape.” It takes six to ten years of fighting heavy rain, wind, snow, hail, and bring a Christmas tree to market.
• The first artificial Christmas trees were developed in Germany in the 19th century; they were made of goose feathers dyed green and attached to wire branches that were then wrapped around a central dowel rod that acted as a trunk.
• In 1930 the U.S came up with it’s own artificial Christmas tree; it was made from brush bristles using the same manufacturing machinery that was used to make toilet brushes.

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