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I don't know if many of you saw this as a response to the Halloween thread when we got talking about other traditions, so I thought I'd make another kind of "spin-off" thread. I'll just copy what I posted over there here so you can read it.
I just went to do some research on the Christmas tree and found out a few things. Almost all the sites I went to credit the first use of a Christmas tree to a man named St. Boniface. He was out in the woods and came upon some people who were going to use an oak tree in one of their sacrifices to their gods. He cut it down, and a new fir tree grew in it's place. He took this as a sign of eternal life and told the people to bring the trees in and worship in the light and warmth of the one true God. Also, the origins of the Christmas tree, date back to the time of Martin Luthar. He may be the one who started the tradition in Germany. He was said to be outside one night marveling in the thought of Christ's birth. He was struck by the beauty of the trees, the snow-covered ground, and the stars in the sky. He took one of the trees inside and covered it with candles to try to mimic the stars outside and reprent the greatness of the birth of Jesus Christ. The color green has long been a symbol of eternal life. The ancient egyptians use to bring palms indoors as a symbol of eternal life, and the ancient Jewish feasts used tree bows for decorations. How we decorate our trees has specific symbols too. The star on top of the tree obviously represents the star of Bethleham. The lights we string represent the light of Jesus Christ. Even if pagans use to worship trees (and still do), Christianity has adopted the tree to represent Jesus and the eternal life he offers. If you want to research this too, all I did was google in Christmas tree tradition and quite a few sites came up. All the ones I went to said the same thing.