Merry Christmas everyone!
A Christmas tree for German soldiers in a temporary hospital in 1871In the German Middle Ages, mystery plays at Christmas time within churches often featured an evergreen "Paradise tree" from which an apple was plucked. The first evidence of Christmas trees outside of a church is of the 16th century, with trees in guild halls decorated with sweets to be enjoyed by the apprentices and children. (A Bremen guild chronicle of 1570 reports that a small tree decorated with "apples, nuts, dates, pretzels and paper flowers" was erected in the guild-house for the benefit of the guild members' children, who collected the dainties on Christmas Day.) Soon after, they are seen in the houses of upper-class Protestant families as a counterpart to the Catholic Christmas cribs. In the 18th century they begin to be adorned with candles, which were expensive items. Only in the 19th century did they come into use more widely, often in schools and inns before they appeared in homes. A decisive factor in winning general popularity was the German army's decision to place Christmas trees in its barracks and military hospitals during the 1870-1871 war. Only at the turn of the century did Christmas trees again appear inside churches, this time in a new brightly lit form.
The modern Christmas tree . . . originated in western Germany. The main prop of a popular medieval play about Adam and Eve was a fir tree hung with apples (paradise tree) representing the Garden of Eden. The Germans set up a paradise tree in their homes on December 24, the religious feast day of Adam and Eve. They hung wafers on it (symbolizing the host, the Christian sign of redemption); in a later tradition, the wafers were replaced by cookies of various shapes. Candles, too, were often added as the symbol of Christ. In the same room, during the Christmas season, was the Christmas pyramid, a triangular construction of wood, with shelves to hold Christmas figurines, decorated with evergreens, candles, and a star. By the 16th century, the Christmas pyramid and paradise tree had merged, becoming the Christmas tree"
- Wikipedia description
It's a busy day today, so I made these delicious homemade
orange glazed cinnamon rolls for my family to start our morning. My friend Lisa Porter sent these over last Christmas for my bloggy trading party, and now I have adopted them into my Christmas morning tradition. Lisa pens a beautiful and informative blog called the Lisa Porter Collection and after following her musings for over four years, I have immense respect for her viewpoint. Lisa is the stylish, smart friend you just have to check in with daily and see what she weighs in on everything from blueberries to fashion. She is a fabulous cook and baker, and you just know she creates a beautiful Nest for her family in Lexington, Kentucky --...I love how she champions artists and talents and their perspective on her blog too -- check out this incredible recipe she has shared...
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
Prepare one 13x9x2 inch oblong pan; lightly grease the pan with shortening.
Tip: This recipe takes a little extra time so I always double the batch!