Holiday Inspiration-- The Beauty and History of the Christmas Tree
a Little History Lesson In the Origin of the
And Seven Trees I Decorated Over The Years
And Seven Trees I Decorated Over The Years
I love a well decorated Christmas Tree
the smell, the lights, the adornments, and it sets the tone for a festive season. When I saw 0ne of the gorgeous trees that just went up this weekend in Windsor Castle, it inspired me to write a Christmas tree story and share some history and photographs of my own trees over the years.
Just one of the Queen's Nordmann fir trees
in Windsor Castle 2019
The History of The Christmas Tree
The First Christmas tree has been historically traced to the 15th century in Livonia. Research suggests evergreen trees were erected in the home for the holidays along with 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 was once called the Paradise Tree had merged, becoming the Christmas tree. On the last night of Christmas celebrations, the tree was taken to the Town Hall Square where the members of the church danced around the tree in celebration then set the tree aflame. German villagers plucked an apple from the tree and hung wafers which symbolized the Christian sign of redemption. The wafers were soon replaced by cookies of all shapes and sizes. Outside of the church, people placed trees in guild halls then decorated them with treats and sweets for children to enjoy. These trees held apples, nuts, dates, pretzels and paper flowers and were collected from the trees on Christmas Day. By the 18th century, these trees were seen in wealthier Protestant families adorned with expensive candles. In the 19th century they were utilized in schools and inns after the German army placed Christmas trees in barracks and military hospitals during the 1870-1871 war. Christmas trees soon appeared inside churches, this time in a new brightly lit form with the candles as a symbol of Christ.
As I plan my holiday decorating for 2019, I share seven trees I've decorated over the years.
1. Oversized and Rotund reaching to the ceiling, a rounded robust tree with all white lights, my favorite kind of tree. It filled out this space nicely in a room with high ceilings and in a country setting.
2. A Cluster of Many Creates A Forest Feel
a snapshot from the holiday store I decorated for the
former handbag company, Dooney & Bourke flagship store
on Madison Avenue in 1995. We brought in several trees throughout the expansive store and simply wrapped the bottoms in burlap with wooden boxes surrounded filled with flowers for an all-natural forest feel.
3. Tall and Skinny Tree Filled With Multi-Colored Lights
and vintage mercury glass ball. we went tall and skinny tree this one year, and it was slim pickings and the nursery, so we filled it out with multi-colored lights and a gold wrapped faux branch. It felt like the holiday trees we adorned growing up
4. Red Touches the before and after- I love the simplicity of the bare tree (left) simply wrapped in burlap. This one year we went with a lot of red bows on the tips of the branches and other red adornments like berries and red flowers and accessories.
5. A Children's Book Theme- The Velveteen Rabbit
In 2015, I was invited to decorate a tree in the main hall for the historic home (now a museum) The Bartow Pell in the Bronx.
The theme for the year was children's story books, so I adorned the tree and area pulling inspiration from the Velveteen Rabbit in an all gold and silver motif with childhood memorabilia from this famous children's book.
6. Nutcracker theme - white snowflake, ballerinas and and pink ribbons an apartment tree can sometimes need to be smaller so we used dark ornaments in plum and navy with pink bows and snowflakes to bring charm
7. Natural Elements To Create A Sophisticated Tree another year, working with the emerald green and yellow coloring
of this historic living room, we created an all silver & gold tree with a rosemary tree nearby wrapped in gold ribbons, babies breathe in the tree for a white dusted feeling, pine cones and white birch as ornamentation