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Ancient history of the Christmas tree
Evergreens have been a part of winter celebrations since ancient history. Today, the tradition of decorating with evergreens and a Christmas or holiday tree is prolific in every corner of the world.
Evergreens have been a part of winter celebrations since ancient history. Early Egyptians were known to decorate their homes with green date palm leaves to celebrate life’s victory over death while Romans celebrated winter solstice by adorning their homes with fresh greens and lights. Holly and Mistletoe were symbols of eternal life to the Druids who also placed evergreen branches above their doorways to fend off evil spirits. Between the 14th and 16th centuries Germans and Scandinavians were known to display an evergreen tree in their home or just outside their door to express hope in the upcoming spring.
The first lighted Christmas tree has, by some, been traced back to German philosopher and theologian, Martin Luther, who was said to have found himself in wonderment of moonlit snow glistening on the boughs of a cluster of evergreens. In an attempt to replicate the beauty he happened upon, Luther assembled a small fir tree complete with candles which he reportedly lit in honor of Christ’s birth.
By the 17th century elaborately decorated evergreen trees were commonly displayed throughout Germany in celebration of Christmas. By the end of the 18th century Christmas trees had grown in popularity, particularly among Lutherans who introduced the custom to England and the Americas. Today, the tradition of decorating with evergreens and a Christmas or holiday tree is prolific in every corner of the world.
“There are about six types of trees that make up the majority of the country’s Christmas tree market,” said Tim Sime of Jolly Lane Greenhouse. “The most popular trees in this area are the Balsam and Fraiser fir but we carry a wide variety including snow flocked trees.”
Regardless of what you attribute your custom to, evergreen trees and branches have been imparting beauty and mood elevating aromatherapy to homes throughout the world for centuries. “You can make all kinds of decorations with evergreen boughs, Sime said. “A simple bowl with evergreen twigs tucked among round tree ornaments makes a beautiful and easy centerpiece.”
“We welcome people to look around the greenhouse for holiday decorating ideas or wander through our snow-free forest to find the perfect Christmas tree,” urged Sime. “The greenhouse is so beautiful this time of year.”
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Jolly Lane Greenhouse is a family owned and operated garden center and nursery serving the holiday decorating needs of Rapid City, Box Elder, Rapid Valley and Black Hills families and businesses for over 30 years.