Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The tradition of the tree

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It is impressive to see the beautiful, decorated Christmas tree standing at the edge of Olvera Street. It has such a variety of decorations, it "feels" festive as well as traditional.

IMG_9969 as Smart Object-1I love looking at the variety of ornaments. They all have such a warm, old-fashioned appeal. I love the process of decorating for Christmas, including the tree. But it made me wonder how we started with the tradition. As I did a little research, there were many possibilities...

Legend has it that Martin Luther began the tradition of decorating trees to celebrate Christmas. One crisp Christmas Eve, about the year 1500, he was walking through snow-covered woods and was struck by the beauty of a group of small evergreens. Their branches, dusted with snow, shimmered in the moonlight. When he got home, he set up a little fir tree indoors so he could share this story with his children. He decorated it with candles, which he lighted in honor of Christ's birth. The candles were to simulate the reflections of the starlit heaven - the same heaven that looked down on to Bethlehem on the first Christmas eve.

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