Collection of Christmas Trees and the History of This Holiday Staple

Kevin McAllister was the star character in the Home Alone movies, and he was obsessed with Christmas trees. I feel the same way about the holidays. The tree is my favorite decoration. There’s something magical about a tree lit up for the season. Today I’m sharing a collection of Christmas trees, along with a bit of this holiday staple’s history.

Classic Christmas tree


Germany is credited with the inception of the Christmas tree back in the 16th century. The first tree was claimed to have been placed in the Cathedral of Strasborg in 1539.

Traditional Christmas tree with orange slices


Evergreen boughs have been used throughout history to decorate homes. Oftentimes it was in reference to the fruitfulness of farms and orchards. And Druids, the priests of ancient Celts, decorated temples with evergreens as a symbol of everlasting life.

Orange slice Christmas tree


Martin Luther is credited with placing the first candles on a Christmas tree. Legend has it that he was inspired by the twinkling of the stars through the evergreens.

Christmas tree with pink and gold decorations


In America, Christmas trees weren’t a welcome tradition at first. Pennsylvania German settlers had trees as early as the mid 1700s. The trees were thought to be pagan symbols by the purists in America.

Red and white Christmas tree


William Bradford, the second pilgrim governor, penalized the use of Christmas trees. Some pastors went so far as to claim that carols and any other form of holiday frivolity desecrated the sacred birth of Jesus.

Pastel Christmas tree


Not only that, but Massachusetts enacted a law making any observance of December 25th a penal offense. That was back in 1659 and continued until the 19th century.

Bronze holiday tree


Enter Queen Victoria in 1846 with her German Prince. Their family was sketched around a Christmas tree and since the Queen was so popular, the Christmas tree became a new tradition for the British and fashion-conscious east Americans.

Victorian Christmas tree


Europeans preferred smaller trees, while Americans liked large, extravagant trees that stretched from floor to ceiling.

Small and simple Christmas tree


Large Christmas tree


Europeans used natural elements to decorate trees, while Americans used homemade ornaments.

Natural style Christmas tree


Once electricity became normal for most homes, tree lights were added to the decorations.

Flocked tree with gold Christmas ornaments


Here’s a few more Christmas trees to enjoy.

Tree decorated with metallic Christmas ornaments


metallic ornaments on tree


Christmas tree with white and silver decorations


It’s odd to think that the Christmas tree didn’t become a standard holiday decoration in America until the mid-1800s, which was about the time my house was built.

Red and gold ornaments on tree


history of the Christmas tree


Next year I think I’m going to take out my vintage ornaments and create a tree like this one. It’s been about 10 years since I’ve used them.

Live Christmas tree with vintage ornaments in front of a white fireplace mantel in the living room


Another way to enjoy a holiday tree is to drive around at night to see them all light up throughout towns and neighborhoods.

Christmas tree at night in Quebec


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Love that you shared the pictures of these beautiful trees. It was so nice to read the history of the Christmas tree and how it developed and spread.
    Thank you and Merry Christmas!