Thursday, December 10, 2015

History of Holiday Trees and Trim

Long before Christianity, evergreens held a special significance during the winter season. In a number of countries, the greenery was considered to possess spiritual attributes to ward off evil spirits and illness. Of course adornment reigned in old history; the inhabitants artistically decorated their doors and windows with boughs and greenery.

The early Romans, true appreciators of art and design, decorated their homes and temples with evergreen boughs for an annual feast at the winter solstice. The Saturnalia honored their god of agriculture, Saturn. Simultaneously and far to the north, the Druids, priests of the ancient Celts, were busy decorating, too. They festooned their temples with evergreen boughs, which they considered symbols of everlasting life.

The Christmas tree tradition we know is credited to Martin Luther, a 16th century Protestant reformer. As he walked home one winter evening, the brilliance of the stars twinkling among the evergreens captivated him. To save the scene for his family, he put up a tree in their home and wired candles onto the branches.

In the 1700s, German settlers brought the Christmas tree tradition to this continent, where it spread. In 1848, the tradition reached back across the ocean again. Very popular Queen Victoria of England had wed German Prince Albert; he put a tree up in Windsor Castle. That was it.

England took a new direction for holiday interior design and yuletide fashion. From then on, the Christmas tree became a tradition in England, the United States, and Canada.

A plain evergreen is nice. However, ornaments and lights make a personalized statement. Again, Germany gets credit for birthing a new industry of hand-made ornaments and exporting them to America. But it was American Thomas Edison’s assistant who came up with the idea of putting electric lights on the trees. The rest is history.

Today, Christmas tree decorating takes on as many forms as there are interior decorators. We can select ornaments, ribbons, garland, and lighting to complement the gorgeous furniture and interior furnishings you already have. Or, maybe you need some new fine furniture or an interior design to compliment your holiday endeavors. Drop by our Dallas Furniture Showroom for a consult or that perfect piece to finish or change the room accommodating your Christmas tree.

Oh, and by the way, did you know Christmas trees are grown in all fifty of the United States, but only Texas has J. Douglas Design?