Roman Times: Ancient Romans decorated trees with small pieces of metal during a winter festival honoring Saturnus, the god of agriculture. [Insert how the Christians stole pagan rituals– I would call it positive religious marketing. Regardless of where you sit on the religious spectrum, it was genius of them, really.]
Middle Ages: An evergreen was decorated with apples and called the Paradise tree, as a symbol of the feast of Adam and Eve and was held on December 24th each year. Should we be celebrating Adam and Eve’s feast? I mean, wasn’t it her devouring of one stinkin’ apple that doomed us all in the first place? I would opt out of that celebration.
1500’s: Modern trees appear during this century in Germany, undecorated.
1600’s: 1605 gives us the first recorded decorated Christmas tree, adorned with paper roses, apples, and candies. Tinsel was invented in Germany in 1610. Little did they know Tinsel would become the Herpes of Christmas decorations–permanently infecting EVERYTHING it touches. Let’s call this one of Germany’s earliest major failures in a centuries-long string of worldly shortcomings.
1700’s: Haha, my source for this entry says this was century that saw the first record of a Christmas tree in America. Uh, duh. . . this century also saw the first record of, I don’t know, America. Decorations in this century were still of the “homemade variety,” except the blasted tinsel from the Germans. Angels appear at the top of trees for the first time in this century, and little fires are lit under their butts.
1800’s: Tinsel is still around, making it now the German’s longest standing mistake to date. In this century, American greed first presented itself at the holidays during this century, in which each member of the family got their own Christmas tree. It was also in this century that the first Christmas tree lot opened in New York. Despite this advance, parents will still drag their young into the middle of the woods to cut down their own tree for many, many decades to come.
1900’s: Christmas trees became larger, so people could put more tinsel on them (for christsake, Germany!). With the Mod 60’s in full swing, the Silver Pine became trendy with a revolving light source beneath it, making decorating unnecessary for this tree (bye bye nasty tinsel!).
November 29, 2009: Every. Single. Car. on Minnesota highways has a Christmas tree strapped to it, shoved into it, hanging hap-hazardly out the trunk, or dragging behind. Seriously, even the rednecks in the truck next to us at a stoplight had a Charlie Brown tree untied in the bed of their truck. Holy bananas. I guess I just haven’t gotten in to the Christmas spirit yet.