Facts about Christmas Trees

The Christmas tree is the most recognized symbol of Christmas. The tree is present, at this time of the year, in nearly every home. Christmas trees are decorated with all sorts of ornaments, culminated with a big shiny star on top. There is very little we know about the first Christmas tree. Most stories about the tree’s origin are fictionalized. The following are a few interesting facts about the Christmas tree and how it came about.

1. What is a Christmas tree?
A: A Christmas tree is not an actual biological tree. Rather, it is a festive tree (usually an evergreen) used for holiday decorations during the Christmas season. 

2. When did the tradition of displaying the Christmas tree first come about?
A: The origin of the tree can be traced back to the 15th century. According to historians, Christmas trees were originally not used in individual homes but in town squares and large public places. 

3. What does the big star-shaped ornament on the treetop represent?
A: The ornament is inspired by the Star of Bethlehem. In Christian traditions, the Three Wise Men were guided by the star to Baby Jesus in Bethlehem. 

4. What are the types of ornaments used to decorate the Christmas tree?
A: Common ornaments include colored tinsels, festive lights, Christmas figurines, glass objects, the Nativity scene (under the tree), garlands and candles. 

5. What are the main differences between natural and artificial Christmas trees?
A: Natural Christmas trees are more expensive, but add a sense of authenticity to your holiday celebrations. However, you will have to dispose it after the holiday. Artificial trees are cheaper, more durable and can be reused year after year.

6. Is having a Christmas tree for the holiday necessary?
A: This is a secular practice that has no inherent ties to Christianity. It is very much one’s personal choice. 

References
1) Christmas tree: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/115737/Christmas-tree
Encyclopedia Britannica