The Christmas Tree

Eastern Red Cedar

George Washington did not have a Christmas tree.  Neither did Scrooge or Tiny Tim.  The Christmas tree tradition developed in the Protestant areas of the Baltic states and northern Germany and gradually migrated from there to England and America in the late 19th century.  The Catholics resisted it at first, thinking it somewhat pagan, but they finally gave in.  Now, it is difficult to think of Christmas without a beautifully decorated tree.

Today, in the United States, many people use artificial trees because of the ease of clean-up and relative safety from fires.  However, millions of live Christmas trees are sold every year, and some of the more venturesome souls go into the forest to cut their own.

The best-selling natural trees are Scotch Pine, Douglas Fir, Fraser Fir, Balsam Fir, and White Pine.  Those trees were rare in the forests near where I lived as a youth, so when I was a young boy my brother Harold and I would go into the woods behind our home and look for an Eastern Red Cedar.  I did the looking and he did the cutting. Many of these trees have a natural pyramid shape and are quite attractive, though they are somewhat difficult to decorate as compared to a fir.  The smell a cedar tree made in our house is something I will always associate with Christmases past.

Thanks for the memories.  

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