Tag Archives: history

The History Behind Holiday Decor

8 Dec


While Gaffigan’s explanation to how our decorating traditions came to be is much funnier, it is obviously inaccurate. It got me thinking, “Why do we use trees, garland, and lights to celebrate this time of year?” I decided to take matters into my own hands and see what I could find out.

Did you know the ancient Egyptians used greens in the home to symbolize life’s precedence over death? The Romans, too, have a history celebrating winter solstice by decorating with lights, evergreens, and the exchanging of gifts. The decorations that are placed on the outside of the home have a rich history in which they were thought to have kept evil spirits away and provide promise for a good spring season.

Our modern day Christmas tree has evolved from these traditions. It’s rumored that Martin Luther was the first to decorate trees in celebration of Christmas. The candles he placed on the evergreen he had indoors symbolized and honored the birth of the Christ child. It wasn’t until much later that the tradition became popular and spread to the United States. By 1900, one in five families had a tree around this time of year. The tradition only grew from there until it was commonplace in most homes twenty years later.

(Reference: obtained from this article by David Robson, Horticulture Expert)