The History of the Christmas Tree
The Christmas tree actually originated with a much different eleventh-century holiday, when December 24th was a European feast day celebrating the story of Adam and Eve. Part of this celebration was the "paradise," a popular religious play about the couple's banishment from the garden. It featured just one stage prop - a fir tree with apples tied to its branches. This led people in various parts of Europe to adopt to tradition of displaying a Paradise tree each December 24th.
On that same day of the year, many Christians observed the ancient custom of lighting the Christmas light - a single candle - on Christmas Eve. By the 1600s, Christians in western Germany were placing this Christmas light and other candles on the Paradise tree, along the candies, fruits, painted eggshells, nuts, breads, tinsel, and a star. With these changes, the familiar decorated Christmas tree was born.
Eighteenth-century German settlers are generally credited with bringing the Christmas tree tradition to American, as are the German soliders hired by the British to fight in American's Revolutionary War.
By the 1870s, glass ornaments made in Germany became increasingly popular in Britian and the United States. And in 1882, Edward Johnson, who worked with Thomas Edison, created a string of small light bulbs for his Crhistmas tree, inventing electric Christmas lights. The first public, lighted Christmas tree was displayed in Boston, Mass., in 1912. And in 1923, President Calvin Coolidge lit America's first national Christmas tree on the White House lawn.
In the early 1902, the Addis Brush Company introduced the brush tree, utilizing the same process used to make bathroom brushes. The 1960s featured the bright aluminum Silver Pine Tree, illuminiated with a spotlight. And in recent decaedes, artificial trees have proven very popular. Yet, the original Christmas tree remains America's favorite, with tree farms producing over 34 million evergreens each year.