Many cultures, from the Egyptians to the Vikings, associated the evergreens in their area with a sun god and would bring a evergreen in to signify the end of winter and the upcoming bountiful season. Often evergreens were thought to signify resurrection and the triumph of life over death.
It was in Germany, around the 16th century, that we find reference to the first Christian practice of bringing inside the evergreens as a celebration of Christmas. More than likely it represented to the Christians a similar message of rebirth and resurrection as it did for earlier pagan people. Because of this connection with paganism it was not accepted into Puritan America until around the mid 18th century. I am personally glad that I missed those solemn and Stoic days of the Puritan society. I can't imagine having been penalized for being happy and celebrating Christ's birth.
|This wonderful vintage paper tray depicting a traditional German celebration was found in ETSY shop A Vintage Smattering at |