Monday, December 6, 2010

Origins of Christmas Tree

I just wanted to know why I was decorating an evergreen spruce inside our apartment. I asked Anna, and she did not know either. So I went to Wikipedia and found two plausible origins to placing a tree in our homes in December. The first origin comes from St. Boniface in 16th century Germany. In defiance of the Norse gods Boniface cut down the tree of Thor, a huge oak. In it's place sprouted a fir, which he saw as a sign of Christianity's triumph over apostasy. He said, "let Christ be at the center of your households."
The second origin I like comes from Martin Luther, the reformer, who established the Christmas tree as the symbol of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden. Both of these are great. But I have a better origin, compliments of the Tingey family in Montana...
One day, a pilgrim family of six was traveling through the woods. Snow covered the ground. The kids were happy to be outside, walking and talking and throwing snowballs. Someone in the family, probably a boy, sat to rest by an evergreen. While enjoying the great blue sky, the boy noticed two birds racing across the sky. To the boy's surprise, the birds raced right towards him. Instead of flying into him, the flew in for a landing right in that evergreen close by. The boy noticed they were hiding in a nest in the tree. Suddenly, the two birds spoke to the boy.
"Please, help us!"
"Yes, we need help," cried bird # 2. "We are being chased by killer birds. Will you please cut our tree down, place it sideways in the back of your Ford pick-up and drive us to your home. You can disguise our tree by decorating it with lights that will confuse the killer birds. Then you can encircle it with popcorn strands to feed us while we stay in your tree. And don't forget to place neat, glass balls in the tree so kids can come by and grab them to throw at other kids. This will also scare away potential killer birds. And please, preserve our nest while you transport the tree."
The boy, in wonder, walked over to his parents and told them the implausible story of the scared birds in the evergreen nearby. Both parents smiled at each other and walked over with the boy to the tree. To their surprise, they heard the same two birds relate to them the same plea. And so, the pilgrim family cut down the tree and carried it back to their permanent-only-for-a-couple-years house. They protected the nest, decorated the tree, and enjoyed the rest of winter with the family and two scared, but protected, birds. And so the tradition grew, that each Christmas season, families began cutting down trees to protect innocence, preserve life, and enjoy family. And you always wondered where those "two turtle doves" came from !


NanaH said...


Erin Tingey said...

You know, that really could happen. Johnny can come up with some good reason to do something he wants.