“O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches”. 

Yes, it's the opening line of the popular holiday song, talking about one of the favorite Christmas traditions, the Christmas Tree. 

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Decorating the tree is a family tradition for some families and can be something that is looked forward to each year.  

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
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No matter if you use some of the same decorations from year to year, or if you find new ornaments each year, what your tree is dressed in can be a point of contention among some.  

We’ve all done it, seen someone’s Christmas tree, and thought or even said, “I don’t like that”, or “why did they decorate it like that”.  

According to the History Channel, contention about Christmas trees is a part of History. The early leaders in the New England region thought any Christmas celebrations at all were considered sac religious to the point of being called a pagan mockery.


Candle on traditional decorated Christmas tree, evening
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The trees that were brought into homes were said to be used to fight off evil spirits, witches and sickness. Candles were added later by Martin Luther who according to the History Channel wanted to emulate the stars in the sky he had seen among evergreen trees on a walk home one night.  

A drawing of a portrait of Martin Luther
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It wasn’t until the 19th century when German settlers in Pennsylvania went against the grain of the mindset of some of the leadership about the use of Christmas Trees and decorations. 

But the use of trees and decorations really went into a higher gear after 1846 when Queen Victoria and her family were sketched in a London newspaper standing around a decorated Christmas tree.  

Vintage black and white photograph of Queen Victoria
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Victoria was very popular with residents in England as well as with English settlers on the East Coast here in the states, thus the arrival of the Christmas tree here in America. Then some 40 plus years later, decorations from Germany began to arrive as well.  

Once the use of trees became more popular, there was more contention about Christmas trees. The Germans who help popularize the use of Christmas trees here to begin with, used smaller trees, up to about 4 feet. Meanwhile Americans used the motto “go big or go home” by using trees that stood from the floor to the ceiling.  

Christmas tree with decorative items for Xmas time and winter season background.
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We can thank The Rockefellers for the wise spread popularity of Christmas lights. They first added them to their annual tree in New York in 1933 two years after their first tree was put up.  

NYCLA via Getty Images

There’s a lot to love about the Christmas season, but having to love your neighbor’s Christmas tree isn’t one of them, or them having to love yours for that matter.  

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