I did start this post by writing about the meaning of Christmas in connection with the Weekly Photo Challenge of Celebration. It became a bit too controversial so I have scrubbed it and decided to write about Christmas trees and decorations instead. A celebration is usually marked by a party, festival or holiday with a gathering of people. We use balloons, banners, and other adornments to decorate rooms, trees and houses and at Christmas these are used in abundance.
I have wondered where the tradition of Christmas lights and decorations originated, so I had a little look around for some history. It seems to date back to the 15th century, where it was customary for every house and all the parish churches to be decked with holly and ivy and any other greenery of the season. Along with the traditional colours of Christmas are red and green, gold and silver are found everywhere and in recent years blue appears to be a popular colour.
At work our Christmas tree in the reception area is decked out annually in the company colours of blue and gold.
In the spirit of Christmas, even our post trolley has been decorated.
When I was walking home from work this evening, I noticed a number of houses had flashing lights in blue and white hanging from windows and porches, but no blow up Santas or flashing reindeer on roofs unlike the film National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
The custom of having a decorated tree was introduced to Britain by Prince Albert during the reign of Queen Victoria. By 1841 the Christmas tree had become even more widespread throughout Britain and in the 1870s, people in the US had also adopted the custom of putting up a Christmas tree. Some consider the Christmas tree as pagan, an adaptation of pagan tree worship and I remember some years ago there being quite a hoo- ha at our church when two large Christmas trees appeared either side of the altar. They looked lovely and were tastefully decorated with white lights and soon became a regular sight at Christmas time. At my daughter’s church the parishioners hang stars on their tree, having written on the back the name of someone special that they want remembered at Christmas time. I think that is a lovely idea.
At this time of year you can’t walk down a high street or shopping mall without seeing Christmas lights and banners hung high, usually accompanied by loud Christmas music is played from speakers and most towns and villages have a Christmas tree usually in the town square.
Our town Christmas tree stands just up from the seafront. Last night we had almost gale force winds and the poor tree now has a severe list. It looks as though it has had too much of the “celebration water”.
Don’t forget that Christmas decorations are traditionally taken down on Twelfth Night, the evening of January 5. Between now and then, have a wonderful time with all the trimmings that go with a CELEBRATION.
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