What About the Christmas Tree?
Words of Life!
Volume 2, Number 10, December 1991
A Publication Ministry of Word of Life Baptist Church
by Fred G. Zaspel
Green trees were often used in ancient Egyptian and Roman religious festivals, but the Christmas tree is a relatively recent tradition. Not until the sixteenth century did the practice become widespread. An old "miracle play" given in preparation for Christmas featured a fir covered with apples in a story concluding with the promise of Christ's return.
Martin Luther is credited for the first lighted tree. Tradition has it that he saw bright stars twinkling through the branches of a fir tree one night while he was walking home. He cut a small tree and placed lighted candles on its branches to imitate it. It became a permanent fixture in his Christmas celebrations.
Eventually, the practice worked into the celebrations of others, and now, of course, it is solid tradition.