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The History of the Christmas Tree In America

by Alex Hearn

The Christmas tree is one of the most iconic figures in all of Christmas.

The first people to use Christmas trees were the Germans in the 16th century. Devout Christians brought trees into their homes and decorated them. It was believed that Martin Luther, a German priest and professor from the 16th century, was the first person to decorate a Christmas tree. He loved the way that the stars twinkled amidst the evergreen trees. To recreate the scene he brought a tree into his house and decorated it with candles. [1]

The first people to bring the Christmas tree over to America was the German settlers in Pennsylvania in the 1830’s. Most Americans did not like this as they were seen as Pagan Symbols. The Pilgrims didn’t like the trees. They also didn’t like Christmas carols and other Christmas related activities that the Germans brought over. [1]

Multiple prolific people protested things like decorations for Christmas, including William Bradford, a governor of Plymouth and Oliver Cromwell, an English political leader. [1]

In 1846 Queen Victoria was drawn in the news around a Christmas tree. Queen Victoria was well liked with the population of Britain. Christmas trees then became very popular in Britain and in eastern America. The popularity then spread across the U.S. This lead to the popularity of the Christmas tree in America. [1]

Christmas trees in Germany tended to not be that tall. But when we Americans adopted it, they opted to get trees that touched the ceiling of their house.[1]

“Who knew the Christmas tree came from the Germans,” said sophomore Gabe Mulitauaopele after I told him the about the history.

“I guess that’s interesting,” stated sophomore Michael Johnston.

Sophomore Greg Dellamura told me “About what you would expect out of the history of a Christmas tree.”

Different Christmas traditions have different histories, and it can be fun and informative to see what the history is.