The Symbolism of Christmas Trees & Wreathes

Wow – having been immersed with Christmas wreathes and Christmas trees for many, many decades, Doug ashamedly really never knew what either of them represented. He feels so, so inadequate.

At the beginning of the 16th century, the Germans were the first to bring evergreens into their homes during the season of Christmas, as they were very plentiful in northern and eastern Europe. Evergreens, which survived harsh winters, were known as a symbol for strength and resilience plus, were looked upon as a symbol of hope.

Soon the trees were trimmed so as to have three distinct corners, which represented the holy trinity – the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The tree trimming was also essential to many homeowners as their homes were rather modest in size.

In European tradition, nothing was wasted for in those days, the remaining tree limbs were woven into a circle, or later to be known as a wreath. Forming a circle symbolized eternal life, which analogy is often related to our round wedding rings. In a way though, we guess there is some irony here as we tend to live in a throwaway culture, yet the wreath and its humble beginnings began by not throwing Evergreen limbs away.

So, the next time that you see a Christmas wreath or Christmas tree, don’t just think of them as front door decorations and a place to hide gifts under! If you’re still looking for your dream home here on the coast of North Carolina, we at Carolina Plantations are here to help you find it!

So just where and when did Elves enter our Christmas tradition in America? Was it in a Keebler tree?

In 1850, author Louisa May Alcott, who penned Little Women, wrote a book that was never published titled “Christmas Elves”. Seven years later, Harper’s Weekly kept the story of the Elves alive by publishing an anonymous poem “The Wonders of Santa Claus”. Here is the first known published mention of Elves, which have become as much a part of our Christmas folklore as Santa himself, reindeers, stockings and the North Pole.

Beyond the ocean many a mile,
And many a year ago,
There lived a wonderful queer old men
In a wonderful house of snow;
And every little boy and girl,
As Christmas Eves arrive,
No doubt will be very glad to hear,
The old man is still alive.

In his house upon the top of a hill,
And almost out of sight,
He keeps a great many elves at work,
All working with all their might,
To make a million of pretty things,
Cakes, sugar-plums, and toys,
To fill the stockings, hung up you know
By the little girls and boys.

It would be a capital treat be sure,
A glimpse of his wondrous ‘shop;
But the queer old man when a stranger comes,
Orders every elf to stop;
And the house, and work, and workmen all
Instantly take a twist,
And just you may think you are there,
They are off in a frosty mist.

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