Though there may be disagreement on when the tradition of Christmas trees first started, the case is certainly strong for both a German and a Christian origin. As might be expected, the popular carol “O Christmas Tree” (“O Tannenbaum” in German) also had its beginning in Germany.

Interestingly, in the Bible, God compares himself to a tree. He says, “I am like a green pine tree; your fruitfulness comes from me” (Hosea 14:8b). This is a relevant analogy to consider during the Christmas season. The fruitful lives of Christians can serve as the “ornaments” that draw others to admire the “tree” – God himself!

1 Catholic Encyclopedia. “St. Boniface.” Retrieved August 8, 2008 from New Advent:

2 Weiser, Francis X. Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs. Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc., 1958, p. 99.

The content in this article is drawn from Christmas, Celebrating the Christian History of Classic Symbols, Songs and Stories, Holiday Classics Publishing, 2010. It is used with permission.  Learn more about this Christmas book.

Angie Mosteller is founder of Celebrating Holidays, an educational company dedicated to teaching the Christian roots of American holidays. For more information on the history and symbols of Christmas, as well as creative ideas, visit

Publication date: December 17, 2012

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