By now many of you will have put up your Christmas decorations and most importantly your Christmas Tree it is the focal point in any home, decorating it is usually a family occasion with everyone helping.
The tradition of the Christmas Tree as we know it dates back to the mid-1800s, in 1821 Queen Caroline had one at her royal palace which was decorated for the children’s parties that were held there, In 1841 Queen Victoria and German-born Prince Albert stood one at the gates of Windsor Castle, a drawing was later published in 1848 in the Illustrated London News showing them celebrating around an indoor decorated Christmas tree, this was a tradition that Prince Albert had enjoyed in his childhood in Germany, this tradition became very fashionable and soon every home in Britain had a tree decorated with candles, ribbon, sweets, fruit and homemade decorations.
Candles are of course a fire hazard; today we use coloured electric lights, tinsel, foil wrapped chocolate shapes and baubles to decorate our trees, the first manufactured Christmas tree ornaments were sold by Woolworths in 1880. A star or an Angel is usually placed at the top of the tree; the Angel represents the Angel that brought glad tidings of great joy to the shepherds in the fields.
One of the most famous Christmas Trees in Britain stands near the statue of Lord Nelson in Trafalgar Square, London it is decorated with great ceremony each year, the huge Norwegian Spruce is a gift from the people of Oslo, Norway to thank the British people for their help during the Second World War.
There are many different types of real Christmas Trees: Norway Spruce, Frasier Fir, Noble Fir, the most common is the Nordman Fir, many people choose to have an artificial tree to ‘save the earth’ or buy a living potted tree which can be brought in and decorated then put outdoors after Christmas to grow.
After 12th night, when traditionally all Christmas decorations are taken down, your Christmas Tree can be recycled, many councils will accept them at recycling centres or collect them on your green bin collection day, they then turn them into valuable nutrient rich compost or mulch.
I would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year and look forward to sharing my gardening and nature blogs with you in 2015.
Have a wonderful time.