Did you know that the first Christmas was celebrated all the back in 336 in the month of December on the day of the 25 in the time of the first Christian Emperor of Rome a Roman Emperor by the name of Constantine. A little while later Pope Julius I declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated all the time on December 25 every year.
The beginning of the Christmas Tree traditions started just like a lot of our other traditions in Germany. It started back in the 16th century when both Christians brought trees that was decorated into their homes. The evergreen fir tree has been used to celebrate winter festivals both Christian and pagans for thousands of years. Pagans used it more during the winter because it makes them think that spring was coming.
Pope John Paul in 2004, made the Christmas tree a symbol of Christ because this was ancient custom which he exalts the value of life, as in the winter what is the evergreen becomes a sign of undying life, and remains Christians of the “tree of life” Genesis 2:9 a image of Christ a supreme gift of God to humanity.
The first Christmas tree to came out of England credit was given to Prince Albert a consort of Queen Victoria in 1840 but it was actually Queen Charlotte the German wife of George III who actually put the tree in the Queen’s Lodge Windsor in December of 1800. Legend states that a religious reformer by the name Martin Luther invented the Christmas tree. But this is a story for another day and I promise to tell you about Charlotte very soon.
When I was growing up I spend a lot of time at my great grandparents and my grandparent’s dairy farm for the weekends during school, all summer when school was out and every holiday but on Christmas and Thanksgiving more than any other holiday. My grandpa believed that if you were going to do something than it was worth doing it right the first time. Grandma believed that every child would learn how to cook and it didn’t matter to her if you were male or female. One of my male cousin could cook almost as good as my grandma.
One of my favorite Christmases that I remember I think I was about 6 years old and Grandpa was outside in the barn feeding the animals (horses, pigs, and goats) when he noticed that I was standing in the doors of the barn and he asked me what I needed and I said nothing I was just watching you feed the animals. Grandpa told me to go into the house and help both grandmas in the kitchen so I did. My grandma Ruby told me that I could break the green beans for the casserole and I had a big batch of them to do so I did that. After that was done I got up to give them the beans they paid me no attention at all so I climb under the cabinet which sat in the middle of the floor when they needed there and moved against the wall when not in use. Anyway in the kitchen beside my grandma Ruby, Nana, Aunt Betty, Nancy, Gloria, and Brenda they were all talking at the same time about a little bit of everything from food to decorating the Christmas tree because never did our tree out at the farm until about a week before Christmas that is when my grandma and grandpa would make sure our stockings was up and my grandma and Nana would start baking cookies for old Saint Nick. My grandpa Raymond had a wagon that we would put hay and put blankets on top of the hay so we wouldn’t get stuck and he would take us for a sleigh ride then after the ride was over grandma would have hot chocolate with marshmallows. Then we all get ready for bed and my grandparents together would start reading “The Night Before Christmas” they would make it last for a couple of days it was great.
We would have a week worth of cooking and running around like a chicken with our head cut off (my grandma, aunts and cousins) to get stuff done. The tree would get decorated and of course we would have to talk about every ornament that went on the tree where it came from how long we had and who made it if it was homemade.
Then when Christmas morning came we would all run down stairs and we would sit in the living room and my grandpa Max would give each of a present then he would take on until there was no presents left under the tree then last but not least my grandma Louise would give us our stocking and they would be overflowing with different things such as jacks, crayons, writing pads, pencils, pens and small things like that.
Then we would sit down to Christmas dinner and we would all say what we were thankful for and also talk about what are resolutions might be but that was for the older children. I miss those Christmases and Thanksgiving holidays but I’m really glad to have had that to measure my Christmases and other holidays too.