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The History of Christmas Trees
Many people celebrate the holiday, but few know the history of why people have Christmas trees as part of the décor. Having trees as part of Christmas did not begin as an American custom. The practice of setting up a Christmas tree first began as early as the 1500s as a German custom but the idea wasn’t widely accepted in the beginning.
Many areas of Germany didn’t start celebrating the Christmas holidays with a tree until the later part of the 1800s. Overseas, by the first of the 1900s, two classes of people – the wealthy and royalty- started putting up Christmas trees and from there, the tradition was born.
When the first wave of people left their country and came and settled in the New World, many brought with them the tradition of putting up evergreens inside their home and decorating small trees outside the home with whatever treasures nature provided.
Here in America however, the Christmas tree was much slower to catch on. Some people thought the Christmas tree was a symbol associated with Christians, but Christians were not open to the idea of having a tree in the midst of their holiday celebration.
It was regarded with suspicion and religious people believed the tree to be a symbol of paganism even though that belief was incorrect. Because of that belief, many Christians refused to have anything to do with Christmas trees. But slowly, the custom caught on.
Christmas trees first began to be marketed in the United States in the mid 1800s and were also accepted into the White House by the then residing President. Christmas trees were set up in public displays, trimmed with decorations and people were awed by the beauty. Toward the latter part of the 1800s a well known retail store saw the need for artificial trees and began selling them to customers.
In some countries, Winter Solstice heralded the time to set up the Christmas tree-close to the arrival of Christmas day. The first week of January was slated as time to remove the tree and all its trimmings.
Today, the Christmas tree is customarily set up shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday but some families set it up earlier. Taking down the tree is generally still done the first week of January but some families wait until after New Years Day.
This is due to the old wives tale that what you’re doing on January 1, you’ll do all year long. Since taking down the tree is hard work, folks believed that by taking it down then, that meant they would work hard all year long.
Whether the tree is put up after Thanksgiving or taken down after New Year’s Day, this is one custom that is loved and practiced by many. A Christmas tree can add a bright sparkle to your holidays, a well decorated, celebrated finishing touch.
Tips on How to Wrap the Perfect Christmas Present
Not everyone knows how to wrap the perfect Christmas present. Some of the presents you see on display in stores look like they were wrapped by someone with decades of experience, while other presents look like they were wrapped by an octopus wearing oven mitts.
Why do your gift wrapping skills leave you feeling frustrated to the point you’re ready to just shove every gift in a bag and pronounce it finished? Is there an easy way to wrap the perfect Christmas present? Yes!
The first step is to get everything you’ll need for wrapping together in one localized area. If you have a small card table, those are the perfect height to use when you’re wrapping. Never wrap a gift on your bed or on the sofa. Not only can you nick the bed linens or sofa with the scissors, but because of the give in the mattress or sofa cushion, you’ll end up with wrinkles or lumps in the wrapping paper.
Don’t assume that just because you have an oddly shaped gift that it can’t be wrapped well or that you won’t be able to find a box to put it in. Even if you’re baking homemade goodies to share, there are special boxes and tins just for putting food times in
Next, make sure you get boxes for the gifts that will fit inside boxes. If you have an oddly shaped large gift, know that you can find oversized boxes at moving companies. Boxes give you a flat, even surface to wrap. It also takes away the “feel it and guess what it is” temptation for those who can’t wait for Christmas Day to find out what their gifts are.
Don’t play guessing games with the amount of wrapping paper you lay out for the gift. Measure the width and height of the gift with a ruler or measuring tape, then cut off that much wrapping paper leaving a little excess to make the corners nice and smooth.
Situate the gift in the center of the wrapping paper. Pull up one side of the paper and using a small piece of tape, secure it to the gift. Pull up the other side, fold over a quarter inch of the paper so that it tucks under and tape it to the first side. If you don’t like tape showing, you can use a heavy duty glue stick to secure the paper, just don’t get the glue on the gift itself.
To cover the line where you folded the paper, add a strip of Christmas ribbon or use fabric ribbon. You can add a store bought bow or one you created yourself. Remember that practice makes perfect and you can wrap like a pro!