In 1521, the concept of the Christmas tree was created in the Alsatian town of Selestat, in what is now France. It began when the village leadership placed pine trees in public areas. They placed apples and unconsecrated communion wafers on the trees. Apples were a common product farmed in the area and their placement on the tree was a reference to the original sin. The communion wafers represented Christ’s salvation. By the 1600’s paper flowers and trinkets were added to the trees to create a more dynamic appeal and trees were commonly found in individual houses.
In the late 18th century, there was a drought, and the apple crop was thin. A local glass blower created glass apples, as real apples were too precious to waste. During the 17th and 18th century the communion wafers were replaced with baked treats and gingerbread. Glass bulbs, ornaments, and savory treats quicky replaced the prior religious overtones.
By the 19th century the original religious elements were largely gone and the Christmas tree as we know it today was taking shape with ornaments, gingerbread, and even candles. After the Franco Prussian war of 1871, many families left the Alsace, when it fell under German rule. This led to the rapid adaptation of the Christmas tree throughout France, as anywhere you found an Alsatian family, you would find a Christmas Tree.
The concept of the Christmas Tree expanded rapidly throughout Europe in the late 1800s and quickly found its way to America, becoming a holiday mainstay. In the 20th century, candles were replaced by electric lighting and the religious significance completely disappeared, being replaced by festive and attractive ornaments, tree toppers, and tinsels. From its meager creation, the Christmas Tree evolved to become one of the signature symbols of the season.
Christmas is a time to reflect upon where we are and where we came from.
At Wasatch Business Finance we wish to thank you for an amazing year and look forward to evolving with you in the new year. We wish you opportunity, growth, and success. May 2024 be the best year yet.
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