O Christmas Tree, from whence did you come?

by

The State Journal:

“When Queen Victoria and her German husband, Prince Albert, decorated a Christmas tree in Windsor Palace in 1848, it was widely reported in popular American publications,” says Jim Leary, professor and director of the Folklore Program at UW-Madison. “Well-to-do, fashion-minded Americans soon followed suit, with rural and working-class folks not that far behind. By 1856, President Franklin Pierce gave the Christmas tree official sanction when he had one decorated in the White House.”

In addition to giving light and heat during long winter nights, candles often serve a more spiritual role.

Candles? Am I the only person who finds the notion of candles on a tree horrendous? Although the article didn’t specify that the candles were on the tree, I’ve often seen that very thing depicted in paintings from the past. Any volunteer fire fighters out there to back me up?

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One Response to “O Christmas Tree, from whence did you come?”

  1. Ordinary Jill Says:

    I’m not a firefighter, but here is some confirmation about candles on trees and fires:
    http://inventors.about.com/od/cstartinventions/a/Xmas_Lights.htm

    In a nutshell, modern electric Christmas tree lights were invented precisely because candles on trees were a fire hazard.

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