Advent Calendar / 22 December
They say there is a shortage of Christmas trees in Sweden this year. This is because snow came so early this winter, and never left. Which means a lot more work for each tree that has to be cut. For customers who want to choose their three before it’s cut, I imagine it also involves some difficulties in judging what the tree might look like without the snow. Not to mention finding a place for it to thaw before taking it inside…?
I have no statistics to prove it, but my guess is the sale of artificial Christmas trees might have gone up this month.
I was not really out looking for Christmas trees, though, when I took those first two pictures... Not trees to take in, anyway! My own artificial little tree (60 cm high) is celebrating its 24th Christmas with me. It’s usually the last of my Christmas decorations to get put up. I decorated it on Monday afternoon this week. Then on Tuesday some presents to put under it arrived by mail from a friend!
The custom of the Christmas tree can be traced back to 15th century Estonia and Germany. A decorated tree was put up in the market square or the guild hall. People danced around it, and the edible decorations were given out to the children on Christmas Day.
The Christmas tree is said to have been introduced in Britain and the US in the early 19th century. The first report of a Swedish Christmas tree is from 1741, but it did not get really common until the late 19th/early 20th century. The early Christmas trees in private homes were usually small, table-sized ones.
Long before the introduction of the Christmas tree it was common to take in just branches for decoration.