The museum shares a bit of history about Christmas traditions
RADFORD – Glencoe Mansion is looking festive these days, and the museum is also sharing some historical reference for the decorating people do at Christmastime.
Glencoe took to social media about the origins of Christmas trees, garlands and the like:
“There are a lot of traditions observed around Christmas and the winter holiday season, but where do many of these practices come from?
Today we look at the history of garland and wreathes. The tradition of decorating with these elements are as old as Christmas trees. When all trees were still real, it was necessary to trim them down to fit the room they were in. Due to this, there were extra branches that could be used to make decorations.
Evergreen branches also had a lot of symbolism in them. Green was often seen as a color for good luck as it promoted abundance. This combined with the resiliency of evergreens to keep their foliage year-round, became a staple of hope for the coming spring during the harsh winter months. Due to all of these reasons the tradition of hanging garland and wreaths became synonymous with our modern winter festival, Christmas.
Let’s look at the history of Christmas Trees. While the origin of the Christmas tree is disputed, the first recorded example was decorated in 1604. The Christmas tree came to America with waves of German immigrants and was recognized in 1856 when Franklin Pierce decorated one at the White House. They were originally decorated with fruits, cookies, and candles, which evolved into the bulb ornaments, novelty ornaments, and strung lights that we know today.