The Tradition of the Tree

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Christmas is a great time of year. People have traditions that they love, families come together, and lots of great food is enjoyed. But perhaps one of the strangest customs of this season is the Christmas tree. Have you ever stopped to think about the idea of going out into the cold, killing a tree, then dragging it into your house where it makes a mess and continues to rot away? The Christmas tree has become a fun part of this holiday for families all over the world. The Christmas tree finds its roots in the pagan celebration of Saturnalia. Saturnalia was the celebration of the sun continuing to shine. When winter comes the amount of time that is bright from the sun gets shorter. As the light seemed to come in shorter and shorter stretches, what would happen when it went out completely? The light didn’t go out completely, it hits a certain point and the days begin to increase the amount of light provided. This recognition that the sun was unconquered and the light would still shine was celebrated at Saturnalia. December 19-25 was the seven-day celebration because that’s the week the days stop getting shorter and start getting longer. During this festival, they would exchange and decorate their homes with green trees. Evergreens don’t lose their color. In the darkest week of the year, they would add color to their homes. It is from this pagan celebration that we get the date of December 25, as well as our tradition to bring a tree into our home. While these things may have started as a pagan holiday, Christmas and its traditions can be an amazing celebration of redemption. Christ came that we might have life and have it abundantly. So, kill a tree and celebrate the redeemer that was born to seek and save the lost.