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4 Bumps

Christians, Please explain to me,

The origin and symbolism of the Christmas tree, and how it came to be a part of the celebration of Christ's birth.

Pagans, same question.


Asked by lovinangels at 4:42 PM on Oct. 17, 2010 in Religious Debate

Level 39 (112,638 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (22)
  • The evergreen is a symbol of Yggdrasil, decorated before the start of Yule, with gifts for the wights (house spirits). It used to be decorated outside, kept alive, and the same tree was used year after year. As Christians invaded the North lands, they began torturing and killing people who wouldn't convert, so people were forced to cut the trees down and hide them inside the house to decorate them there. Over the years, children grew up seeing the tree inside and watching their parents pretend to be Christian to protect them. After a few generations, the lines were blurred, and they just assumed it was a Christmas tree that had always been a part of the Christian holiday that was used to ease the conversion transition.

    If you really want them, let me know and I'll dig up the info on the academic journal articles explaining it all, but you'd have to pay to look at them. I'll see if I have any still printed out, too.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 6:00 PM on Oct. 17, 2010

  • " Since I'm not Pagan, and really don't care to learn anything about it, I don't know. However, they seem to want to blame us for celebrating Jesus' birth on their "holiday."

    Maybe if you cared to learn something, you'd understand what pagans are talking about when they, as YOU say "Blame" you for using their holiday traditions. It's easy to close our eyes and plug our ears and "nanananananana" so as not to learn anything. But then we just look like two year olds having tantrums.
    Knowledge is power ya know.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 5:04 PM on Oct. 17, 2010

  • Why would I want to look into something that is completely contradictory to my own beliefs?

    Maybe so you have a clue what your talking about... How about so you have a better understanding of your own beliefs? You would be shocked to see how many have NOTHING to do with your own so called beliefs... Maybe so you could find out they aren't actually "completely contradictory" to your own beliefs... If anything, they are more like your beliefs than you may want to admit!

    Education, is NEVER a bad thing!

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 5:38 PM on Oct. 17, 2010

  • Yule logs were burned in Northern and Eastern Europe as well...
    There are also connections to Egypt... And Rome... And various other cultural traditions... The Catholic Church tended to ignore the origins of these traditions as Pagan and embrace them as Christian because it allowed them to convert more people with less blood shed - and frankly the less people they killed off the more they could force these new followers to pay religiously sanctioned taxes and other fees... In addition to absorbing these traditions and accepting them as their own, they tended to endorse personalizing them. So while the original traditions which the Christmas tree is based in are Purely Pagan, today's Christmas Tree has been altered to the point of being little more than a decedent of those Pagan Origins, laying somewhere between the true worlds of Paganism and Christianity...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 5:17 PM on Oct. 17, 2010

  • Origins of the Christmas tree aren't as quite as black and white as these questions always assume they are. As the Christians forced conversion of local Pagans the Pagans altered their already loved traditions to fit their new found belief system. In many areas under Church control there was simply no allowance for religious individuality, those who were Pagan were forced to practice Christianity outwardly in an effort to save their lives or the lives of their families. Because of this, what we consider "Christian Tradition" today is in effect a collage of altered Pagan traditions. European Pagans were mostly nature based, and mostly wouldn't have cut down a tree and decorated it. However, many did decorate their homes with fallen or cut limbs from trees or shrubs for their Yule celebration.


    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 5:08 PM on Oct. 17, 2010

  • jaycie, I'm also a Christian but I don't remember Jesus ever telling us to be uneducated about the rest of humanity. It's usually ignorant Christians who cause hatred towards us from the rest of the world. I suppose because you're a citizen of the USA and don't plan to change that, you also don't need to learn about any other countries? DUH to you, too.

    Answer by ceallaigh at 6:34 PM on Oct. 17, 2010

  • The tree is the one symbol that unites almost all the northern European winter solstices. Live evergreen trees were often brought into homes during the harsh winters as a reminder to inhabitants that soon their crops would grow again. Evergreen boughs were sometimes carried as totems of good luck and were often present at weddings, representing fertility. The Druids used the tree as a religious symbol, holding their sacred ceremonies while surrounding and worshipping huge trees.

    This answer came from this site:

    Answer by Kaelansmom at 4:52 PM on Oct. 17, 2010

  • We all know it all has something to do with some Pagan holiday. Since I'm not Pagan, and really don't care to learn anything about it, I don't know.
    Wow! What a fantastic example to set for your kid(s)!!

    I've often wondered and maybe you can answer the question ... IS ignorance REALLY bliss??



    Answer by SpiritedWitch at 6:42 PM on Oct. 17, 2010

  • Perhaps, jaycie, since you have no interest in learning about other customs and religions, you might want to consider keeping your opinions to yourself. If you have no dog in this fight, as you have not the slightest interest in anything but Christianity, then you probably shouldn't be throwing out chum to rile up those who do have an interest in it. You have nothing to offer here, by your own admission. If you are content in your ignorance, then leave the question alone, and find the posts that deal only with the marvels of Christianity.


    Answer by jsbenkert at 5:35 PM on Oct. 17, 2010

  • It has absolutely nothing to do with Jesus' birth.

    Answer by Laura2U at 5:40 PM on Oct. 17, 2010