Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Trees on Between You and Me

DJ the DJ's 2010 remembrance tamarac tree
This week on Between You and Me we're talking about Christmas trees.  DJ the DJ has a tradition with Christmas trees - he gets a tree without needles to represent the people who are missing at Christmas time.  What a great tradition!

We received this email from Harvey from Bemidji:
I enjoyed the conversation between John Bauer and Marshall Helmberger this morning (Dec 10).  The awkwardness that developed during their discussion of Christmas trees and people who don't observe that tradition reflected the reality that members of cultural minorities live with daily.  To hear this transpire on live radio seemed more real than any staged discussion could get.  It made me smile and say, "YES!"

What's your family's tradition?  Do you use the same decorations every year?  Do you have a new theme every year?

Why do we have Christmas trees anyway?

The Christmas Tree originated in Germany in the 16th century. It was common for the Germanic people to decorate fir trees, both inside and out, with roses, apples, and colored paper. It is believed that Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, was the first to light a Christmas tree with candles. While coming home one dark winter's night near Christmas, he was struck with the beauty of the starlight shining through the branches of a small fir tree outside his home. He duplicated the starlight by using candles attached to the branches of his indoor Christmas tree. The Christmas tree was not widely used in Britain until the 19th century. It was brought to America by the Pennsylvania Germans in the 1820's.

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