Need a holiday fun fact?

Christmas tree fun facts: Church Street Tree

Source: Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

For many people, the holidays are a time for a lot of conversation with people that we don’t usually spend a lot of time with. For those that celebrate Christmas, or live in a family that puts a Christmas tree in their home, today do we have a new topic of conversation for you!

Part of our hope here with EWC is to make us all a little smarter, or at least make us all sound a little smarter. So, when I ran across this short video I thought it would be the perfect thing to share with you all for Christmas week! Plus, we needed some holiday science!

For those of you unfamiliar with Christmas trees, they are a traditional form of Christmas decoration. Christmas trees are either fresh or sometimes artificial, and are decorated with lights and ornaments. Very often, they are referred to as “pine trees” but as I learned today, this is an incorrect naming!

So now, if you need a quick fact to throw out if there is a lull in the Christmas conversation, here is MinuteEarth to do a little holiday explaining!

So there you go, I never knew that!

After just trying to explain what a Christmas tree even is, I wanted to know a little bit more about them.

Here are a few quick facts I found from University of Illinois Extension:

Great Moments in ChristmasTree History

  • The use of evergreen trees to celebrate the winter season occurred before the birth of Christ.
  • The first decorated Christmas tree was in Riga, Latvia in 1510.
  • The first printed reference to Christmas trees appeared in Germany in 1531.
  • Besides evergreens, other types of trees such as cherry and hawthorns were used as Christmas trees in the past.
  • Using small candles to light a Christmas tree dates back to the middle of the 17th century.
  • Thomas Edison’s assistant, Edward Johnson, came up with the idea of electric lights for Christmas trees in 1882. Christmas tree lights were first mass-produced in 1890.
  • In 1900, large stores started to erect big illuminated Christmas trees.
  • The tradition of an official Chicago Christmas tree was initiated in 1913 when one was first lit by Mayor Carter H. Harrison in Grant Park.
  • The official Christmas tree tradition at Rockefeller Center began in 1933. Since 2004 the tree has been topped with a 550-pound Swarovski Crystal star. And since 2007, the tree has been lit with 30,000 energy-efficient LED’s which are powered by solar panels.
  • Every year since 1947, the people of Oslo, Norway have given a Christmas tree to the city of Westminster, England. The gift is an expression of good will and gratitude for Britain’s help to Norway during World War II.
  • Since 1971, the Province of Nova Scotia has presented the Boston Christmas tree to the people of Boston, in gratitude for the relief supplies received from the citizens of Boston after a ship exploded in 1917 following a collision in the Halifax, Nova Scotia Harbor. Part of the city was leveled, killing and injuring thousands. 2

Christmas tree fun factsSo, there you go, time to wow some people at holiday parties and Christmas dinners!

Happy holidays!

-Liesl
“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”-Victor Borge

Liesl can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV

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Notes:

  1. “This Is Not A Pine Tree.” YouTube. MinuteEarth, 18 Dec. 2015. Web. 20 Dec. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-m7EuRAdBgk>.
  2. Mason, Sandra. “Fun Facts About Christmas Trees.” University of Illinois Extension, n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2018. <http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/homeowners/001216.html>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

COO Ever Widening Circles

Liesl is a camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often floundering—yoga lover. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV