The Christmas Tree has been with us since the Middle Ages and it has traveled from Germany to England to all of America and to the whole world. From the 1800’s to the year 2000 its popularity has never waned instead it has grown into what I would consider as the expression of the Prosperity in Life and Love. From the smallest Christmas Tree found in doll houses to the biggest Christmas Tree recorded in the Guinness Book, found in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Christmas Tree has managed to “evolve” with the times.
Year after year Christmas trees have taken new forms, styles, shapes, colors, and sizes and adorned with all kinds of Christmas ornaments that match the chosen theme of the time, place, event and preference of those creating them.
The Christmas tree is undoubtedly the undisputed symbol for immortality. According to a legend, the first Christmas Tree was actually called Paradise Tree, an Evergreen tree that served as the only prop used in the dramatic play called the “Paradise Play”. Interestingly enough, the play told the story of Adam and Eve with the tree representing everlasting life.
From Paradise to Christmas
The Paradise Play was part of what used to be called mystery plays performed in Western Germany aimed to teach the common man religious truths found in the Bible. The Paradise Tree found its place in different homes in Germany when the play ceased to be performed.
The Germans found value in making their own Paradise Tree for it became the tool to tell their children the story of Adam and Eve attaching more
symbols by using wafers and cookies to represent the fruits of redemption. Candles, being the main source of light then, became the representation of Christ as being the Light of the World.
A wooden pyramid structure was created as candle holders and was aptly called the Christmas pyramid which was placed beside the evergreen tree. This pyramid candle holder was decorated with tinsel, paper or cloth roses and a star which was placed on top of the structure.
Years later the Evergreen tree and pyramid structure was combined to form the Christmas Tree as we know it today.
The Prosperity of Love and Life
The quality of the Evergreen tree as being able to remain green amidst the changes of the season is the main reason why it was chosen to play the part of the Christmas Tree. This quality is often highlighted in different meanings people have attached to it but the statement of Pope John Paul II best sums it up as he declared that “The Christmas tree is an ancient custom that exalts the value of life.”
Value of life is the magnet that attracts prosperity. When we acknowledge the value of our own lives and that of others, when we make decisions based on the value we have for life, when we act on matters that prioritize the welfare of others as much as our own then we are drawing unto ourselves all the prosperity and abundance love and life has to offer.
The type of Christmas tree we choose to display in our homes could show the value we put in the symbol of the season. The Christmas ornaments placed on the tree may be expressions of what we value in life. The Christmas lights could display our highest spiritual desires. The kind of Christmas star or Christmas angel we choose to place atop the tree may speak of what we value most. The manner in which the decorating activity was carried out may reveal the value we put on relationships.
The Christmas gifts we put under the tree could reveal our desire to spread love bursts through gift-giving. The activities conducted beside the Christmas tree may showcase the love that abounds in our life. And the love shared around the Christmas tree could be our expression of gratitude to the original Tree of Life – God our Father.
May the prosperity of love and life keep you abundant amidst the changing seasons in your lifetime!