The Christmas Creation Process

The Christmas Creation Process

Christmas – ever wondered how we got to where we are with it?

Like most other things that are even a little worthwhile, it’s the result of a long and complex process. Which goes something like this…

  1. It’s the middle of winter, and our (very) distant ancestors are feeling cold, hungry, and depressed. But at least the cold has preserved the meat from their most recent hunt. So they decide it’s time to thaw it out and eat it…
  2. Some less distant ancestors notice that fir trees stay green right the way through the winter. Clearly they are powerful…
  3. Christian missionaries appear in Iron Age Europe. They find there’s a pagan feast at Midwinter involving the worship of a tree. It’s a bit like the Roman feast of Saturnalia, which they’ve already grabbed and converted to a celebration of the birth of Christ. So they do the same up north…
  4. But try to eradicate the tree-worship bit…
  5. Martin Luther (so we are told)  is out walking one day and is captivated by the sight of stars twinkling among the branches of a fir tree. He cuts it down, takes it home, brings it into the house, and decorates it with candles.
  6. Thus inadvertently recreating a pagan festival.
  7. Which is just a tad ironic for a man who thinks the Catholic Church isn’t godly enough…
  8. Germans take the tradition further, decorating their trees with Christmas-themed food items.
  9. They also use silver wire for decoration.
  10. Yup, real silver….
  11. Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha – better known as Queen Victoria’s husband – decides that Windsor Castle needs its own Christmas tree.
  12. In 1846 a sketch showing the royal family gathered around their Christmas tree is widely distributed
  13. Suddenly everyone wants a Christmas tree.
  14. Thus demonstrating the power of social media.
  15. In 1895 Ralph Morris, an American telephone engineer, replaces Luther’s candles with electric lights.
  16. He gets a commendation from his Health and Safety advisor. (Or would have done, if they’d had them in 1895…)
  17. In December 2020 Aunty Pru is feeling cold, hungry and depressed because it’s the middle of winter. She’s also self-isolating, meaning no one else has been in the house since March. There’s a blizzard outside, and her helpers can’t get to the shops. But at least there’s a pile of stuff in the freezer.
  18. So she decides it’s time to thaw it out and eat it…

Looks as though the whole process is starting all over again…