First Christmas Tree in North America - Home of the First Christmas Tree(R)
 
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Christmas in North America
first Christmas tree
503rd year anniversary

No one know for certain who lays claim to the first Christmas tree but few dispute that it was in the area which is now Northern Europe. 

When searching for the historical beginning of the first Christmas tree, one must go very deep into the past. Just like Santa Claus one finds that the first Christmas tree was combination of many different facts, legends and customs. The first documented use of a tree in a winter Christmas celebration was in several locations in Northern Europe including Estonia, and Latvia, in the year 1510 according to documents from the Blackheads Fraternity chronicles and from various sources in Germany.  click for historical facts

Americans are known for their "spirit of giving" and sometimes Americans are known for getting slightly "off the track" and forget what "giving" is all about so to speak. One famous movie  "Its a Wonderful Life" provides such a glimpse of what life might be like if you were not there to give of yourself.  Right about - the 4:00 minute mark brings a tear to one's eye !

There are noticeable differences between traditional Christmas Winter celebrations in North America and those in Northern Europe.

In North America, Christmas is more of an event and family driven activity. Shopping is normally done in large shopping centers and done rather mechanically and quickly. Some have criticized Americans for turning Christmas into a commercial venture!

In many cities and towns in Northern Europe, Christmas is more a "way of life" a traditional winter celebration of the celebration of life and asking for a prosperous New Year to be bestowed upon all folks. In Northern Europe, the activities start on the first advent (usually last weekend in November) and run through the New Year Holiday - places with a Russian influence have an added benefit to extend the winter holiday through the Russian Orthodox Christmas usually the 6 or 7th of January.

Christmas activities in Northern Europe and more community based and the citizens experience the "spirit" each day as they go about their daily activities. Open air Markets spring up in the town squares and wonderful hand crafted items are for sale. Hot wine, roasted almond nuts and other goodies are sold by street merchants. click for more information on the Medieval Christmas Experience (TM)

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Original Oil painting Home of the First Christmas Tree (R) by Latvian Artist Ingmara Zalite www.LinenPaintings.eu

One wonderful event occurs on the day of the Winter Solstice normally the 21st of December each year. That is the Yule log activity where a "cast of costumed and masked characters" pull pieces of wood through the streets of the city to "pick up" the evil spirits. The wood logs are then returned to the fires burning squares where a ceremony with chats and music encourages the evil spirits to come out of the logs and be burnt up readying the city for a prosperous New Year. This event is based on pagan roots and has been done annually for thousands of years and is coming soon again to a city in Northern Europe.

Tallinn Estonia is one city where you may Enjoy the Medieval Christmas Experience (TM)

 
Play the video below and experience one such Winter Solstice event
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click to view more videos on the Medieval Christmas Experience (TM)
 

Back in North America, we encourage everyone, no matter of religion, to join in the magic of this winter holiday season. Experience the Spirit of Giving and take part in as many community activities as possible. Avoid the last minute shopping "rush" and take the time to enjoy the experience. Take time to remember those in the military making America a place to enjoy your freedoms; give a little of yourself and share with those less fortunate - The United Way. Support the Toys for Tots program.

Take a few moments to reflect on the year and to look forward to a more prosperous year. In effect and in your own way hold a Yule log event.

If you are so inclined, decorate your home perhaps with a tree in celebration of the First Christmas Tree in the year 1510.

No matter how you decorate, the Home of the First Christmas Tree project encourages you to take safety seriously and to be aware of the environment.

For more information about safety and the environment, check out the information provided by both the American Christmas Tree Association and the  National Christmas Tree Association.

 

Christmas is all about the Spirit of Giving, family and friends. 

Remember, every time a bell rings, an ANGEL gets their wings!

 

 
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Graphic concept design by  Olga Tjukova, Riga, Latvia
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