The Christmas tree is very much a religious symbol: here’s why

There are at least 3 Christian symbols that all trees embody, no matter how you decorate them.

Melanie DeFazio | Stocksy United

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how lovely are thy brunches … This popular old song pops straight into our heads while we place an ornament, an apple, an angel, or a star on our Christmas trees. But have you ever stopped to think of the origins and deeper significance of this humble conifer?

Coming from regions of northern Europe and stemming from pagan traditions, the Christmas tree actually took its time to become part of our Christian traditions. And in fact it also took time to develop its persistent greenery in the heart of winter. A sign of life that never dies.

Placed next to the nativity scene, the Christmas tree gives us a sense of the Incarnation. Jesus, the child who sleeps next to his mother, has come to the world to give man access to the tree of life, of which sin has erased the path. And in this way, the Christmas tree makes us think of another tree, that of the cross, which is the tree of life, the source of all blessings.

Originally, the Christmas tree was decorated with red apples, which was a reminder of the abundance of fruit in Paradise. Today it is often adorned in garlands, multi-colored baubles, and fairy lights. This abundance is a sign of joyful hope. As the tree keeps its greenery, the life that Christ has brought to us never dies, but extends out into a blessed eternity. It’s from there that the infant Jesus calls us to follow Him.

People often try to secularize the Christmas tree, but next time you pass one in the mall or the town green, you’ll know the inside secret and meaning that one of our favorite symbols of Christmas time holds.

Oh Christmas tree, we love you:

Reprinted courtesy of Magnificat.

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