Trees have long been used to decorate homes. Ancient Chinese, Hebrews, and Egyptians viewed evergreens as symbols of eternal life. European pagans "decked the halls" with evergreen branches to bring in life during the dark days of winter.
But, medieval Germans are credited with starting the Xmas tree tradition. They brought fir trees inside on December 24.
The trees were decorated with wafers, candles, and red apples.
These "paradise trees" symbolised the Garden of Eden. 17th-century German settlers brought the tradition to North America. The tradition didn't catch on with most Americans until Queen Victoria popularised it.
In 1846, Victoria and her German husband, Prince Albert, put up a Xmas tree.
They decorated it with toys, candy, popcorn, and cakes. Once word spread, the popularity of Christmas trees took off. It became a tradition throughout England and North America. Now, they can be found all over the world.
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