2015-12-23 / Editorial & Columns

Behind the Badge

The Christmas Tree, Another Christmas Tradition
By Larry G. Spence

Christmas among other things is a day of tradition and legend. Almost every household goes through the same routine each and every Christmas, even sometimes going above and beyond our normal activities. We've always done these activities as children growing up with our parents, and now that we are parents, we continue the same traditions.

One of many traditions we have each Christmas is the Christmas tree as the center of our decorations and festivities. Usually topped with a star and glittering with lights and all kinds of ornaments, it is a part of the beauty and meaning of the Christmas season. How did the Christmas tree come to play such an important part in the observance of Christmas? Well, inquiring minds would like to know so I looked it up.

There is a legend that comes down to us from the early days of Christianity in England. One of those helping to spread Christianity among the Druids was a monk named Wilfred (later, Saint Wilfred). One day surrounded by a group of his converts, he struck down a huge oak tree which, in the Druid religion, was an object of worship. As it fell to the ground, the oak tree split into four pieces and from its center sprang up a young fir tree. The crowd gazed in amazement.

Wilfred let his axe drop and turned to speak. "This little tree shall be your Holy Tree tonight. It is the wood of peace, for your houses are built of the fir. It is the sign of an endless life, for its leaves are ever green. See how it points towards the heavens? Let this be called the tree of the Christ Child. Gather about it, not in the wilderness, but in your homes. There it will be surrounded with loving gifts and rites of kindness." And so, to this day, that is why the fir tree is one or our loveliest symbols of Christmas and it's even more beautiful when all the family gathers around to decorate it.

So this Christmas, remember the legend about the Christmas tree, but even more important, remember the gift from the Creator of all things to show his love for us, the free gift of His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have eternal life. I hope and pray this Christmas that you have accepted that precious gift from Our Father, Who art in Heaven. Have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New yearl Stay safe and stay blessed!

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