All recognize them, many use one, few knows its history. As the adopted symbol of Christmas, the Christmas tree has evolved from its very humble beginnings in 16th century Germany, where my family lineage comes from. As folk tradition, Germans would get a small tree from the forest and decorate it with a variety of small fruits, nuts, and other foods. Indeed, this is clearly a deviation from our current presentation of this holiday symbol. Celebrating Christmas religiously, and since our family history dates back to its place and culture of origin, our Christmas tree means a lot to us. It means coming together and being thankful for what we have. To me, the Christmas tree means family. We set it up together, decorate it together, and eventually take it down together. My German father adopted this tradition from his father who actually lived in north Germany during the 19th century. Controversy, my mother’s side of the family adopted it from the American culture of the post war era. After the holiday season is over, and all the decorations are down, I take a step back to think if I spent enough time with my family. Eventually, we take it down and the only thing left is the tree debris that covers the floor and couches. I am thankful for my family, as the Christmas Tree does not only represent our religious holiday, but our family love that one day I hope to pass down to my own.
– Mike Lange