Question 9: What do Christmas Trees Have to Do with Jesus?

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What do Christmas trees have to do with Jesus?

Ian
Why do we celebrate Christmas by chopping down a fir tree and putting it in our living rooms? What do Christmas trees have to do with Jesus?

Clive
Good question! The tradition of the Christmas tree comes from northern Germany, where, for thousands of years, tribes decorated with tree branches, and, before they knew about Jesus, even linked certain trees to imaginary gods!

Ian
What? Imaginary gods?

Clive
Yes. One giant oak tree was called “The Oak of Thor.” If anyone cut it down, they believed, the god Thor would strike them dead!

Ian
Oh my! What happened next?

Clive
Well, a Christian named Boniface came to northern Germany to tell them about Jesus. They said, “We don’t believe in Jesus, we believe in Thor! Look! Here’s his tree!” So guess what Boniface did?

Ian
What?

Clive
He picked up an axe and chopped down the tree.

Ian
And what happened?!?

Clive
Nothing. So everyone stopped believing in Thor and started believing in Jesus instead.

Ian
Wow! But where do Christmas trees fit in?

Clive
Well, according to the story, Boniface then pointed to a small fir tree that was growing right next to Thor’s oak tree and said, “This will be your new symbol. You use this tree to build your homes – let Christ be at the center of your households. Its leaves remain evergreen in the darkest days – let Christ be your constant light. It’s branches reach out to embrace and its top points to heaven – let Christ be your Comfort and Guide.” So people started cutting down small fir trees and hanging them from the ceilings of their houses to remind them of Jesus.

Ian
I’m sure glad I don’t have to drag a giant oak tree into my house to remind me of Thor!

Clive
Got that right!

Ian
So that’s where the Christmas tree came from! I’ve got another question!

Clive
Tomorrow!

Ian
Right.

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