The History of the Christmas Tree

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What is the history of the Christmas tree? Sunday School Lady explains why we celebrate Christmas with Christmas trees. Christmas trees originated in Germany, where people worshiped an oak tree than supposedly represented Thor. When Boniface, a Christian, cut down Thor’s tree and nothing bad happened, the people began to worship God instead. Boniface declared an evergreen tree to be the symbol of Christ’s love. From the new family Christmas DVD Buck Denver Asks Why Do We Call It Christmas? from VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer.

The History of the Christmas Tree

Sunday School Lady
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 make-believe gods!

Buck
Wait – make-believe gods?

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

Buck
Goodness gracious! Then what happened?

Sunday School Lady
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!” Boniface had to find a way to show them Thor wasn’t real. So guess what he did?

Marcy
I think I know!

Sunday School Lady
He picked up an axe and chopped down the tree!

Buck
What happened?

Sunday School Lady
Nothing. So everyone realized Thor was fake and started believing in Jesus instead!

Marcy
That’s amazing! But, um, where do Christmas trees come in?

Sunday School Lady
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. It’s 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.”

From Buck Denver Asks Why Do We Call It Christmas?
Jellyfish Labs 2011
Phil Vischer

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