We see folks asking this question quite a bit on Google and we thought we'd chime in with our response as well.
The use of trees to celebrate festivals can be traced back to ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. In recent history, Germans brought the tradition of candlelit trees from the old country to the US in the mid-1800s.
Tradition holds that Martin Luther was awed by the sight of stars twinkling through evergreen trees and added candles for the first time to a Christmas tree to create an indoor diorama. (See more about the history of the Christmas tree.)
Whether they originated with the pagans or had their beginnings in early Christian tradition, what's really important is what they mean to us today.
Christmas trees symbolize all the fun, goodness, and tradition of Christmas.
Until the tree is up, it just doesn't feel like Christmas. But put up a 2, 4, 8 or 20-foot tree, add lights, a few ornaments, and presents and suddenly, it's the time of year to look back at what has been, celebrate the Season, and look to the future.
The lights make December evenings romantic. Wrapped and under the tree, presents are a blessing we open on Christmas morning with a side of cinnamon rolls.
So, what does a Christmas tree symbolize?
Christmas trees mean family, friends, and celebration. They make us remember that little kid that lives inside of all of us who was tempted to peel back the tape or imagined what it was like to live in that Christmas village ornament.
We're never too old for trees or too jaded for the Message of Christmas.
Let's look forward to a wonderful Christmas season after this long, hot summer.