The tradition of the Christmas tree explained - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

The tradition of the Christmas tree explained

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(WTVM) – We all know the tradition of putting up our Christmas tree in December. Some families some use real trees, while some use fake trees, but do you know where the tradition of putting up a tree comes from?

Give credit to Germany for this holiday tradition which dates back to the Middle Ages.

The Germans would have a parade carrying “paradise trees” with apples on them, Bob Doares (training specialist at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation) tells USA Today.

The first White House Christmas tree, decorated with candles and toys, was placed in the second floor oval room, then used as a library and family parlor, in 1889 for President Benjamin Harrison and his family.

In 1894, three years after electricity was introduced in the White House, the first electric lights on a family tree delighted the young daughters of President Grover Cleveland.

In 1909, President William H. Taft's children helped decorate the first tree on the state floor in the Blue Room.

Today, the Christmas Pageant of Peace, a major event held annually on the Ellipse since 1954, includes the lighting of the National Christmas Tree. This celebration respects the holiday worship of all faiths and features the appearance of the first family to light the tree and host live musical and dance performances.

According to a 2013 Nielsen survey, 80 percent of the trees in homes are artificial.

The study also found that more than 94 million American households, or 79 percent of all households, will display a Christmas tree in their home this holiday season

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