The Christmas Tree Tradition

One of the most well-known symbols (images representative) of Christmas is the Christmas tree.

The Christmas tree in the U.S. that gets the most attention each year is the one at the Rockefeller Center in New York City. Each year in late November or early December, a very large tree between 69 to 100 feet (21 to 30 meters) is erected (put up) at the famous Rockefeller Center. It is decorated (with objects placed on it to make it look nice) with 30,000 lights on wiring (lines that bring electricity) that is about five miles (8 kilometers) long. The star that is placed at the top of tree is nearly 10 feet (3 meters) wide and weighs 550 pounds (250 kg). The tradition of lighting the tree — turning on the lights for the first time — is usually shown on television during a special Christmas show.

For regular folks (normal people) who celebrate Christmas, we simply go out to one of the Christmas tree lots (large outdoor areas) that are in business for a few weeks in late November through December to buy our  Christmas trees. Families like to decorate the tree with ornaments (small balls, figurines, stars, and other small items that are hung with a string), tinsel (thin strips of shiny metal material), strings of popcorn (corn kernels popped at high temperature and placed on a long string), and strings of electric lights. In recent years, it has become more and more popular to buy potted (in a container) Christmas trees that still have their roots (the part of a plant that attaches to the ground) and can be planted after the holiday, so the trees aren’t wasted.

I’m thinking of getting a potted tree this year, but I’m having second thoughts (doubts) because I don’t have a green thumb (am not a good gardener), and the chances of a tree surviving (staying alive) under my care are pretty slim (small). All of my other plants in my house are cacti and succulents, and even they aren’t looking too healthy. I guess, for the good of the potted tree, I’ll stick to (remain with) my little plastic Christmas tree again this year.

~ Lucy

Photo Credit: Rockefeller Center Tree from Wikipedia

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14 Responses to The Christmas Tree Tradition

  1. Dan says:

    Hi everyone

    I could set up a Christmas tree and enjoying looking at my cats demolishing it in no time. That would be fun.
    See, they are extremely curious, they have to feel, smell, tuch everything.
    And I enjoy looking at them doing that.

    On example is: when someone comes to visit and parks the car in the driveway.

    What the cat does is observing the owner of the vehicle going away and slowly gets on the car. Isn’t that fun! I know, not for the owner..

    I am observing the scene from my balcony and having this inside laughing. And the cleaner and expensive the car is the funnier that gets.

    They are so that as something new is introduced in their area they have to know what that is.

    Hey Lucy, nowadays there is also the smartphone version of the tree.
    The other day a guy proudly showed me his vitual tree on the phone as a live wallpaper.


  2. Joe says:

    Nice post about christmas trees. Don’t forget the plastic tree!! That’s all I have ever used, super eco friendly cause it’s recyclable year after year =P.

  3. Peter says:

    Dear Lucy,
    You just told us quiet a story about the tall chritmass tree with a humongous star on top of it. Cool!! No argue there. But,never in blog you ever mentioned that why we use pine trees as christmass trees. I mean,where did the tradition start. Where is it coming from. Who first came up with the idea of a tree as the symbol of Christmas ,and who came up with pine trees.
    Plus,is the huge tree at the center artificial or real. If it is a tree ,well,it means that every year around November the city cuts down a large pine to put it up at the center. I m guessing they drop it into a chopper at the end of christmass every year.
    Don’t you think it is not an environmentally friendly move.
    And,if it is plastic ,where is it stored for the next year.a pine three that size takes up a lot of space.
    I m bafeled
    Seriously folks , who first came up with the idea of pine tree for Christmas


  4. Kurtz says:

    Hi Dr. Lucy and Dr. Jeff
    Thank you for sharing about Christmas tree in US.

    It is the first time I access your web,
    I have been hear your voice for 3 monts ago.
    every day I hear your smooth voice from eslpod in my gadget.

    Actually your voice very very help me to learn English and you are make me addict with English.

    from Jakarta, Indonesia

  5. emiliano says:

    That´s very good Lucy, just because along years Cuca had also a little plastic tree for Christmas.
    I can´t remember how many years did she use it, at the end I think it was lost when we sold our
    first flat and have to translated our things other places. Friend´s houses as we have not any
    flat in Madrid.

    Here in Madrid the City Hall put a big metalic tree, for years the same, just in the middle of
    “Puerta del Sol” where people concentrate to say good by to the old year and receive the
    New Year eating the twelf grapes of luck, each grape for each ding dong of the Clock.
    It is a tradition for nearly all people of this country…..just eat a grape for each ding dong of the
    Puerta del Sol´s clock, usually watching to the TV., after that every one kiss the other members
    of the group or the family saying Happy New Year.

    All my best to you dear Lucy for Christmas and for the next year, I think that despite you do
    not know every one of your pupils you have always a thought to every one of us.
    Even more if we try to write here…….where are you dear Betty?, now that I am writting I miss
    you in the Blog.

    Kurtz to be the first time you write here you have done it quite well, how do you celebrate
    these days?
    I know that in your country the majority of people are muslims and have another religion
    and feasts but I would like to know what happen in a big city like Jakarta just in this period
    of time.
    Welcome to the blog dear Kurtz and I hope to see you frequently.


  6. HILARIO says:

    COMBINED CHRISTMAS TREE/MANGER TRADITION.- In our tradition, Spanish tradition, is that fairly latino european, hebrew-christian, the very roman, catholic, and apostolic church, even some western mediterranean kind of Christmas’s tradition. That’s the celebration of the birth of Jesús in the ruined cattle barn in Bethlehem. Palestine. The christmas tree tradition came into Spanish homes in really recent times, just forty years ago, but gaining share, nearly fifty-fifty, by combining, sharing and even substitute our previous sole tradition of Portal (small) or Nacimiento (extended). Guys, please is kind of like a bit difficult to explain to outsiders, I know.
    There’s have been some news from Rome, anyway, creating some controversial thoughts lately, among the old tradition followers of the Portal de Belen, also called Nacimiento, about last Pope’s statement about reviewing the people standing up, on iconic image and in the adoring scene, persons, animals and some spirit, seven in total were at the holly spot that very night of the baby’s birth. Specifically, He, the Pope, the head of the church on earth, has been putting into question the presence of the mule as anything likely, as something that did not happen at all. The presence of the mule as anything scarcely likely, he says. Some old christian people have dared to dissent and not to obey the exclusion and keep including poor mula, as always. Some funny monologuist, parodied that main characters and extras in the scene were unable to reproduction, they were steril entities. Mules are hybrids, not capable to engender. Beefs are male cow bullocks, for nothing fertile. Joseph had a low stallion profile. Mary, everybody knows about. Good New’s Announcer and Custody Angel has no thing to show off as male nor female. They managed, anyway, to find a good free bed but breakfast shelter. Poor just born baby had male tool between his legs, according to typical representations, but he had to wait some time to put the tool into practice, and with unknown result. You might ask who was the seventh, good cuestion, well that the saint spirit, he was there just to overwatch the factual wellbeing as one of the three components of the most holly mistery, as to know, the Father, the Son and Saint Spirit. Who gives more!! What a chinese fairy tale !! Amazing emotion creators they were.

  7. emiliano says:

    Good information Hilario, it is possible that you know that the first living Belen was created by Saint Francis of Assisi in 1223 having been inspired by his
    visit to the Holy Land where he had been shown Jesus’s traditional birthplace. The scene’s popularity inspired communities throughout Catholic countries.

    Afterward nativity scenes and traditions have been created around the world and are displayed during the Christmas season in churches, homes, and some times
    on public lands and in public buildings. In fact there is one in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York that is exposed annually by this Christmas time, may
    be because there is a lot of Italians descedents in that city, also latinos that have this tradiction.

    When I was a child my parents always have one at home, it was really funny to put it and sing “villancicos” all the family together.
    Also Cuca my wife put a little one at home many years before, beside the plastic tree as it began to be a new custom just as you have said above.

    All the best Hilario, I do think your English is perfect….are you an English teacher here in Spain?, sorry but some time I have tought so.
    Thanks a lot.


  8. Tania says:

    The use of Christmas trees, evergreens, began in Germany. Later, German people brought the tradition to America.
    The decorating of Christmas tree, thought primarily a German custom, has been widely popular in England since 1841 when
    Prince Albert had a Christmas tree decorated with candles , set up in Windsor Castle for his wife Queen Victoria and their children.

  9. Tania says:

    Hi! Happy Holiday to all our ESLPOD team.
    Happy Holiday to all our dear blog friends.

    Best wishes,


  10. Peter says:

    Happy holidays people

    Put aside all your worries and enjoy

  11. Ferman Golla says:

    Dear Dr Lucy and Dr McQuillan.
    First of all, I wish you a very merry christmas for you.
    This is my first time I write in your amazing website. I’ve downloaded and heard your voice for about 2 years. And it help me much in improving my English.
    In my hometown, we used nutmeg tree as our xmas tree in the church or in our home. We cut at the top of that tree and decorated it with ornaments. We love doing this every christmas.

    Ferman from Indonesia

  12. TS says:

    Hello everyone!

    Thanks Lucy for your amazing post. I really enjoyed it.
    FYI in Iran(a country in Asia) you cannot find any sign of celebrating Chritsmas event. For me, Xmas is a worldwide and happy holiday but it’s a shame that I’ve never brouden my experience in terms of having other popular holidays like Christmas. Here you’re enclused with srtict Islamic laws making you feel like a slave.
    I think what I just said was beside the point but someday I will share my feelings of Xmas with others who think it’s wonderful having Christmas.

    It would be a bouce gift if you have another post on other more traditions at Christmas.
    I wish you all a happy (white) Christmas. I’m going to miss you.

  13. rahul bhargava says:

    Hi Team,

    I am regular user of ESL,Today when I was looking for old blog I came to know that you guys reached a Magical Number of Blogs i.e. 1234 (101 – 120 of 1234 Podcasts )

    Thanks to you guys for wonderful site.

    Congratulations for reaching 1234 count.

  14. Betty says:

    Sorry, rahul bhargava, I cannot understand what it means by “(101 – 120 of 1234 Podcasts )”.

    I think you have to be right in your calculation, I am dumb, so just ignore me.

    I am very happy to see achieved this magical number.

    I am very happy for everything happened this year, everything magical for me.

    Cheers everyone who are part of

    Are you a member yet? If not, I wish you will be rich enough to become one soon.

    I don’t want to tell the world that I am rich, but I am a Premium Member of, and I believe it has helped me to be rich in heart and in my pocket (good English is the passport to success in today’s world).

    Thanks again, my greatest teachers Jeff, Lucy and Warren. Thanks also to all my co-learners, your comments here open my eyes and my mind.

    I would remain the frog at the bottom of the well if I did not have knowledge about what’s happening in the world outside my comfort zone.

    Betty 🙂

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