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Christmas Traditions

Just some titbit of the origins of our Christmas traditions. Today I will start with the Christmas tree.

Christmas Trees (Real)

Many people believe that Queen Victoria & Prince Albert introduced the first Christmas tree to Britain, however, 40 years earlier the first known Christmas tree was erected in December 1800, when George III’s wife, Queen Charlotte gave a children’s party.

As a result, Christmas trees become hugely fashionable in high society but not with the rest of British society. It took another 40 years (with a helping hand from the popular press at the time and Prince Albert who was importing Christmas trees, and also put one up in Windsor Castle in 1841) for them to become a mainstay for Christmas across the country.

Christmas Trees (Artificial)

After the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, the large Christmas trees seemed inappropriate to many families and alternatives were sought, with the first artificial Christmas trees arriving from Germany.

These were originally made from goose feathers, that were dyed green to give them a “tree” colour, and became a popular way to preserve Germany’s fir tree population.

Artificial Christmas trees however still didn’t hit mass production levels until the 1930s when the inventor of the toothbrush, William Addis, using the same machinery to make bristles on toilet brushes, began making bristly branches for artificial Christmas trees via his company, Addis Brush Company.

In a study in 2009, it was reported that an artificial tree would need to be re-used for more than 20 years to have a lower environmental impact than a real Christmas tree.

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