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Download The Christmas Tree epub

by Barbara Segall

Download The Christmas Tree epub
ISBN: 0091787351
ISBN13: 978-0091787356
Category: Politics
Subcategory: Social Sciences
Author: Barbara Segall
Language: English
Publisher: Ebury Press (October 1995)
Pages: 80 pages
ePUB size: 1243 kb
FB2 size: 1142 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 851
Other Formats: mobi doc rtf lrf

Barbara Segall has also written The Holly and the Ivy,A Handful of Herbs: Inspiring Ideas for Gardening, Cooking and Decorating Your Home with Herbs,The Herb Garden Month-By-Month (Month-By-Month Gardening Series), etc.

She wrote in the Introduction to this 1995 book, "Christmas, whatever your religious sense of it is, and once you get beyond the rush of activity and frantic present-buying, is essentially about the survival of hope in a dark season. The potent Christian symbol for it is the birth of a child, but the secular symbol for it is that forest survivor, the Christmas tree. It has made its way into our homes, in the last five centuries, bringing its past mythology along, mingling with Victorian Christmas traditions and renewing Christmas associations for succeeding generations in the modern world." (Pg. 6)

She observes, "Part of the story originates with our ancestors. Evergreens, such as holly, box, ivy, bay, laurel and the conifers, able to hold their shiny leaves or aromatic needles through the long winter months, are and have been a source of fascination to us and to our pre-Christian ancestors..." (Pg. 11) She adds, "Despite Christianity's adaptation and absorption of some of the feasts, symbols and customs of the pre-Christian past, the powerful evergreens were still a little too risky for the early church elders to cope with. In the year 575 church laws forbade the custom of garlanding houses with laurel and greenery, but their use continued quietly and secretly..." (Pg. 15)

She provides background: "In Mystery Plays, the biblical dramas popular in England from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries, the Sacred or Paradise tree was used as a symbol of the Garden of Eden. This was usually a fir tree, and was hung with apples and surrounded by candles." (Pg. 17) About the legend of the Christmas Tree being invented by Martin Luther, she notes, "Most historians of Christmas discount this as a fanciful story, but what is certain is that Martin Luther, although an avid reformer, celebrated Christmas as a joyful, child-and-family-oriented festival." (Pg. 19-20)

She states, "For a short while, in the mid seventeenth century, when Cromwell as his Puritan followers ruled England, all Christmas celebrations, garlands, greenery and decoration of any sort were banned... Once the monarchy was reinstated in 1660, it took some years before the merry revelry formerly associated with Christmastime in England returned." (Pg. 21)

She also notes that conservationists have pointed out that "real" trees are better for the environment than "fake" ones: "the plantations under cultivation are beneficial to the envirionment, benefit wildlife habitats, soil conservation and provide green spaces in areas of increasing urbanization. They are also quick to point out the waste of plastic, oils and other fuels in the production of the fake versions." (Pg. 58-59)

This wonderful book is both attractive and enlightening, and would make an excellent gift!
I had houseguests over the Christmas holiday and had The Christmas Tree on the guest bedroom night stand. When the lovely lady who was visiting me for Christmas came down for breakfast, she remarked that she had really enjoyed reading this book before turning in on Christmas Eve. The photographs are so lovely and the book is very well written and presented. I have today ordered several other books by this author. Truly a Christmas gem. Christmas is a special time and this is a special author.