By Michelle Sanford, Editor

One of my favorite traditions of the holidays is putting up our Christmas tree. We don’t have what most would consider a large home with high ceilings, so our tree is usually more round than tall.
Once it’s decorated, I keep the lights on throughout the day and up until bedtime. From time to time, I’ll even find myself sitting alone in the living room with all the lights off except for the Christmas tree lights, just gazing at it. I can’t explain it but it’s soothing and bring a sense of joy over me. Even now as I’m writing this, I’m sitting in my kitchen and I find myself staring at our tree in the reflection of the kitchen window. I’d probably have a multitude of them in my house during December if I had the room.
And it’s not just my Christmas tree. I love looking how others decorate theirs. Some are themed with only specific brand ornaments. Some are decorated with only certain colored ornaments. My sister has a nautical themed tree, while a friend of mine only uses red and green ornaments to adorn her tree. Some use white lights while others use colored lights. And it’s fun to see how others chose to decorate their trees.
So in light of my love for the holiday tree, I looked up some fun facts about my favorite décor of Christmas.

• The first decorated Christmas tree on record was believed to have been in Latvia in the year 1510.
• Besides Evergreen trees, other types of trees, such as cherry and hawthorns, were also used as Christmas trees centuries ago.
• Using small candles to light a Christmas tree dates back to the 17th century.
• In Medieval times in Poland, Christmas trees used to be hung upside down like chandeliers to represent the Trinity and Christ being crucified.
• Thomas Edison’s assistant, Edward Johnson, came up with the idea to use electric lights for Christmas trees in 1882.
• In 1856, the 14th President of the United State, Franklin Pierce, was the first President to place a Christmas tree in the White House.
• President Calvin Coolidge began the tradition of the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the White House lawn in 1923.
• Live Christmas trees have been sold in the United States since the year 1850.
• Americans buy approximately 30 million Christmas trees each year.
• And finally, don’t forget that Christmas tree are biodegradable, which means they can be recycled for mulch and other uses.

As a child, naturally what’s most exciting is the presents under the Christmas tree. Still, as adults we know better. According to a very wise Charlie Brown, “It’s not about what’s under the Christmas tree that matters; it’s whose around it.” Merry Christmas.