Christmas Trees in New York Come From One Man
When you look at the quaint plywood shacks that pop up on sidewalks every Thanksgiving, you probably think of family-run operations run by jolly tree men. But the truth is that most trees in New York come from one man — Mark Carr.
He’s the Keyser Soze of the tree world, a secretive and ruthless tycoon who sources and distributes Manhattan’s Christmas trees.
A Christmas tree adorned with ornaments and lights is one of the most iconic symbols of the season. Many assume that the tradition came from Christianity, but in fact, it dates back centuries. Evergreen trees have been used to mark winter festivals for thousands of years, long before the appearance of Christianity. For example, ancient Egyptians used green palm rushes to honor the sun god Ra and early Romans decorated their temples with evergreen branches during the feast of Saturnalia.
Germany is credited with starting the modern-day Christmas tree tradition in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. It is widely believed that Martin Luther added lighted candles to the tree after walking home one winter night while composing a sermon and being awed by the twinkling stars amongst the evergreens. He erected a tree in his main room and wired it with lighted candles so that he could recreate the scene for his family.
In Christianity, the Christmas tree symbolizes Jesus’s birth. It also represents hope and light in the darkest time of year for many people around the world. The radiance and positive energy that the Christmas tree emanates has been celebrated since ancient times, and the refreshing piney smell is known to help people relax from the stress of everyday life.
For people in many ancient cultures, evergreen trees were symbolic of life and immortality. The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all hung green plants in their homes during the winter solstice. The ancients believed that the sun god Ra lost his strength at this time, and that the rebirth of the sun symbolized the return of the spring season.
The tradition of putting up Christmas trees was first started in Germany and is thought to have been popularized by Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer. It is commonly held that Luther added lighted candles to the tree, making it a true symbol of Christmas.
Incorporate ornaments that represent your hobbies, interests, or favorite colors into your Christmas tree theme. Homemade monogram ornaments make a one-of-a-kind touch, as do art projects from your children or grandchildren. You can also pull out the oldest ornaments in your collection or ask family members to send theirs.
If your Christmas tree is small, stick to a limited color palette for a sophisticated style. Designer Kate Lester mixed paper teardrop and velvet ball ornaments in shades of brown on this tree, then added strands of faux berries for a classic touch.
Countdown to Christmas Day with this tree ornament featuring the iconic blue police call box timeship from the hit BBC series ‘Doctor Who’. Its design is two-sided, so you can choose whether to display it showing the TARDIS or the back of the time machine. The ornament is from Hallmark, which celebrates characters and personalities from contemporary and classic movies, TV shows, toys, music, entertainment, and sports.
Long before Christmas became a Christian holiday, many ancient cultures used evergreen plants and trees to symbolize the winter solstice. These pagan celebrations were held to honor the gods of the sun and were a promise that the sun would soon return to the earth, ushering in spring.
The first modern Christmas tree was probably erected in Germany in the 1500s. It is widely believed that the 16th century Protestant reformer Martin Luther was the first to add lighted candles to the tree. He was reportedly inspired by a nighttime forest scene as he walked home while composing a sermon and wanted to recreate that experience for his family.
It is also possible that the first American Christmas trees came from Germany. Both Tallinn, Estonia and Riga, Latvia claim to have put up the first tree in 1510. Earlier, a German baker’s guild was credited with displaying a decorated pine tree in 1419. The tree was decorated with baked treats, apples, and tinsel.