Christmas decorations include the decorations in homes and cities during Christmas and Advent. The most characteristic feature in homes is the crib and the Christmas tree, and Christmas lights in the cities.
The traditional colors of these decorations are green (symbolizing pine), white (snow) and red (the heart). Blue and white are often used to represent winter, gold and silver for the light.
The tradition of a decorated tree is old, since the Celts decorated a tree, symbol of life at the time of the winter solstice. The Scandinavians did the same for the festival of Yule, which took place at about the same time as Christmas.
Tertullian, in the second century, complained that the Christians of North Africa decorated their houses with greens, a pagan symbol.
A Christmas tree is a Christmas decoration (often associated with Christmas gifts) for underline a pagan tradition Christianized by the Christian churches throughout the Middle Ages and generalized at the end of the eighteenth century.
The tree has become a consumer object for the month of December, plantations intended only to provide the application is made to limit cuts in wood. Until there is little, the “tree” of Christmas was in about 70% of cases not a silver fir (Abies alba) but Norway spruce (Picea abies), cheaper and faster tree growth but keeps its needles shorter than the Nordmann fir (Abies nordmanniana) most recently appeared on the market and is growing steadily. In Canada, the tradition is to use balsam fir (Abies balsamea) which has the property to generate a nappreciated strong fragrance. Another species is also used in Canada, Fraser fir (Abies fraseri), which gives no scent but conserves its thorns balsam fir.
As part of the Christian tradition, the Christmas tree should not be erected before Christmas Eve, that is to say, 24 December, and must be removed after twelve nights for Epiphany. In fact, the street decorations start much earlier and it is not uncommon for a tree to survive until Candlemas, few days before the start of Lent.
Christmas trees can be sold cut or potted allowing replant at the end of the festivities. The replanted tree itself can be used as outdoor Christmas tree: the generalization of fairy lights ‘all weather’ allows individuals to decorate a tree in their garden, often visible from the street and the front of their house.
The use of plastic artificial tree, often foldable, reusable, is an alternative to that of natural tree. Some of these trees are sold “snowed” (the leaves are white plastic or they are covered with a white powder) or even decorated (balls and pre-hung garlands) or scented. This treatment can also be done on natural trees. The public image of a plastic Christmas tree is worse than that of a natural tree, but it is often the most economical way (long-term), the less messy and more convenient for the people who live in the city. In addition, the variety of sizes allows you to choose a Christmas tree corresponding to the space available in the house. However, although it is reusable for several years, this type of tree is anything but environmentally friendly, and environmental impact is much more important than a natural tree.