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iconic cristmas trees

5 Iconic Christmas Tree Moments That Changed The Holidays

holiday decor ideasChristmas is just around the corner and we’re already feeling the holiday spirit take over. Christmas trees, for many people, are a staple when it comes to holiday decor. Decorating the tree with ornaments and stringing it with lights is a tradition found in many homes. But how did it all come to be?

For a fun little jaunt down memory lane, we’re taking a look at how tree trimming turned into a celebrated moment all over the world. Additionally, we’ve also included some of our favorite tree moments in holiday history. Read on for 5 iconic Christmas trees that’s made a mark in history.

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1. Queen Victoria’s Christmas Tree

If we’re going to talk about iconic Christmas trees and their best moments in holiday history, we’ve got to start from the beginning. While tree-decorating didn’t start with Queen Victoria, without her it wouldn’t be the same glittering holiday tradition.

The Backstory: Trees were a German tradition that her husband, Prince Albert, introduced to Victoria. In 1848 The London Illustrated News printed descriptions and sketches of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s Christmas tree and those all around Windsor castle. It set in motion the now-global tradition of decorating Christmas trees within the home.

Why We Love This Moment: Because can you imagine if we never got a glimpse of the Queen’s over-the-top Christmas tree? And the frenzy that ensued? No, neither can we.

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2. Charlie Brown’s Tree

No one will argue that A Charlie Brown Christmas was and will always be a heartwarming holiday favorite for kids and adults alike. It speaks to the holiday spirit with its adorable, and lighthearted (okay, maybe not super lighthearted at first) holiday spirit.

The Backstory: First aired in 1965, the animated TV special by Charles M. Schulz, based on his comic strip Peanuts, was at once a charming celebration of Christmas and a commentary on the commercialization of the holiday. Charlie Brown, who’s at the center of many of Schulz’s stories, picks a seemingly ugly tree to decorate. In the end, instead of bemoaning the sad state of the tree, Charlie Brown sends the message of optimism and hope by emphasizing it’s not the presents under the tree, but what’s around each Christmas tree (family, friends, love, the holiday spirit) that truly matters.

Why We Love This Moment: Since 1965, Charlie Brown has inspired naturalists everywhere to find beauty in all Christmas trees, even if they seem sparse and sad.

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3. The Silver Tinsel Tree

In the late 1950s the aluminum faux Christmas tree was born and gained popularity into the 1960s. An icon of the mid-century, the chrome-like trees symbolized the newness of the mid-century era and the ability to use materials, which were previously rationed during wartime, at will.

The Backstory: All the way up until 1965, the first year A Charlie Brown Christmas aired, aluminum trees were painted as symbols of the commercialization of the holiday. But their popularity waned in the following years. Although more recently we’ve seen a resurgence of these silver trees accompanying the revival of all things Mid-Century Modern in the 21st century.

Why We Love This Moment: Even though there’s no beating the look and smell of a real Christmas tree, who doesn’t love seeing these faux versions out in city streets and front lawns every year?

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4. The Rockefeller Center Tree

One of the most viewed Christmas trees in the U.S., the Rockefeller Center began its tree display tradition in 1931. A Norway spruce, this tree type is probably one of the most iconic and classic evergreens used for Christmas trees.

The Backstory: The first tree in 1931 was a small one. The workers at Rockefeller Center pooled their money to buy a tree as a symbol of hope during the Depression Era. Two years later, the tree lighting ceremony became an annual tradition, and it has progressively grown taller and grander over the years.

Why We Love This Moment: It’s an 80-foot-tall tree that’s fully lit and decked out and it’s viewed by over 125 million people during the holidays each year. It’s probably the most notable worldwide symbol of Christmas we can think of!

5. The Whoville Christmas Tree

From the ever beloved Dr. Seuss classic, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, the tree in this holiday staple is often depicted as sagging with a drooping top. One of our favorite iconic Christmas trees, is shows a little wear and tear from being burglarized by Mr. Grinch and driven up a mountain before its eventual return to Whoville.

The Backstory: This holiday classic has a traditional feel-good story arc that’s stood the test of time. There have been multiple motion picture re-makes and a killer soundtrack, so there’s no denying the Grinch is a true holiday classic. Plus, it’s always whimsical, fun, and oh-so colorful!

Why We Love This Story: This is another timeless tale full of moral lessons—it’s not about the gifts, it’s about the holiday spirit!

Christmas Tree Ideas

Everything You Need to Know About Picking a Christmas Tree

Christmas tree types

The holidays are upon us, which means Christmas trees are making their way into homes all across the country. Believe it or not, Christmas trees have been a part of American holiday celebrations since the 1850s. And no surprise, tree-trimming has become one of the most anticipated holiday traditions in many households.

However, while real, chopped-down-by-hand Christmas trees are emblematic of the holidays, they’re not the only options nowadays. From Noble Firs to tinsel trees, you’ll find different Christmas tree types in all shapes and sizes. What kind of tree you prefer is up to you, but we’re here to help make it easier to decide.

Want to try your tree before you trim it? Start your project today and get expert design plans laid out in a 3D version of your exact room. It’s practically magic!

Get to know the five most common Christmas tree types and learn the pros and cons of each!

 

Live Christmas Trees

Christmas tree typesThe Fraser Tree

Live Fraser trees have become a classic American staple — they’re the most popular choice of the Christmas tree types for the holidays in the US! Similar to Douglas Firs, Frasers tend to be more slender and have blue-green needles with silvery undersides. This gives them an extra lush look and a nice glimmer when strung with lights.

Pros:

  • Great for Lots of Ornaments: Frasier trees have upturned and stiff branches that make them perfect for hanging ornaments by the handful.
  • Stays Fresh and Lush: The needles retain their color for a long time, so your tree will stay fresh through the end of the year. This makes Frasers perfect if you like keeping your tree for a while.
  • No-Shed Needles: Fraser trees don’t shed needles as quickly as other varieties, even if you forget to water them once or twice throughout the holiday season.
  • Beautifully Fragrant: These trees have a strong, fresh scent!
  • Fits Anywhere: They’re compact, so Frasers can tuck nicely into corners and also work in smaller spaces.

Cons:

  • High Price Tag: Fraser trees grow slower, which makes them a more expensive option.

 

Christmas tree typesThe Noble Fir

Slender, tall, and narrow, Noble Firs, with their signature a triangular shape, are a leaner variety of the Christmas tree types.

Just as lush in color as their Douglas and Fraser counterparts, Noble Firs also have deeper grey-green needles. Their branches grow horizontally in different bunches with larger amounts of space in between, which provides lots of room for ornaments to hang. They’re also lightly scented if you’re looking for just a touch of fragrance in the air.

Pros:

  • Sturdy Branches: Noble Firs are the tallest of the Christmas tree types and have the strongest branches. This makes them a good choice if you’re looking to hang large and heavy ornaments (think gingerbread houses, silver bells, mini angel figurines).
  • No-Shed Needles: Noble Firs don’t shed their needles hardly at all, meaning they’ll last longer than most other Christmas tree types.

Cons:

  • Skinny Looks: Noble Firs have a less full look than most other Christmas tree types. So if you’re looking for a more robust tree that’s decked out with lights, ribbons, and lots and lots of ornaments, this might not be the right option for you.

 

Christmas tree typesThe White Fir (or Concolor Fir)

Also known as the Colorado White Fir tree, this lush evergreen is native the mountains of the western United States. Its branches grow in a spiral shape and have long, lush needles, resulting in tree that’s dense from top to bottom!

Pros:

  • Full Foliage: If you’re looking for a tree that’s big, fluffy, and perfectly shaped, the White Fir is a great option.
  • A Sweet Citrusy Smell: Many people love White Firs because they have a unique citrus scent that ushers in the holiday spirit. But if you prefer the smell of fresh pine, maybe consider another of the Christmas tree types instead.

Cons:

  • Colors Fade: The needles on this tree variety don’t hold their color as well. While they start off as a bluish-green, they eventually fade to a duller green hue as the tree ages.
  • Medium-Weight Branches: Smaller ornaments are best on White Firs as the branches are only moderate in strength and won’t be able to hold heavy trinkets like other trees.

 

Artificial Christmas Trees

Pre-Lit Artificial Christmas Tree IdeasThe Pre-Lit Tree

While fresh Christmas trees are lovey, they do require a good amount of work. Think hassling with the tree stand, watering daily, and dealing with a floor full of fallen needles.

Fake trees can save you from all that hassle, and they’re just as beautiful, like this pre-lit faux Frasier tree, which has glittering frost-speckled needles molded from natural cuttings.

Pros:

  • Easy to Maintain: Set up is a breeze! You assemble the different parts of the tree, plug it into the wall, and it’s ready to go.
  • Built-in Sparkle: The snow-dusted branches give this pre-lit fake tree a glimmering, wintry look that never fades. Even real trees can’t compete with that.
  • Zero Pickup: There are no fallen needles to clean-up. Simple as that.

Cons:

  • Less Personal: You can’t change the color of the lights that come with pre-lit trees and many people find they have to use specific ornaments to compliment the shape or style of the tree.
  • Not Fragrant at All: Needless to say, unlike real trees this fake version doesn’t give off that signature sweet, fresh-chopped Christmas tree scent.
  • Surprisingly Pricey: Many pre-lit trees come with a hefty price tag. But if you don’t plan on re-purchasing a real tree yearly, this could be a worthy investment.

 

Christmas tree typesThe Tinsel Tree

Christmas trees don’t come any sparklier than Silver Tinsel trees, which have a retro look that’s reminiscent of 1950s aluminum trees (Charlie Brown Christmas, anyone?). Because it’s all silver, light reflects beautifully from the branches and brings a cozy and magical ambience to any room.

Pros:

  • Choose Your Color: You’ll find tinsel trees in a range of color options, so you can be be sure this type of tree will bring a unique look to your space.
  • Minimal Decoration Required: Tinsel trees often look better with minimal decor, so it’s perfect if you prefer a simple tree with a low-maintenance look.

Cons:

  • Expensive Upfront Cost: These trees are built for convenience over quality (meaning they might not hold up as long as some other faux tree varieties). Nonetheless, tinsel trees can still sport a hefty price tag and can be more expensive than a regular living tree.
  • No “Real Tree” Resemblance: If you’re looking for a fake tree that still looks like a real one, then a tinsel tree is not for you.

Need the perfect gift to go under your perfect tree?