9th Day Christmas Past Question & Story

Posted by on Dec 20, 2015 in Christmas Past 2015 | 5 comments

2015-Christmas-Past-tradOn the 9th Day Christmas Past,”O Christmas Tree.”

Question: What is one of the legends of how Christmas Trees originated?

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O Christmas Tree

A Christmas song that originated in Germany a long time ago is “O Tannenbaum,” or translated, it is “O Christmas Tree.”  One legend of how it came to be that we set up Christmas trees in our homes as we commemorate the birth of Christ started with Martin Luther. One night during a Christmas season many years ago, Martin Luther was walking through the forest. He was thinking about Christmas. And his heart was also filled with the wonder and beauty of God’s natural creations. As he looked up through the beautiful forest of evergreen trees toward the stars, the trees and the stars seemed to blend with and become a part of each other. And the loveliness of the evening made the scene particularly pleasant.

He was greatly motivated with the fragrance of the evergreen in his lungs, their beauty in his eyes, and their symbolism in his heart. The stars were so low and bright that they seemed like ornaments decorating the forest trees; and some of the great stars, standing above the treetops, were reminiscent of that famous star which led the wise men across the desert and stood above the stable at Bethlehem.

All of these forest trees seemed to be pointing Martin Luther up toward God. When the breezes blew through the needles they sounded as if God’s angels were playing anthems of praise on heavenly instruments. Under these circumstances it was not difficult for him to go back in his mind and absorb the joy and worship of that first Christmas night long ago.

Martin Luther wanted his family to enjoy this satisfying sight, and so he selected a particularly beautiful and shapely tree that seemed to have an appropriate personality and character. He cut it down and set it up in his home. Then he decorated it with lighted candles and tinsel and colored ornaments to make it shine out in all of its natural brightness and beauty. He was trying to represent to his family what he had seen and felt in the garden of God’s great outdoor forest.

How appropriate that the Christmas tree, which is symbolic of everlasting life, should also be lighted with the most beautiful kinds and colors of lights. While the tree’s natural fragrance fills the house with perfume, the crackling of the Christmas fire and the warmth that comes from our own hearts help us to fill our souls with the spirit of worship of him who is the author of our salvation, the finisher of our faith, and the Savior of our souls. At Christmastime we are prompted to turn on more light, not only in our homes but in our lives as well. Then we are further lifted up as we spiritually adapt the symbolism of the evergreen, which points us up to eternal life.

Think about what our situation would be like without this light of Christ. Before that early morning of creation, our earth was without form and void, and a brooding unbroken darkness covered the face of the deep. Then just try to imagine what it must have been like when in the march progress God first said, “Let there be light.” The same thing might well have been said when he was born into the world. Later in his ministry He himself said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)  Turn on the lights that come from God to assist in getting back to his presence.

The English version of O Christmas Tree is as follows:
“O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
O tree of green, unchanging,
Your boughs, so green in summertime,
Do brave the snow of wintertime,
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
O tree of green, unchanging.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
You set my heart a singing.
Like little stars, your candles bright
Send to the world a wondrous light
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
You set my heart a singing.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
You come from God, eternal
A symbol of the Lord of love
Whom God to man sent from above.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
You come from God, eternal.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
You speak of God, unchanging.
You tell us all to faithful be,
And trust in God eternally.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
You speak of God, unchanging.

Tken from:
Sterling W. Sill, Christmas Sermons, p. 66-70.

Internet:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_tree


  1. One of the legends of how the Christmas tree started is that Martin Luther had an experience while walking in the forest and while contemplating about Christmas, he was touched by the scene of evergreen trees mixed with the starlight. He cut a tree down to share with his family the beauty that he had enjoyed.

  2. Martin Luther story is a good. The tree being ever green is a great example of how our lives can be ever green. Funny how we can take something so simple n turn it into something so beautiful just like our lives.

  3. As Martin Luther was walking through the forest, he saw the stars twinkling through the branches of evergreen trees and smelled the wonderful pine fragrance. He cut down a tree to take home and share with his family. As we decorate our trees, it reminds us of the beauty and light that comes from God and his creations. I remember the wonderful smell and many colored lights on our tree as a child. Today, though my tree is not living, I still enjoy the lights and many ornaments I have collected reminding me of many places and friends.

  4. Martin Luther saw a tree in the forest that seemed like its branches were pointing toward God and the wind through its branches sounded like angels. He brought home the perfect tree for his family so they could have those lovely feelings too.

  5. Martin Luther king going out into the forest and seeing the tree looking up toward heaven. I remember as a young child going out with my father to cut down a Christmas tree on the ranch. There was nothing so beautiful looking at Gods wonderful creation. I felt the same feelings as Martin Luther King did as he imagined how beautiful the tree would look with lights and decorations. A symbol of love, peace, and the light of Christ.

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