Long before the start of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green throughout year had a special meaning for people during the winter. Just as we today decorate our homes during the festive season with pine, spruce, and fir trees, ancient peoples used evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. In many countries, there was a belief that evergreens would war off witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness.
Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it during the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their houses. As late as the 1840s however, Christmas trees were seen as pagan symbols and not accepted by most Americans.By the late 1890s, Christmas ornaments were arriving from Germany and Christmas tree popularity was on the rise around the U.S.