Month: December 2011

Project 365

Day 334/335 Christmas Spirit

As the years passed the trees were loaded with many more things to eat in addition to apples. Gilded nuts and gingerbread cookies were hidden in the tree while marzipan candies, shaped like fruits and vegetables, were hung from the boughs. Brightly decorated eggshells, cut in half and filled with tiny candies, were set in the tree like birdnests. So many sweets were hung from the tree that some people called it “the sugar tree”. On the Twelfth Night of Christmas, January 6, when it was believed that the Magi arrived in Bethlehem bearing gifts, the tree was shaken and the children finally were allowed to eat the sweets that fell from the tree. The wafers once hung on the Paradise tree were replaced with cookies in the form of hearts, bells, angels and stars. With time, perhaps because so many decorations were eaten before the tree was taken down, the cookies were replaced with decorations made out of thin, painted metal. When families in colder climates combined the decorations on the Paradiesbaum with the candles on a conifer tree, they created the Christmas tree that is still found in homes today.