The Christmas tree as we know it has only been around for a few centuries, but the use of evergreens for celebrating the winter solstice has ancient origins. From the Romans to the druids to the Egyptians evergreen boughs have been used to symbolize life during these celebrations. The actual origins of the lighted Christmas tree are unknown, but most historians say it developed in Germany when Martin Luther attached small candles to an evergreen tree to symbolize the heavenly stars that lighted the way for the Magi that first Christmas. As the Christmas tree’s popularity grew ornaments were displayed but usually reflected an agricultural theme consisting of painted pinecones, nuts and clove studded fruit. In early America Christmas or Yule trees were often small tabletop size with strands of cranberries and dried apples. Whatever its origins the Christmas tree has become a symbol of life, promise, and strength. Merry Christmas to you and your family from all of us here at the Ag Information Network.