I live in an area filled with Christmas Tree farms. (They’re a crop like any other, only one with a growing season measured in years rather than months.) Already the trucks filled with cut and bundled trees are rolling south and the restaurants are filled with muscular gents with pine sap on their Kevlar chaps ordering and eating two dinners at once.
These early trees are being sent to far distant climes. I recall how much Christmas trees cost in La República de Panamá: So much that we never had one. I’m told that in Saudi Arabia, Westerners are approached on the streets by fellows who whisper, in furtive voices, “Want to buy a Christmas tree? Very good, very cheap.”
Colebrook is the home of Weir Brothers Tree Farm, best known for its “Fralsam” hybrids: A cross between Balsam Fir and Frasier Fir. They deliver.
Whether the Christmas tree is a holdover from the pagan past I’m not prepared to say. If it is, the thousand-year gap between that past and the emergence of the Christmas tree in Germany in the sixteenth century (legends of St. Boniface to the contrary, those are the earliest documented Christmas trees) is a little difficult to explain.
By the end of the 18th century Calvin, Knox, and the Puritan movement had pretty-much killed off Christmas in the English-speaking world, until the “old-fashioned Christmas” was invented in Victorian England, with the the tree introduced by German-born Prince Albert and a big assist from Charles Dickens. From there “traditional” Christmas celebrations (with a tradition that, in some cases, dated back decades) spread to America, because, hey, party!