Graham John

Advent Challenge 1: Choose your tree

For nearly five hundred years ‘Christmas Trees’ have been part of people’s lives.

Apparently records indicate that Strasbourg was the first place to house a Christmas Tree. German Lutherans placed one in the Cathedral in 1539.  They’ve had centuries to practice so it’s no wonder Strasbourg is beautiful at Christmas as are so many cities and towns that host Christmas Markets.

Egyptians, Chinese and Hebrews used evergreen trees, wreaths and garlands to symbolise eternal life and pagan Europeans worshipped trees. Making a thing of a tree in your home is nothing new.

German settlers, Hessian soldiers, different opinions are given on who introduced Christmas Trees to North America and when. Certainly the Americans took to the idea and created the marketing phenomenon we now know.

Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, is usually credited with introducing the Christmas Tree to Britain in 1840 but apparently in December 1800 George III’s German Wife. ‘good Queen Charlotte’ set up a tree at Queen’s Lodge.

In 1942, during the Second World War, resistance fighter Mons Urangsvag cut down a tree during a raid on Hisoy, an island off the west coast of Norway. The tree was transported to the Exiled Norwegian King Haakon VII in England. A new tree has grown from the stump and each year Norway send a ‘Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree’ in thanks of Britain’s support during the war.

A more recent ‘twenty-first century’ development for individuals is the thorny question of real or fake? What type of tree do you choose and why?

There are pros and cons to both paths and the answer, the right choice, is particular to each person. There is no wrong if you follow your heart.

How to pick the perfect tree for you!

  1. Decide where in your home the tree will be placed. (Consider pets, children, will you brush by it, what about an electric socket for tree lights?)
  2. How tall a tree do you want or can you have? (think about the stand, floor, table and impact of that on the tree)
  3. Think about the circumference of the tree the space will allow. That can affect the height of and or type of tree you choose.
  4. How many trees are you going to have? Yes multiple trees are a thing! (apply above to each one)
  5. What type of tree or trees do you want and why? (See links below)
  6. Where will you source your tree from and how will you get it home?
  7. When will you be putting it up?

For advice on what type of tree to choose and why, we’ll leave that to the more knowledgeable, so here are some useful links to help you decide what is best for you:

BBC Christmas trees: Real or fake?

Soil Association What is the best choice when looking to buy a sustainable Christmas tree?

Forestry England The expert’s guide to choosing the right Christmas tree

National Wildlife Federation Are Real or Fake Christmas Trees Better for the Environment?

English Heritage A short history of Christmas Greenery 

Do let us know how you get on, share with us on social media (you’ll find links on the right hand side of this page or at the bottom on mobile). We’d love to hear from you, to see some pictures and by all means share ideas for next year. We already have a growing list we couldn’t fit into this challenge.

Please continue to follow our Advent Challenge here

Share this post


  1. The best Christmas tree varies based on personal preferences and practical considerations. For instance, the Fraser Fir boasts a pleasant aroma, excellent needle retention, and sturdy branches for ornaments. The Noble Fir’s symmetrical shape and strong branches are ideal for heavier decorations, while the Norway Spruce offers a traditional charm with its classic look and delightful fragrance. Alternatively, the artificial tree provides convenience, reusable options, and a range of styles. Ultimately, the best Christmas tree is one that fits your space, decor theme, and desired characteristics, whether it’s natural or artificial, based on your individual preferences and needs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


2024 All rights reserved. Designed by The Wow Factory.