Well, who knew: the Christmas Tree is like Volkswagen – invented by the Germans and then exported to the world.
It only became common practice in Germany in the last two hundred years, before invading Ausländer territories. The German-English kings, George III and William IV, also adopted it in the mother country and their dominions.
No, the Christmas Tree is not an ancient Christian or pagan custom. And Christmas present-giving is another American cultural incrustation, involving their usual excesses of capitalism and bad taste, which then spread everywhere.
This interesting history is explained by James A. Lancaster in The Conversation.
I’m also using this opportunity to promote that wonderful (free) online journal as essential reading for all intelligent punters. A veritable cornucopia of articles written by academic ‘experts’ in every field of human endeavour – based on research, rational argument and informed opinion.
The Conversation is an Australian invention, and exported to produce collaborative editions in the US, UK, Europe, France, Africa, Indonesia, Spain and Canada.
Over to you for the conclusion: would you rather be the nation that invented the ubiquitous, tinselly Christmas Tree, or a cutting-edge hub of erudite popular learning?
Still expecting my Christmas present – you are not off the hook
That’s a question that could divide the room! And Santa? Who is responsible for him?