When it comes to choosing what traditions are truly at the core of the winter holidays, most people would agree that there is no debating the necessity of Christmas trees as a part of the festive Christmas season. Nothing signals the beginning of the winter holidays quite as clearly as a lit Christmas tree. No other aspect of the season's merrymaking tells you that the Christmas holiday season is emerging out of the darkness and coldness of the harsh wintertime weather as surely as the Christmas trees that fill the windows of shops and homes all over the world. Christmas trees are as closely associated with the Christmas holiday as any other iconography that is related to this time of the year. Not even Father Christmas himself, also known as Santa Claus, with his instantly recognizable white beard is as closely tied to Christmas in as many different areas of the world as Christmas trees are.
Decorating Christmas trees is one of the most widely practiced pastimes of the season, and no house truly looks ready for Christmas until a lit Christmas tree shines from within it. Looking through Christmas trees to find the right one to take home and decorate is often the start of the Christmas celebration for many families. Children in particular usually associated the processing of decking the halls and hanging the lights, ornaments, and garlands from the Christmas tree with the beginning of Christmastime. There are many different things that happen in a home around Christmas, including making cookies in shapes that relate to the holiday, wrapping presents in festive paper that reminds the recipients of the unique joys of the season, and so many other trappings of this most precious time of the year. However, out of all of these activities and pastimes that are only practiced during the weeks and days leading up to Christmas, there is nothing so completely unique as the process of trimming a Christmas trees. Christmas trees are unlike any other part of any other holiday during any other time of the year, and the practice of bringing an evergreen tree into the home and festooning it with decorative trimmings is an event without any parallel or equivalent.
One of the many reasons why Christmas trees are such a welcome part of Christmas is that the weather during Christmas is so harsh that it makes being outside uncomfortable for many people. This means that the joys of nature are less a part of our live than they are during other parts of the year. Springtime offers us its warm temperatures and beautiful flowers, summer has its balmy evenings of clear skies, and autumn has the beautiful explosion of colors that the changing leaves bring. Christmas trees offer us a taste of the beauties of nature during this time of year when the great outdoors are at their least hospitable. It is little wonder, then, that we cling so dearly to the practice of bringing Christmas trees indoors during the Christmas season. Christmas trees allow us to stay in touch with nature and appreciate its beauty without suffering the harsh climate that overtakes the Earth during the chilly winter months.