With Christmas just 17 days away, whether it’s a real Balsam fir, an artificial blue spruce, or that aluminum tree that seems to show up in every kitschy Christmas picture from the 1960’s and early 70’s, chances are you already have your tree up and decorated. However, while you were taking a chainsaw to that beautiful Balsam fir, or carefully removing each and every shiny, silvery branch out if its protective plastic sheath, did you ever stop to wonder whose idea it was to bring a tree into the house and decorate it? Well, today we’re going to answer your questions on everything from the Christmas tree’s origins to why we hang all of those ornaments all over it only to have the cat knock it down at 3 a.m. anyway. But, we digress.

Yes, THAT aluminum Christmas tree!

O Christmas Tree

The tradition of putting up a Christmas tree seems to have started in 16th century Germany when Christians in the country would bring trees into their homes at Christmas and decorate them with apples They called them “Paradise trees” as they were reminiscent of the Garden of Eden’s Tree of Knowledge and it’s forbidden fruit. In the 1600’s, the same Germans started the practice of decorating fir trees with paper roses. In 18th century, the French started the idea of holiday’s lights on the Christmas tree when they began putting lit candles in the trees.

The French were the first to light up their Christmas trees with lit candles; however, the important thing to note here is that Paris’s first fire department was established in 1716.
A Dilly of a Christmas Pickle  

Legend has it that Germans also invented the Christmas tradition of “hiding the pickle” (Okay guys, stop snickering! This is a family operation, you know) where parents hung the last ornament – a glass pickle – deep in the branches of the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve when the children were all nestled and snug in their beds. The first child to spot the pickle on Christmas morning would receive a special gift from St. Nick himself.  

There’s only one problem with the story – it seems only 2% of Germans have ever heard of the tradition. In fact, it seems to be an American tradition invented by F.W. Woolworth to get rid of some extra glass pickles that didn’t seem to be selling as well as the other ornaments.

Stuckey’s has a better tradition in mind. Why not play “Hide the Pecan Log Roll” where you hide half a dozen or so of our 2 oz. Stuckey’s pecan rolls all over the tree. Whoever finds one is already a winner as they get to eat it!    

Silver and Gold

Though apples and paper roses may seem like early versions of Christmas ornaments, it was Hans Greiner, a glass craftsman from – yep, you guessed it – Germany, who created the first glass ornaments  that we’re more familiar with today in 1847. In a show of respect to the earlier Paradise trees, the glass “baubles” were shaped like fruit to once again represent the Biblical fruit.  As a result of Hans’ glass ornaments, the idea of decorating evergreen trees at Christmas became popular throughout Europe.  By 1848, the newly christened “Christmas tree” had made it to Britain’s Windsor Castle where, on Christmas Eve of that year, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert brought a Christmas tree into the palace and even decorated themselves.

And you thought aluminum trees were kitschy? Take a look at Queen Victoria and Prince Alberts’ Dr. Suess Christmas tree!

Fast forward to Lancaster, Pennsylvania a few years later when, in 1880, traveling salesman Bernard Wilmsen walked into the F.W. Woolworth’s store and tried to sell some of these German glass ornaments to Frank Winfield “I’m the F.W. in F.W. Woolworth’s” Woolworth, himself.  Though F.W. didn’t believe Americans would spend their money on the decorations, he bought 144 baubles anyway. They were all sold out just a few hours later. Knowing a good thing when he saw it, Woolworth ordered twice the amount the next year and by the1890s, he was making $25 million a year in Christmas baubles sales. Today, Americans spend an average of $720 billion dollars a year on Christmas ornaments.

In its heyday, they say that F.W. Woolworth’s had the best Christmas decorations around.

In fact, the biggest problem Americans face today isn’t having enough Christmas decorations for the tree, but rather it’s when they should put the tree up. With every year it seems the department stores are bringing out the Christmas decorations earlier and earlier.

First, it was after Thanksgiving. Then, it was after Halloween.  Then Christmas decorations seemed to start coming out right after the Back to School sales.  And although, yeah, back to school time does feel like the most wonderful time of the year to parents, it raises the question of when exactly should we put the Christmas tree up?

“Hey kids, thanks so much for taking time out of your Labor Day weekend and helping Mommy and Daddy put up the Christmas tree this year!”

Well, Christmas decorating experts from all over the country seem to agree: The day after Halloween may be a bit early and where’s the fun in waiting until Christmas Eve? Religious-minded folks say that the beginning of Advent, four Sundays before Christmas, might be a good time to put up your tree, thus giving you 28 days of Christmas tree gloriousness.  Other folks say putting the tree up the Saturday after Thanksgiving has been the family tradition for years in their household.

Have a Holly, Jolly, Stuckey’s Christmas

At Stuckey’s we agree that, whether it’s a Virginia pine or Delaware aluminum, both the Sunday beginning Advent or the Saturday after Thanksgiving are great times to put up your tree because Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and pretty much most of December, you’re going to be too busy shopping online at Stuckey’s for things that go under your tree rather than on it.

In either case, we’ve got you’ve covered. Visit our website or stop by any of our many Stuckey’s locations for great Christmas gifts to put under your tree like boxes of our famous Stuckey’s pecan log rolls, pecan pralines or pecan divinity. Don’t forget that our branded Stuckey’s merchandise like our retro caps and t-shirts, coffee mugs, and more always make great gifts for everyone on your Christmas list. And make sure to have plenty of our flavored pecans and other gourmet nuts on hand for any holiday guest who might stop by to wish you Merry Christmas.

That’s right! This could be yours, but hurry. They’re only free with every order placed by December 14!

And if whether you’ve put up your tree or not,  there’s always room for one more ornament, especially when it’s our  blinking 6-light Stuckey’s Christmas Ornament featuring an old time Stuckey’s store covered in a crisp, clean blanket of white snow.  Get yours FREE with any order you place at Stuckey’s between December 7, 2020 and December 14, 2020. Head on over to stuckeys.com for more information on how you can get yours today.

Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips (and Holidays) Fun Again!