The School fosters and promotes an education system which is focussed on the needs of the children. But we also know that one of the keys to this approach is working alongside families and we are always looking for their help and support. Thats why, this year, as part of our Christmas activities in Early Years, we have asked Parents to help us decorate the Christmas Tree which is in the common area on the second floor.
With everyone helping, little by little, the fir tree was filled with decorations of all kinds, using a whole range of materials. We would like to thank Parents for helping the children create all these Christmas baubles to hang on the tree, and indeed, thank you to all those Parents who came into School with their kids, to hang them up. Thank you also to Miss Letizia and Ms Eli for helping the children to hang all the other Christmas decorations.
This year, in keeping with our commitment to multi-culturalism, we also asked families to write “Merry Christmas” in different languages. These were all put together in a special display in Early Years, so that we could share them with the wider school community.
A Short History of the Christmas Tree
It seems that when the first Christians arrived in northern Europe, they discovered that the people living there celebrated the birth of Frey, the God of the Sun and Fertility by decorating an evergreen tree, on a date close to their own Christmas. The tree represented the Tree of the Universe, called Yggdrasil. As these peoples were evangelised, the converted began to take the idea of a tree to celebrate the birth of Christ. It is said that St Boniface (680-754), who evangelised Germany, took an axe and cut down a tree representing Yggdrasil. In its place he planted a pine which was an evergreen symbolising God´s love and he decorated it with apples and candles. The apples symbolised temptation and original sin, and the candles became baubles, lights and other decorations. The tradition of putting children´s presents under the Christmas Tree came later. These were sent by St Nicholas also known as Santa Claus (or Father Christmas) or the Three Kings, depending on the varied customs in different parts of Europe.
It is possible that the first Christmas Tree, as we know it today, happened in Germany around 1605. A way of creating a warmer environment fighting the cold Christmas weather and it then spread from there. It reached England in 1829 and it was first seen at Windsor Palace in 1841, adopted by Price Albert, Queen Victoria´s husband. The tradition of decorating a tree first came into spanish homes in 1870. It was introduced by a Russian Princess called Sofía Troubetzkoy, who had become a widow and then got married again to the Spanish aristocrat José Osorio y Silva, marquis of Alcañices. It seems that the first time a tree was put up in Spain was in Madrid for Christmas 1870. This was at the Alcañices Palace on the corner of the Paseo del Prado with Calle de Alcala, which no longer exists.