Branching Out

Sunday, December 13, 2009, 12:05

The Christmas Tree has nothing to do with Christmas. It is merely a pagan tradition dating from when people revered evergreens as symbols of sexual prowess, fertility, and reproduction. Today’s Christmas tree is the direct descendant of “Yggdrasil”, the Great Tree of Life Norse mythology.

To Vikings, evergreens were reminders that Winter would be banished by Spring. Druids venerated the oak, which they adorned with fruits and candles as harvest-time approached. Romans placed candles, metal objects and lucky charms on their trees during their Saturnalia festivals. Indeed it is said that this custom begat the modern one of placing gifts beneath the tree.

Later, in non-Christian homes in mainland Europe, trees were set up as temporary domestic winter-season idols. Eventually, even Christians in Germany would have decorated trees inside their homes. If evergreen trees could not be had for love or money, the alternative was a pyramidal wooden structure to which branches were attached. Candles were placed on the branches.

Does anyone remember the commotion that ensued when last year, in the town of Armonk, New York, an Islamic star and crescent as well as a menorah were placed by the town’s Christmas tree? This was not called a “politically correct” gesture, but an “all-inclusive” one.

This year, it may be worthwhile introducing a new twist to the tale by combining a “traditional” tree with some Feng Shui principles in order to make it a pleasing addition to the Christmastide home-scene, rather than a flashy must-have that means nothing except an excuse to show off baubles and trinkets.

Feng Shui aims to create balance and good fortune. Here, we will just ‘customise’ Feng Shui tree decorations for aesthetic, interior décor purposes, since there are some time-honoured knick-knacks that also fit into the Feng Shui mould.

When you decide to decorate the tree, it may appear easier to get it over and done with while the children are still asleep. Yet doing this together will provide memories for years to come, and despite the frayed nerves this exercise may entail, it will contribute to tranquillity within the family… eventually!

Feng Shui Meaning of Christmas Tree Ornaments:

Angels – God’s protection and miracles
Apple – Good health and peace
Bells – Peace and harmony
Bird – Happiness and good news
Candles – Unselfishness and brightness Carousel Endless joy and happiness
Cat – Money luck and to attract affection
Champagne – Celebration and party time
Cherubs – Goodwill and tranquillity Chimney Sweep Good Luck – sweeping away the bad luck
Cow – Wishes coming true and a comfortable life
Dog – Faithful friend and ally Dove Purity and peace through the year
Fish – Blessings with food all year round
Flower – Beauty and good fortune
Frog – Good luck in business Fruit Generosity and goodwill
Gold – coins Prosperity
Grapes – Friendship and abundance
Heart – True love and romance
House – Shelter and support
Owl – Wisdom and intelligence
Pig – Wealth and good fortune
Pine – Cone Motherhood and longevity
Rabbit – Hope and security
Rose – Madonna and Beauty
Santa – Goodwill and presents
Sheep – Devotion and loyalty
Snowman – Patience and loving energy
Star – God’s Guidance
Stork – Fruitfulness and fertility
Tea / Coffee Pot – Hospitality
Teddy Bear – Companionship


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