WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) — They are a sign of the season, but have you ever stopped to think just how the tradition of the Christmas tree came about? On this Christmas Eve, you may be getting ready to rock around one of these — a Christmas tree.
But, as it stands like it’s always been there in our history, the Hagley Museum will show us the Christmas tree only became a part of our past when it was presented to us not that long ago.
At the Hagley Museum in Delaware, in the first home built by the DuPonts, there is a marvelous display of decorated Christmas trees — each one marking the moment when trees grew even more magical.
While the DuPonts celebrated French Christmas traditions, like exchanging gifts on New Year’s and a 12th-night feast marking the eve of the epiphany, one of the earliest decorated trees documented was a little lemon tree in the blue room.
But, it was the Victorian era when the tradition of decorating a tree really grew and the firsts didn’t sprout from a base they were placed on a tabletop.
Later in the 1800s, trees got a little taller and even brighter with blown glass balls and in the 1880’s electric bulbs.
While innovations may have changed its look, it’s what the Christmas tree stands for that has stood the test of time.
Watch the video above for more on the Hagley Museum.