Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Trees

by Sac Barb

The  Capitol Christmas tree in Washington, D.C., is decorated with 3,000 ornaments that are the handiwork of U.S. schoolchildren. Encircling evergreens in the 'Pathway of Peace'  represent the 50 U.S. states.

The world's largest Christmas tree display rises up the slopes of Monte Ingino outside of Gubbio, in Italy 's Umbria region. Composed of about 500 lights connected by 40,000 feet of wire, the 'tree' is a modern marvel for an ancient city

A Christmas tree befitting Tokyo 's nighttime neon display is projected onto the exterior of the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka.

Illuminating the Gothic facades of Prague's Old Town Square, and casting its glow over the manger display of the famous Christmas market, is a grand tree cut in the Sumava mountains in the southern Czech Republic.
Venice 's Murano Island renowned throughout the world for its quality glass work is home to the tallest glass tree in the world. Sculpted by master glass blower Simone Cenedese, the artistic Christmas tree is a modern reflection of the holiday season.
Moscow celebrates Christmas according to the Russian Orthodox calendar on Jan. 7. For weeks beforehand, the city is alive with festivities in anticipation of Father Frost's arrival on his magical troika with the Snow Maiden. He and his helper deliver gifts under the New Year tree, or yolka, which is traditionally a fir.

The largest Christmas tree in Europe (more than 230 feet tall) can be found in the Praca do Comercio in Lisbon, Portugal. Thousands of lights adorn the tree, adding to the special enchantment of the city during the holiday season.
'Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree': Even in its humblest attire, aglow beside a tiny chapel in Germany 's Karwendel mountains, a Christmas tree is a wondrous sight.

Ooh la la Galeries Lafayette! In Paris, even the Christmas trees are chic. With its monumental, baroque dome, plus 10 stories of lights and high fashion, it's no surprise this show-stopping department store draws more visitors than the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower

In addition to the Vatican's heavenly evergreen, St. Peter's Square in Rome hosts a larger-than-life nativity scene in front of the obelisk.

The Christmas tree that greets revelers at the Puerta del Sol is dressed for a party. Madrid 's two-week celebration makes millionaires along with merrymakers. On Dec. 22, a lucky citizen will win El Gordo (the fat one), the world's biggest lottery.

A token of gratitude for Britain 's aid during World War II, the Christmas tree in London 's Trafalgar Square has been the annual gift of the people of Norway since 1947.

Drink a glass of gluhwein from the holiday market at the Romer, Frankfurt's city hall since 1405 and enjoy a taste of Christmas past.

Against a backdrop of tall, shadowy firs, a rainbow trio of Christmas trees lights up the night (location unknown).

The Twelve Days of Christmas
Author Unknown

There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me. What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

This week, I found out. 

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ. 
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments. 

-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John. 

-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament. 

-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation. 

-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness,
 Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

So there is your history for today. This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas pass it on if you wish.'


Arlington  National Cemetery

Rest easy, sleep well my brothers.

Know  the line has held, your job is done.

Rest  easy, sleep well.

Others  have taken up where you fell, the line has held.

Peace,  peace, and farewell...  

You may be interested to know that these wreaths -- some 5,000 -- are donated by the Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington, Maine. The owner, Merrill Worcester, not only provides the wreaths, but covers the trucking expense as well. He's done this since 1992. A wonderful guy. Also, most years, groups of Maine school kids combine an educational trip to DC with this event to help out. Making this even more remarkable is the fact that Harrington is in one of the  poorest parts of the state.


Jodi said...

BARB - What a great blog!! Loved the trees from around the world. And very interesting about the 12 Days of Christmas. What a special gift for our soldiers at Arlington ♥

Jodi said...

Good morning HOoters!! Heading out soon, but wanted to leave a fresh pot of coffee, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, OJ and an assortment of Cheesecake Bites for breakfast!! My favorites are the Caramel Machiatto and the Peppermint White Chocolate. ENJOY ♥

Jodi said...

DIANNE - Did u get back to sleep?

Zona said...

BARB: Cool blog!! The trees were awesome..loved all the pics..I was a little worried about the Russian tree seemed a little 'tipsy'..probably all that 'Wodka'.. ;)

I didn't know about the 12 Days of Christmas..or the wreaths..very very interesting!

JODI: Hellllloooo Gorgeous! Thank you for leaving DP and cheesecake bites! Yummy! Sounds like my kind of breakfast! :)

Zona said...

FROM 51:

BEAR: I'm so sorry that your mom is in the hospital. I hope and pray for a quick recovery for her. {{Hugs}} to you my friend.

MARY: So very sad to hear about the passing of your nephew. I'll be praying for strength and comfort for you and your family. ♥

Zona said...


J/LIN: I never thought about losing the ring in the cookie dough...yikes!! I'm thinkin' now that I was lucky it fell off where and when it did!!

Did you decide what to have with the..yummm..Honey Baked Ham? We're just having regular ol' ham tomorrow with Au Rotten potatoes and fresh green beans..probably the easiest holiday meal we make. :)

BARB: Spaghetti and clam sauce sounds delish!! Tonight we're making perogies..traditional Christmas Eve dinner for us. We only make the potato/cheese ones..but put a little onion butter sauce on them and they really are good..if I do say so myself. :D

DI: I'd send you some cookies..but they might be all frozen and hard by the time they get to you! ;) Btw..I don't think you have to say the 'Broncos won' anymore..the Broncos always win..js... ;D

High 5 on being able to do some stairs at your Uncle's yesterday..that is HUGE!! Woohoo!! :)

LYNN: I've been thinking about you..hope you are doing ok. Love you lady.

JODI: I am so confused about the way your brother is's only the two of you now..he needs to be getting closer..not pulling away. It makes no sense. I think your idea just to ask him is a good one. My brother walked away years ago..and we never knew why. I wish he had talked to us about whatever was bothering him. It's so sad..and it didn't have to be like this..ya know? I hope you can have a nice talk with him and find out what's wrong. {{Hugs}} from the end of the world. ♥

Zona said...

Randy made peanut butter/chocolate fudge last night..Rocky Road too. He also made these no bake chocolate cookies that have oatmeal in good. I don't know if we will survive this holiday with all these sweets! I told him that we were giving a lot of this away..he said ok..he just had to make them because it was a

Going to go check my farms..and then I have to make the filling for the perogies. It has to be completely cool before it can be used and it can't be put in the I try to get it done early.

I hope all the Owls have a Christmas and hugs to everyone! ♥

Gloria said...

Good Morning everyone...

Barb...I loved your blog...Thank you so much for taking the time to put it together, I truly enjoyed it.

I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.

Whabbear...just read about your Mom breaking her pelvis. I had sent you a private Merry Christmas message last night. I am so sorry that this has happened to your mom and to your family at this time. You and your family are in my prayers. xoxo

Just_Lin said...

Good morning, HOoters! It's not raining! Yay!

Just_Lin said...

HOdi You are absolutely gorgeous in first this morning! About your very odd and rude. At this point, I think I would be really pissed off. Do you think that he feels slighted in some way or that he was not treated fairly? If you can't get him to talk, maybe his wife will.

Just_Lin said...

SacBarb Thanks for the beautiful Christmas trees today. Speaking of trees, I just got a smallish one this year which is totally not like me. I usually have to cut the top off to fit it in the house. I am liking this compact 5 footer, though. It's grown on me and is certainly easier to decorate (especially the lights) and will be easier to take down. The older I get, the more into "easy" I am. Your dinner sounds delish, btw.

Just_Lin said...

Zona I can't believe all the baking you and Randy do for the holidays. Maybe you can come help me out with mine next year. The dinner today with son and his group will be the HoneyBaked ham, scalloped potatoes, glazed carrots, fresh green beans and rolls. There's a fruit torte and small cheese cake and assorted cookies and fudge. I don't think anyone will go away hungry.

Tomorrow I will have my daughter and her boyfriend here lunch. I will make potato soup and ham sandwiches. There will still be plenty of sweets here then, too.

Your perogies sound so good!

Just_Lin said...

Gloria Merry Christmas to you, too. I hope you are feeling better every day.

Just_Lin said...

Bear I'm so sorry about your mom. I understand completely when you wrote that Christmas is just a shadow of what it once was. I feel the same way. I miss my mom a lot and the tradition of her and my brother coming up here for the holidays.

Jodi said...

KATHY - Thank you....still scratching my head!

SLIN - I think said wife is part if the problem...just a hunch ;)

Jodi said...

Just got back from all the running I had to do this morning. Gonna take a nap before we have to head our later. Think I might pop in the movie A Christmas Story...always makes me lmbo!

sacBarb said...

Merry Christmas Eve everyone.

J/L, Not raining here either. Double Yayyyy.

Jodi & Zona, What is it about brothers? My brother disowned us in the 1960's. He is nearly 80 now and the only time my sister or I talk to him is if we initiate it. Frankly, I don't try much anymore. It usually turns into drama and life is way too short for drama.

Jodi, You are the beauty in first today.

Gloria, Thanks, but I really didn't have to put it together. Someone sent it to me in an email.

sacBarb said...

Bear, So sorry about your Mom. I'm sure she is happy that you are there.

Jodi said...

Merry Christmas BARB!! Still shaking my head. At least he didn't snub my kids. They all got Christmas cards today with a $50.00 check in them.

Jodi said...


Dianne/Denver said...

Good afternoon Everyone. Merry Christmas Eve. I'm all ready to start celebrating and the stockings are even filled. I'm just passing some time until its time to go to my sons. I'm still hoping it won't snow but I think I may be hoping in vain.

Jodi, you are a blinding beauty at first today. I'm glad your brother at least remembered the kids. Brothers can for sure be different from time to time. I hope you enjoy your Christmas.

Barb, thanks for the blog today. It's very nice. No rain for you or JL today...good. I'd take a little rain.

Bear, very sorry about your mom. I know it will be a hard Christmas this year but so glad you are able to be with your family.

JL, you dinners for the next two days sound good. We downsized to a smaller tree and I like it too. If it wasnt for Louis decorating, I probably wouldn't do much but I love looking at it every night.

Gloria, how are you feeling? I hope better each day. Merry Christmas to you.

Zona, are my cookies in the mail? Will they arrive today? What about my perrogies? Barb, what about my clam sauce? I'm checking the mail and the front door for UPS boxes and so far...not so good.

Went to pt today and had my best number bend yet and on a Monday is extra good. The straightening was not as great but okay. I've been lax in using my stretching machine. I will get better.

Just heard Jack Klugman died today. He was so funny in his movies.

Well, I will sign off for now and wish you all a good night and hope Santa visits everyone. I have to go and check my mail again...ho ho ho

Dianne/Denver said...

Merry Christmas Everyone. Hope you all have a happy day. It's snowing here so looks like we for sure will have a white Christmas

Just_Lin said...

Merry Christmas!

Jodi said...

Had a fun night with Paul's family. Sam and her cousin didn't join the kids in the bathroom (singing for Santa), so her eyes were opened to the "magic" of how Santa comes at the farm. You should've seen her face.....priceless!! I got hope way later than I wanted. I hope this coffee helps. I got less than 4 hours of sleep!

Jodi said...

DIANNE - Enjoy your white Christmas!

Jodi said...

SLIN - Merry Christmas ♥

Lynn D said...

These were beautiful.