The University’s Christmas tree, a beautiful American holly that grows beside Breslin Tower, was officially lighted last weekend, complete with ceremony and song. Two days ago, Santa was on hand when the community tree in Angel Park, an Eastern red-cedar, was lighted.
The Christmas tree tradition dates back to 16th century Germany. Originally decorated with edibles, Christmas trees began to be lighted by candles about two hundred years ago. The English lyrics to the wonderful German song “O Tannenbaum” begin, “O Christmas tree . . .” leading many (like me!) to the mistaken conclusion that Tannenbaum is German for Christmas tree. Not so! It means fir tree, and Weihnachtsbaum is the German word for Christmas tree. I know what you’re thinking – Tannenbaum is certainly a lot easier for Americans to pronounce! Here are photos of Sewanee’s two trees taken in the daytime. Very nice!