Around the world, Christmas traditions are celebrated in many rich and diverse ways. The origins of these traditions are wonderfully varied and have evolved throughout history. One of the most popular Christmas traditions is decorating a Christmas tree. But what’s the history of Christmas trees? This infographic captures some of the world’s most popular Christmas and Winter Solstice traditions, and their milestones, from 3,000 BC to today.

The History of Christmas Trees And Other Popular Christmas Traditions

The History of Christmas Trees & Other Christmas Traditions
Tree Classics

The Origins Of Popular Christmas Traditions

Most Christmas traditions slowly caught on over the years. Here are some fun facts about a few of the most popular Christmas traditions:

  • Santa Tracker: NORAD used the Internet to track Santa for the first time (1997).
  • National Holiday Status: Christmas wasn’t declared a national holiday in the United States until 1870.
  • The First Store Santa: The first store Santa was Massachusetts businessman James Edgar in 1890. Wonder if he warned kids back then not to shoot their eye out?
  • Irish Santa Snacks: Instead of cookies and milk, the Irish leave Santa mince pie and Guinness.
  • The First Fake Tree: The first artificial Christmas tree was created using toilet brush technology (1900).
  • The First Christmas Tree: The Christmas Tree, a now-common tradition around the world, began in Germany in the 1500s. The history of Christmas trees in America got a much slower start than the rest of the world. The first Christmas Tress didn’t arrive until the early 1800s when German settlers brought the tradition to America from Germany.

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Giacinta (Gia) Pace is a digital journalist who makes her home in New York City. She was born in Brooklyn, New York and was brought up on Long Island in a small town called Mastic. Giacinta is a graduate of Hofstra University where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Cum Laude with High Honors. She currently works for NBC News where every day is a new and exciting adventure. Giacinta has been published in several magazines and websites including Bibi Magazine &,,,,, Q, Filmfare, Back Stage and The History Channel Magazine. Giacinta has written numerous pieces for's charity section, "Giving," and produces the weekly web page "Cause Celeb" on's Newsvine. In addition, she occasionally contributes video spots to NBC Mobile's News 2 GO as well as photos from red carpet and other events to NBCU Photo Bank. Giacinta also regularly posts photo essays to The Today Show's allDAY Blog.