O Tannenbaum and Craft

Christmas Tree Craft (construction and tissue paper)

For most of my young adult life, before children I did forgo a Christmas tree out of practicality but I always missed it.  Bring home, trimming, placing gifts beneath, enjoying its fragrance and beauty (ornamental and natural) are all part of what a Christmas tree is.  It is the centerpiece of holiday decorating and for me there is no decoration more important.

Today’s post is a tribute to the Christmas tree.  It includes a craft with three types of Christmas trees, a historical tidbit on the origin of the Christmas tree, an English translation to O Tannenbaum, and a popular English version of the same.

Christmas Tree Craft

Christmas Tree Craft

Create holiday window decorations with this simple holiday craft.  When you hang them in the window they “light up”!  Just click on this link to print out the templates: Christmas Tree Craft

Materials:

tissue paper cut in half inch squares (assorted colors), scissors, construction paper, hole punch, glue stick

Instructions for Christmas tree craft:

  1. Christmas Tree Craft process

    Print Christmas Tree Craft template pages on colored paper (I cut construction paper to 8.5 X 11 and fed it through my printer)

  2. Fold printed pages along dashed “fold” line then cut out trees (you will have 2 of each shape)
  3. With the 2 sheets lined up use your hole punch to create the light locations
  4. Separate the two shapes and apply glue around holes on the inside surface of one
  5. Cover holes with tissue paper squares
  6. Apply glue to inside of second cut-out tree shape  and press the two matching shapes together and done!

Pagan origins of the Christmas tree

Bringing Evergreen branches into the home and decorating trees is a tradition that predates Christianity.  Pagan cultures of Greece, Rome, and ancient Germany all decorated evergreen trees during winter solstice to honor certain gods.  The Germanic people tied fruit and candles to evergreen branches in honor of Woden, a sky and war god (for whom Wednesday is named).  It is a tradition that marked the winter solstice and evergreens symbolized eternal life and/or were believed to have magical powers for their ability to withstand the cold winter months!

Sources: http://www.religioustolerance.org/xmas_tree.htm & http://www.timelessmyths.com/norse/teutonic.html

O Tannenbaum (literal translation of the German Christmas carol)

O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How loyal are your leaves/needles!
You’re green not only in the summertime,
No, also in winter when it snows.
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How loyal are your leaves/needles!

O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
You can please me very much!
How often has not at Christmastime
A tree like you given me such joy!
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree,
You can please me very much!

O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
Your dress wants to teach me something:
Your hope and durability
Provide comfort and strength at any time.
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree,
That’s what your dress should teach me.

Source: http://german.about.com/library/blotannenb.htm

O Christmas Tree (one of several English versions of O Tannenbaum)

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
Thou tree most fair and lovely!
Oh Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
Thou tree most fair and lovely!
The sight of thee at Christmastide
Spreads hope and gladness far and wide
Oh Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
Thou tree most fair and lovely!

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
Thou hast a wondrous message:
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
Thou hast a wondrous message:
Thou dost proclaim the Saviour’s birth
Good will to men and peace on earth
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
Thou hast a wondrous message

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
You stand in verdant beauty
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
You stand in verdant beauty
Your boughs are green in summer’s glow
And do not fade in winter’s snow
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
You stand in verdant beauty

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
How laden are your branches
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
Your presence here enhances
Your silver star does glisten bright
Reflecting all the candlelight
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
How laden are your branches

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
You fill all hearts with gaiety
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
You fill all hearts with gaiety
On Christmas Day you stand so tall
Affording joy to one and all
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
You fill all hearts with gaiety

4 comments

    • We did them like an assembly line starting with my 3 year old doing the cutting with an xacto knife (to achieve perfect detail) and so on.

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