The Christmas Tree – #CIJParty 2018

Contributor post by Mairi from mairidesign

One cold winter’s night, Martin Luther was walking through a pine forest near his home in Wittenberg when he looked up and saw thousands of stars glinting jewel-like among the branches of the trees. This wondrous sight inspired him to set up a candle-lit fir tree in his house that Christmas.

Long before Christianity, however, people in the Northern Hemisphere used evergreen plants to decorate their homes to celebrate the Winter Solstice. This was celebrated by the Egyptians, the Celts, the Vikings and the Romans, who decorated their homes and temples with green palm rushes or evergreen boughs in honour of their gods and to symbolise everlasting life.

The modern tradition of decorating trees indoors began in Germany in the 16th century. Open-air plays, telling the story of creation, were performed on Adam and Eve day, where the Garden of Eden was symbolised by a ‘paradise tree’ hung with fruit. The church banned these practices, considering them acts of heathenry, so people collected evergreen branches or trees and brought them, secretly, into their homes. On these, families would hang lit candles, gingerbread, gold covered apples, roses made from coloured paper, wafers and sweets.

This eventually reached the shores of the United Kingdom, when Queen Charlotte, the German wife of George III, set up the first known British tree in 1800. She held a large Christmas party for the children of all the principal families in Windsor and set up a yew tree in the middle of the drawing-room, illuminated by small wax candles, and decorated with baubles, fruit and presents. Christmas trees then became fashionable in English upper-class circles, where they formed the focal point at children’s gatherings.

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It wasn’t until half a century later, that the tradition took hold. In 1840, Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, imported several spruce firs from his native Coburg. Each year, magazines would describe the royal Christmas tree and print illustrations of the Royal Family around it, popularising the custom of setting up trees, which became commonplace in British homes.

Over the Atlantic, in the 1880s, Woolworth brought the magic of Christmas tree decorating into American homes. After a visit to Europe, F.W. Woolworth began importing holiday ornaments from Lauscha, Germany, the small village where hand-blown glass ornaments originated.

Response to the affordable, miniature glass toys was tremendous. More than 250 million ornaments were being imported to the United States from Germany, Japan and Czechoslovakia. But, as war broke out, it became difficult to export ornaments from Germany. In 1939, the American company Corning began producing ornaments on a larger scale, using a machine originally designed to produce glass bulbs.
Nowadays, in the U.S.A., 35 million Christmas trees are sold annually, with an additional 10 million artificial trees, and 300 million Christmas trees are grown in farms around the world.

So, each Christmas, as you decorate your tree, you can recall the origins of this festive custom and delight your family with stories full of holiday spirit.

Sources:

https://www.zmescience.com

https://www.historytoday.com

https://www.whychristmas.com

http://www.peopleticker.com

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My Best Friend

Contributor Post by Mary of Stock Lane Studio

Bestie, BFF, pal, peep, soulmate, kitty or pup, best friends come in all forms. They make us laugh, help us cry, helped make us who we are, and will never be forgotten.   From your little furry tail-wagging pal, to your husband or wive, your perfect bridesmaid, or your bestie who is miles away, Etsy Christmas in July has a great selection of  best friend gifts.

Przemila K from CanisArtStudio says:

The dog is the symbol of the best friend and many people love dogs and have their pets. Portrait of your favorite pet is a perfect gift to express friendship. This is a very good gift for every occasions and souvenir for many years. I paint oil paintings and draws as well. Today I want to present my offer of Pet portraits – large size pastel drawing the whole silhouette on the scenic background!

Caroline from SoyCandlesbyCaroline says:

Best friends are always together near or far. I think the beauty of a best friend is being able to feel connected to them when you have not talked or seen them in a long time.

Candles are a great way to show your best friend you are thinking of them while you are not together! A bff candle allows the flame to still go strong when the other is not in the room and lets your friend know you are always there!

Gifts that can be both useful and appreciated are the best ways to express thoughtfulness in gift giving and an understanding of your friend’s needs. We have the perfect gifts to make a house a home, with personalization.
Choose any of the products we have available depending on your best friend’s needs and personalize your purchase using any of our designs, the fonts we have available, or submit your own images to turn your gift into a personalized keepsake to be treasured and put to good use in good company.
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Sand Carved Engraved Sangria Carafe

Thank you for this opportunity to share my bff craft.

We all need a friend or two whom we can call our ride or die. So to me friends are like flowers they grow with each passing day and when you find a gem like this, you end up picking them over and over again!

Best Friend Lanyard And Keychain

Cindy Humphrey from Cynhumphrey says:

 My best friend loves dragonflies so I thought it was only fitting to let her inspire me to create this scarf pendant. Dragonflies have been a subject of intrigue going way back in time. I find this fitting for my best friend. She too intrigues me! I think all best friends seem to have an intriguing or fascinating quality that draws us together.

The fascinating thing about this scarf pendant though is that the floral button is interchangeable! Simply replace it with any other special snap button (which can be purchased separately in many jewelry stores) and you have a whole new look resting on top of the dragonfly! Now that is intriguing!

Interchangeable Dragonfly Scarf Pendant

Mairi from mairidesign says:

For many, their life-long best friend is their mother. When we sadly lose our best friend, she leaves a gap in our lives that can never be replaced. The butterfly is recognised as a symbol of hope, and with my iridescent butterfly plant decoration, I include this poem…

“A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam, and for a brief moment, its glory and beauty belong to our world. But then it flies again, and though we wish it could have stayed, we feel lucky to have seen it.”

Iridescent Butterfly Pot Plant Decoration

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Outdoor Entertaining

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

There are so many places you can entertain in your home, including in your outdoor spaces. Have a screened porch or deck? Make it a party spot with lighting, decor and so much more.

We want to see all your outdoor entertaining products. Please tell us all about them and how they fit with the theme. How would you use the item? What makes it special?

Susan-Sharon Passmore from MsPDesignsUSA says we really enjoy spending time outdoors in the evening during the autumn months, when the sun is going down and the temperatures are dropping. It is a great time to enjoy a cozy outdoor supper!

A pretty table setting adds to the enjoyment of friends & food on the patio! Make a beautiful runner and some matching place mats with our “Easy Pieced Leaves” pattern to create the perfect autumn table!

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MsPDesignsUSA

pam colangelo from PearlsVintagebyPam said sitting on the back deck in the evening! Let’s light a candle for romantic lighting! We had a large deck built and received 2 wooden adirondack chairs as a gift by my son.

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Marjorie Scenna from mscenna states I love decorating my outdoor spaces and especially love accenting with wind chimes and mobiles.

I’ve created this unique wind chime with an eclectic mix of re-purposed jewelry in metallic tones and black, a great accent for a patio, porch or deck!

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Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns says this tapas condiment set is ideal for casual outdoor dining! And would make a great foodie gift.

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DeeDeeDeesigns

Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit said our BBQ Tool Sets offer the opportunity to give the kitchen a break and spend time outside and are an excellent gift which can be admired and put to good use. Entertain in the style you design in our Etsy shop! We believe that every gift giving opportunity can become a personalized gift giving experience when you take the time and make the effort to create a custom engraved gift for your gift recipient. We are free spirited artists and employ a variety of skills learned from years of experience to offer our customers what they are looking for, in the style they are looking for, with no reason to look anywhere else. We transform items into artwork with the personalized touch and encourage our customers to turn a gift giving opportunity into a gift giving experience to be useful and appreciated.

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DesignstheLimit