What Does The Bible Say About Decorating Trees

The Origin of Decorating Trees

The ancient practice of decorating trees can be traced back to pre-Christian times, where pagans in northern Europe used evergreens to celebrate the winter solstice and Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish New Year for trees. Germans began the tradition of bringing a fir tree into the house and hanging ornaments on it, a practice that eventually spread to other parts of the world. The tradition eventually became associated with Christmas and Christianity, where it continues to be practiced to this day.

Biblical History

The Bible does not explicitly mention the use of evergreen trees for decoration. The most important reference to trees in the Bible is in the story of Creation, when God created the first tree and assigned it the purpose of providing food. Trees are also symbolic of life, represented by the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden. Trees are also symbolic of Jesus’s cross, which he was said to have made from a tree.

Theological Implications

Theologically speaking, the use of evergreen trees as a decoration can be interpreted as a symbol of eternal life. Because evergreen trees remain green year-round, they are viewed as a representation of Jesus and His teaching about the eternal life that He offers to those who believe in Him.
The Christmas tree can also be viewed as a symbol of the Advent, which is the four-week period leading up to Christmas that marks the journey of anticipation to the celebration of Jesus’s birthday. During this period, evergreen trees are normally decorated with ornaments and lights to serve as a reminder of Jesus’s arrival and the promise of eternal life.

Modern Interpretation

In modern times, the use of evergreen trees as a decoration is seen as a way of celebrating Christmas, putting aside differences and uniting people in their shared heritage and faith. People from different faiths, backgrounds, and cultures come together to decorate evergreen trees in the spirit of community and connection.
Nowadays, evergreen trees are decorated with ornaments and lights to bring joy, light and a sense of warmth to homes during the winter months when darkness and cold abound. For some families, decorating the tree together is a time-honored tradition that brings along much joy and nostalgia, connecting them to the past.

Environmental Implications

The environmental implications of the outdoor use of evergreen trees as decorations should not be overlooked. Despite the Christian significance of the evergreen tree, using real trees as outdoor decorations can be damaging to the environment if they are not disposed of properly. Real trees require ongoing water and fertilizers and can attract pests, while artificial trees made from plastic can add to the mounting amount of waste in the environment.
For those who prefer to use real trees, there are more eco-friendly alternatives, such as potted trees, that allow them to be replanted at the end of the season. Organizations like the National Christmas Tree Association have guidelines that encourage the proper disposal of real trees to reduce environmental impact.


For those who wish to preserve the tradition of decorating an evergreen tree in a way that is both meaningful and respectful to the environment, there are a few resources available. Organizations like the National Park Service can provide advice and tips on how to design and construct sustainable tree decorations. Additionally, businesses that specialize in the sale of sustainable Christmas decorations, such as the Eco-friendly Tree Decorating Company or the Sustainable Christmas Tree Shop, can provide a wide range of options for those seeking an eco-friendly way to decorate their trees.

Alternatives To Decorating Trees

In some cases, individuals or families may not have the space to have a real tree in their home, have allergies to evergreen trees, or are simply looking for a creative alternative. Many individuals find creative ways of decorating their homes, such as stringing lights around their windows, crafting paper ornaments, or making wreaths from natural materials like pinecones and branches. Creating a centerpiece with a large vase of flowers is also a great way to keep spirits up during the colder months.

Christmas Trees and Technology

Modern advances in technology have also made it possible to enjoy the experience of decorating a Christmas tree without having to worry about environmental damage. Smart Christmas Trees, such as the Amazon EcoHome Christmas Tree, are now available, making it possible to enjoy the twist and twinkle of the Christmas tree while helping to reduce the environmental impact of the decorations. Smart Christmas Trees come equipped with LED lights and timers, allowing people to plan their decorations and lights in advance and ensure that they are powered responsibly.

The Reducing Of Advent Traditions

For those looking for a more simplified approach to Advent, there are also ways to reduce the decorations and enjoy the spirit of the season in a more meaningful way. A lot of churches are focusing on celebrating Jesus’ birth through music, art, and reflection rather than through decorations. Families can take a different approach and use Advent activities like the reading of devotions and carols, playing of Christmas-themed games, and watching of Nativity plays to honor and celebrate Jesus’ birth.

Symbolism of the Evergreen

Ultimately, the use of evergreen trees to decorate for the Christmas season carries an important spiritual message. From a biblical perspective, the evergreen tree is symbolic of life and Jesus’ death and resurrection. For those who celebrate Christmas, the evergreen tree can be interpreted as a symbol of hope, peace, joy, and unity.
At the same time, people should be aware of the environmental implications of their decorations and make environmentally conscious decisions when selecting, decorating, and disposing of their Christmas trees. Whether people opt for real or artificial trees, eco-friendly solutions, or reducing their decorations, there are a number of ways to honor the significance of the evergreen as a symbol of life.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

Leave a Comment