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The Christmas tree

The evergreen tree, because it keeps its green needles throughout the winter months, was believed by pre-Christian pagans to have special powers of protection against the forces of nature and evil spirits. The end of December marked the onset of a visible lengthening of daylight hours - the return of warmth and light and defeat of those evil forces of cold and darkness. At a particular stage of its development, the church is known to have adopted certain of the popular pagan practices into Christianity for political or social reasons.

The Christmas tree is the most obvious aspect of that pagan celebration which was incorporated along with its date of observance, December 25th, into church rites.

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