Monday, November 5, 2012

Latest NEWS - on our Facebook page

For all the latest NEWS about Christmas Tree issues around the world -  visit our Facebook Page

Your comments welcomed - become involved in the discussion


Monday, December 26, 2011

Where did Christmas Holiday Traditions come from

Click to read entire article <-----

Unwrapping Christmas traditions
Have you ever wondered where holiday traditions such as the Christmas wreath, gingerbread cookies, carols and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer came from?
The Independent Mail went on a search for the answers. Here is a list of some of those answers, according to information found in “Christmas Customs and Traditions” by Clement A. Miles and “The World Encyclopedia of Christmas” by Gerry Bowler, who earned his doctorate in history from King’s College in London.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tips on keeping a living Christmas tree alive | Seattle Times Newspaper

Home & Garden | Tips on keeping a living Christmas tree alive | Seattle Times Newspaper

Tips on keeping a living Christmas tree alive

Ciscoe Morris, Seattle Times garden writer, offers tips on keeping a living Christmas tree alive for years to come; planting Mahonia media to help hummingbirds have a source of food over the winter; and caring for a Cyclamen persicum.
Special to The Seattle Times

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wondering Why Riga's Christmas Market is NOT high on the list like Tallinns'

Is it the location? Is Tallinn closer to the North Pole and the home of Santa Claus - or is Tallinn's ability to organize and market it's product - what makes the Tallinn market appear to come out on top?

Take a look for yourself:  (click link below for more information)



Tallinn Christmas market praised as one of the best in Europe

The Examiner magazine named Tallinn-located Christmas market as one of five most prominent festive markets in Europe.

This market is relatively new – founded in 1991, the article says.

"Tallinn Christmas Market has made a name for itself in Europe as one of the most charming and romantic festivals on the continent. Held in the Estonian capital's beautifully medieval Town Hall Square, its 200,000 visitors a year can't be lying," noted Thorin Engeseth, Portland Europe Travel Examiner, in a review of the best Christmas markets, reports LETA.

The Christmas market in Tallinn's Old Town has a zoo as well, marks the Examiner.

The Tallinn-based market was included in the list along with Nuremberg, Germany, known as the Christkindlesmarkt, Vienna, Austria, for its lively atmosphere and spectacular market, Copenhagen, Denmark, which was titled "unique on this list" due to multiple Christmas markets in different parts of the city, as well as Prague, Czech Republic, for variety of goods on the counter and lots of local specialities.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

O, Christmas tree! - Some Christmas Tree Triva

Dec 7, 2011

 By McClatchy News Service - The Gilroy Distatch  < -- click to read original article

1. How did the tradition of decorating begin?
The tradition of decorating evergreens can
be traced back to ancient times in Rome and Egypt in celebration of the winter solstice. In 1510, the first Christmas tree was displayed in Riga, Latvia. Early decorations included ribbon, food, lace and tin. The custom was later brought to America during the Revolutionary War by Hessian mercenaries.
2. What is the height of the tallest tree in history?
The world's tallest recorded Christmas tree was a 221-foot Douglas fir at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle in 1950. In 2001, the tallest artificial tree stood at 170.6 feet and was displayed at Moinhos de Vento Park, Porto Alegre, Brazil. It was made of green PVC foliage and had a lightning rod and flashing lights to warn aircraft.
3. Can I buy a tree, sight unseen?
Yes. Approximately 330,000 real Christmas trees each year are sold via the Internet or catalog.
4. How long does it take a Christmas tree to grow?
Depending on the variety, the average tree takes seven years to grow 6 feet, the average retail height. Some trees require 15 years of growth to reach the same height.
5. How do trees get that perfect shape?
Evergreens do not naturally grow into the picture-perfect shape that is popular for Christmas trees. As trees grow, farmers control their shape through regular shearing. By using clippers to control the width and form of the branches, farmers force trees to grow into the popular cone shape.
6. What are the most popular Christmas tree varieties?
The most popular Christmas tree varieties include: Douglas fir, noble fir, scotch pine, Fraser fir, Virginia pine and white pine.
7. What should I expect when I go to a farm to cut my own tree?
Here are some tips from the National Christmas Tree Association:
- Beware of fire-ant mounds, tree stumps, an occasional blackberry vine, uneven ground and sharp saws.
- Wear comfortable shoes and old clothes. Bring rain gear if the weather is threatening. Also bring several pairs of work gloves. Leave your pets at home, or keep them leashed at all times.
- Saws are usually provided by the farm operator.
- Some farms measure and price their trees individually, others sell them by the foot. Ask about the pricing policy before heading out in the field.
- Select the tree that fits your predetermined needs (ceiling height, type of foliage, etc.). Check the trunk to be sure that it is sufficiently straight. Keep in mind that pines will usually have, at least, some crook in their trunks. Also check that the tree has a sufficiently long handle to accommodate your stand.
- Cutting the tree is easiest as a two-person project. The person who is cutting usually lies on the ground, while the helper holds the bottom limbs up.
- Bring the tree to the processing area where it will be cleaned and netted. Netting makes transporting and handling the tree substantially easier.
- When you are checking out, remember to pick up a tree removal bag. It can be used as a tree skirt and then pulled up around the tree to help keep the floors clean when the tree is being taken down.
8. Where are most Christmas trees grown?
There are about 15,000 tree growers in the United States, with farms in every state. The top Christmas tree-producing states are Oregon, California, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
9. How much do Americans spend on Christmas trees?
More than 23 million real Christmas trees were sold in 2003, valued at $791 million. The average Christmas tree costs $33.80.
10. How can I keep my Christmas tree fresh?
Proper watering and care are necessary to keep a tree fresh. The following tips can keep a tree fresh and hydrated through the holiday season:
- When shopping for a tree, choose one that is not losing needles or fading. Both are signs of excessive dryness.
- Make a fresh cut before placing the tree in its stand to allow maximum water absorption.
- The average tree needs 1 quart of water a day. Additives such as aspirin or commercial powders are not necessary and could harm the tree.
- Place the tree away from heat sources such as fireplaces or television sets, which could cause the tree to dry out.
11. Where is the national Christmas tree?
The national Christmas tree can be found on the White House lawn. In 1923, President Coolidge started the tradition of the national Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
12. Where can I find the best tree in the United States?
Every year, members of the National Christmas Tree Association pick the best tree and name it grand champion. The award-winning tree is presented to the president and the first family each year to be displayed inside the White House.
13. Has the government ever made any tree regulations?
The government once banned the use of tinsel because it contained lead and was a health hazard. Today's tinsel is made of plastic and is safe to use. President Teddy Roosevelt banned Christmas trees from the White House for a time because he thought the tradition was harmful to the environment and wanted to encourage conservation.
14. Am I hurting the environment if I display a real tree?
Ninety-eight percent of Christmas trees are harvested from farms. For every tree harvested, two to three seedlings are planted in its place. Christmas trees also create oxygen, which benefits the environment. One acre of Christmas trees can produce enough oxygen for 18 people.
15. What is flocking and why is it used?
Flocking is spraying adhesive coating to the branches of Christmas trees. The branches of a flocked tree look as if they are covered in snow. Colors other than white are also available.
16. Are real trees more popular than artificial ones?
Most people prefer artificial trees because they require little work. During the 2002 Christmas season, almost 50 percent of households displayed an artificial tree. Only 21 percent used real trees.
17. What are some popular alternatives to traditional Christmas trees?
In warmer regions, many people choose to decorate palm trees instead of the traditional evergreen. Some choose to make their own tree out of everyday items, such as lights and drinking glasses.
18. Are Christmas trees recyclable?
Real Christmas trees can be used in a variety of ways after the holidays. The trunk and branches can be converted into mulch for the garden. They can also be used as bird feeders or as a refuge for fish in private ponds.
19. Can I replant my tree after the holidays?
Trees that can be replanted, also called "living trees," are gaining in popularity. Living trees are sold with their roots intact so they can be potted or planted when taken home.
20. Are real trees a fire hazard?
Fresh Christmas trees that are watered regularly are generally not a fire hazard. Less than 0.001 percent of Christmas trees are involved in a fire.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Tree Facts - University of Illinois

Christmas Tree Facts - University of Illinois  < -- click to read article

  • Christmas trees have been sold commercially in the United States since about 1850.
  • Until fairly recently, all Christmas trees came from the forest.
  • In 2002, Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Washington, New York, and Virginia were the top Christmas tree producing states. Oregon was the leading producer of Christmas trees – 6.5 million in 2002.
  • The best selling trees are Scotch pine, Douglas fir, Noble fir, Fraser fir, Virginia pine, balsam fir and white pine.
  • More than 2,000 trees are usually planted per acre. On an average 1,000-1,500 of these trees will survive. In the North, maybe, 750 trees will remain. Almost all trees require shearing to attain the Christmas tree shape. At six to seven feet, trees are ready for harvest. It takes six to ten years of fighting heavy rain, wind, hail and drought to get a mature tree.
  • In the United States, there are more than 21, 000 Christmas tree growers.
  • In the United States, there are around a half billion Real Christmas Trees growing on U.S. farms.
  • In the United States, there are more than 12,000 cut-your-own farms.
  • In 1979, the National Christmas Tree was not lighted except for the top ornament. This was done in honor of the American hostages in Iran.
  • From 1887-1933 a fishing schooner called the "Christmas Ship" would tie up at the Clark Street Bridge in Chicago and sell spruce trees from Michigan to Chicagoans.
  • The tradition of an official Chicago Christmas tree was initiated in 1913 when one was first lit by Mayor Carter H. Harrison in Grant Park.
  • Since 1966, the National Christmas Tree Association has given a Christmas tree to the President and first family.
  • The first decorated Christmas tree was in Riga, Latvia in 1510.
  • Growing Christmas trees provides a habitat for wildlife.
  • Recycled trees have been used to make sand and soil erosion barriers and been placed in ponds for fish shelter.
  • The first Christmas tree retail lot in the United States was started in 1851 in New York by Mark Carr.
  • Christmas trees take an average of 7-10 years to mature.
  • Christmas trees remove dust and pollen from the air.
  • Since 1971, the Province of Nova Scotia has presented the Boston Christmas Tree tree to the people of Boston in gratitude for the relief supplies received from the citizens of Boston after a ship exploded in 1917 following a collision in the Halifax, Nova Scotia Harbor. Part of the city was leveled killing injuring thousands.
  • The use of evergreen trees to celebrate the winter season occurred before the birth of Christ.
  • Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states including Hawaii and Alaska.
  • 100,000 people are employed in the Christmas tree industry.
  • 98 percent of all Christmas trees are grown on farms.
  • In 1856 Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the United States, was the first President to place a Christmas tree in the White House.
  • President Coolidge started the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the White House lawn in 1923.
  • In 2002, 21% of United States households had a real tree, 48% had an artificial tree and 32% had not tree.
  • 73 million new Christmas trees will be planted this year.
  • On average, over 2,000 Christmas trees are planted per acre.
  • You should not burn your Christmas tree in the fireplace; it can contribute to creosote buildup.
  • Other types of trees such as cherry and hawthorns were used as Christmas trees in the past.
  • Artificial trees will last for six years in your home, but for centuries in a landfill.
  • There are over 500 Christmas tree growers in Illinois.
  • In 2002, over 144,000 real trees were harvested in Illinois.
  • Using small candles to light a Christmas tree dates back to the middle of the 17th century.
  • Nineteenth century Americans cut their trees in nearby forests.
  • Thomas Edison’s assistant, Edward Johnson, came up with the idea of electric lights for Christmas trees in 1882.
  • Christmas tree lights were first mass produced in 1890.
  • In 1963, the National Christmas Tree was not lighted until December 22nd because of a national 30-day period of mourning following the assassination of President Kennedy.
  • Teddy Roosevelt banned the Christmas tree from the White House for environmental reasons.
  • In the first week, a tree in your home will consume as much as a quart of water per day.
  • Michigan ranks third (2.4 million trees in 2002) among all states in the production of real Christmas trees, but grows a larger variety (13) of Christmas trees than any other state.
  • A Christmas tree decoration was banned by the government. Tinsel contained lead at one time, now it’s made of plastic.
  • Real Christmas trees are involved in less than one-tenth of one percent of residential fires and only when ignited by some external ignition sources.
  • In 1998 more than 32 million Real Christmas Trees were used in the U.S. Of these, only 0.00093% were ignited in home fires.
  • 93% of real Christmas tree consumers recycle their tree in community recycling programs, their garden or backyard.
  • In the United States, there are more than 4,000 Christmas tree recycling programs.
  • In 2007, 23% of real Christmas trees sold were from chain stores, 9% by non-profit groups. 12% from retail lots and 21% from choose and cut farms.
  • An estimated 175,000 Real Christmas Trees are sold via e-commerce or catalogue and shipped mail-order.
  • In 2007 the retail market value of the 31.3 million trees purchased at the mean average purchase price of $41.50 was $1.3 billion..
  • 31.3 million real Christmas trees were purchased in 2007.
  • Christmas trees are baled to protect the branches from damage during shipping.
  • 34-36 million Christmas trees were harvested in the United States in 2001.
  • Helicopters help to lift harvested Christmas trees from farms.
  • An acre of Christmas trees provides for the daily oxygen requirements of 18 people.
  • In 1984, the National Christmas was lit on December 13th with temperatures in the 70's, making it one of the warmest tree lightings in history.
  • In 1900, large stores started to erect big illuminated Christmas trees.
  • Every year since 1947, the people of Oslo, Norway have given a Christmas tree to the city of Westminster, England. The gift is an expression of good will and gratitude for Britain's help to Norway during World War II.
  • The first printed reference to Christmas trees appeared in Germany in 1531.
  • Oregon produces the most real Christmas trees. In 2002, 6.4 million trees were harvested in Oregon.
  • Oregon led the nation in 2002 with 67,804 acres in Christmas tree production. Illinois had 6,355 acres in production.
  • In 2002, 446,996 acres of land in the United States were in Christmas Tree production.
  • 2-3 seedlings are planted for every harvested Christmas tree. In 2004 sixty million Christmas tree seedlings were planted by Christmas tree farmers.
  • 93% of real Christmas tree consumers recycle their tree in community recycling programs, their garden or backyard.
  • In 2007, 84% of Christmas trees purchased were pre-cut and 16% were cut your own.
  • 30-35 million Real Christmas Trees are sold in the U.S. every year.

Picking a perfect Christmas tree

Picking a perfect Christmas tree   < -- click for more information

Christmas comes but once a year, but Christmas trees can last from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. Here are some tips and things you never knew you needed to know about these festive conifers.

Evergreens have long been associated with the celebration of life, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. The first recorded display of a tree decorated for the holiday was in Riga, Latvia, in 1510, according to a timeline on the association's website. Trees were decorated with fruit and sweets that would then be shared among the family.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Christmas - Toys - Fun Year A Round

from Evening Magazine Seattle
Posted on November 26, 2010 at 8:59 PM

We know the holiday season is about peace, kindess and love. But let's be honest, it's also about the toys. Michael King found the motherload in Madison Park, inside a magical basement.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Commemorative Card - 500 Year Anniversary First Christmas Tree (R) - Package TEN Cards and Envelopes

Official Issue from he Home of the First Christmas Tree (R) project in Riga Latvia.

Celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the First Christmas Tree (R) with a special limited edition photo of a Christmas Tree Lighting in Riga Latvia.

Order today from
In stock and shipped by Amazon Com in USA

For International shipments, 
order from the alternate supplier
click link above

Monday, December 20, 2010

News Interview - Celebrate 500 Year Anniversary Home of the First Christmas Tree (R)

Edited and English subtitles added - News Story, December 19, 2010, Riga Latvia, LNT Television - Interview with Mike Johnson, General Manager, Home of the First Christmas Tree (R) project. This project provides marketing and promotion of the Legend of the First Decorated Christmas Tree in the year 1510 in Northern Europe area called Livonia (Latvia and Estonia) and now called the Baltics. For more information:

Home of the First Christmas Tree and the graphical First Christmas Tree logos are registered trademarks of Patricia LTD, Riga Latvia

Complete Latvian language Interview at:


Friday, December 17, 2010

Celebrate Winter Light Festival Riga Latvia

multiple videos - should play automatically

Animated Character Christmas Light Display - Lights on Display

Lights On Display 2010 from Lights on Display on Vimeo.
This home light show features handmade animatronic characters synced to an edited music and video track. The light strings are now 100% LED. Building the animatronic characters usually starts in June, and continues over the Summer weekends. Programming the light show began in September and was completed in October.

The display is located in Sherman Oaks, CA. Visit my website for more information. click here

Lights on Display 2009 from Lights on Display on Vimeo.
This home light show features a handmade animatronic singing "Frosty the Snowman" and a pair of dancing elves. It's all synced to a audio and video track that changes each year. The building and programming of the display begins in early Summer and continues to Thanksgiving week for installation.

The display is located in Sherman Oaks, CA. Visit my website for more information.