Christmas trees tell stories at Johnson Center for the Arts

Published 10:31 pm Friday, December 3, 2021

Many stories have been written and told about how evergreen trees became a symbol of Christmas around the world.

A long time before Jesus was born, plants and trees that remained green all year found a place in homes, especially those with children. The green trees curbed some of the darkness of the cold, winter nights and gave the houses a clean, fresh smell that people of all ages enjoyed. The Christmas tree reminded them all of  the much warmer days of spring, even though it seem so very far away. Boughs from the evergreen were hung over the doors and windows to give houses, a fresh, clean smell even in the darkest, coldest days of  winter.

Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as it is celebrated in America in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes.  Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, is believed to have first added lighted candles to a tree. Walking toward his home one winter evening, composing a sermon, he was awed by the brilliance of stars twinkling amidst evergreens. To recapture the scene for his family, he erected a tree in the main room and wired its branches with lighted candles.

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Today, many Christmas tree are artificial. Some are simply decorate while other have elaborate decorations. Most all have lights, some all white and others decorated with lights of many colors. Few have lighted candles. But most homes have Christmas trees, many decorated with special ornaments and often ornaments made by children.

In keeping with the tradition of Christmas tree as this special time of year, the Johnson Center for the Arts annually hosts the Christmas Tree Extravaganza. The upper gallery of the arts center is a Christmas wonderland of evergreen trees decorated by children for the schools in Pike County. The centerpiece is a towering tree that is decorated by students from the Troy City Schools. This year the theme of the magnificent tree is Around  the World and highlights the way Christmas is celebrated in the different countries on the planet called Earth.

Pike County Elementary School’s Christmas tree celebrates Bulldog Pride and is decorated with children made images that represent their pride in their school and community

The students at Pike Liberal Arts School themed their Christmas tree, “And Nature Sings.” All decorations are made from the offerings of Mother Nature and with the imaginations of school-age children.

Goshen students choose “Polar Express” and decorated their tree with images from the very popular story and movie.

“The State of Alabama” is saluted by the Home School Students and depicts things that make Alabama unique as varied as Golden Flake potato chips, its abundance of deer and the camellia, the state flower.

The schools at Banks feature the “Elf” of movie fame and from Santa’s workshop. Fun-loving elves of different sizes, shapes and colors and even  Coca-Cola  bottles make it a happy, fun tree.

Pike County High School highlighted the sweetness that surrounds the Christmas season with a variety of sweet treats, “sparkly” decorated.

The theme of the Boys and Girls Club of Pike County is “Together We Are A Masterpiece’ and celebrates how people around the world come together at Christmastime is such a way that not even the great master or art could have imagined.

Everyone is invited to visit the Johnson Center for the Arts during the Christmas season and have their hearts delighted and warmed by the Christmas Trees on display and by the children who decorated them.

Merry Christmas from the students who make Pike County schools great.