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The First Christmas Tree

The First Christmas Tree

At the time when the Christ Child was born all the people, the animals, and the trees, and plants were very happy. The Child was born to bring peace and happiness to the whole world. People came daily to see the little One, and they always brought gifts with them.

There were three trees standing near the crypt which saw the people, and they wished that they, too, might give presents to the Christ Child.

The Palm said: “I will choose my most beautiful leaf, and place it as a fan over the Child.”

“And I,” said the Olive, “will sprinkle sweet-smelling oil upon His head.”

“What can I give to the Child?” asked the Evergreen, who stood nearby.

“You!” cried the others. “You have nothing to offer Him. Your needles would prick Him, and your tears are sticky.”

So, the poor little Evergreen tree was very unhappy, and it said: “Yes, you are right. I have nothing to offer the Christ Child.”

Now, quite near the trees stood the Christmas Angel, who had heard all that the trees had said. The Angel was sorry for the Evergreen tree who was so lowly and without envy of the other trees. So, when it was dark, and the stars came out, he begged a few of the little stars to come down and rest upon the branches of the Evergreen tree. They did as the Christmas Angel asked, and the Evergreen tree shone suddenly with a beautiful light.

And, at that very moment, the Christ Child opened His eyes—for He had been asleep—and as the lovely light fell upon Him He smiled.

Every year people keep the dear Christmas Child’s birthday by giving gifts to each other, and every year, in remembrance of His first birthday, the Christmas Angel places in every house an Evergreen tree, also. Covered with starry candles it shines for the children as the stars shone for the Christ Child. The Evergreen tree was rewarded for its meekness, for to no other tree is it given to shine upon so many happy faces.


Citation: Curtiss, Phebe A. Christmas Stories and Legends. Indianapolis, IN: Meigs Publishing Co., 1916. Edited by S.E. Schlosser. This story is in the public domain and is part of the cited work.

S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series published by Globe Pequot Press. She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of “let’s pretend” quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children’s Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author.