Dear Customers and Friends:

The Christmas tree is one of the most beautiful and enduring symbols of the season celebrating the birth of Christ. At the Syfan household, it has produced many years of cozy family memories starting with my parents, and later branching out to multiple trees as their children and grandchildren have grown up and started their own traditions.

Until about five years ago, we put up live trees. Now, Lynn and I take the stress out of the holidays with an artificial Christmas tree that takes minutes to set up with none of the mess from needles and spilled water.

Some complain Christmas has become so commercialized that we forget what it’s all about. However, gathering around the Christmas tree to gaze at its twinkling lights and shiny ornaments is one of our family’s most holy experiences of the year.

There is a lot of debate over how the Christmas tree tradition started. But most believe it originated in Germany, which likely is true since that’s also where the song “O Tannenbaum” (later translated to English as “O Christmas Tree”) was written in the early 1800s.

The Christmas tree has long been held with great reverence in Germany based on an ancient tale about a missionary who defied the pagan worship of an old oak tree that was being idolized as the home of a false god. As he began to cut down the tree, a strong wind rose up to bring it down, revealing an evergreen miraculously growing inside.

The evergreen came to signify the Christ child and His love that remains steadfast throughout every season of the year.

A fir tree was once the centerpiece of an old-time German celebration known as The Feast of Adam and Eve that was held each year on Christmas Eve. These evergreen trees, which eventually were moved into homes, were adorned with apples representing the forbidden fruit and wafers signifying the Christian sacrament of Communion.

Candles were later added to the trees as a symbol of Christ, the light of the world.

The Christmas tree is now a holy tradition worldwide, though it is decorated differently in each country. Japan hangs origami birds as ornaments. Biscuits are served up on trees in the Netherlands but often are all eaten by the time Christmas arrives. In Finland, it’s straw. In Australia, seashells. And in Ukraine, with perhaps the oddest Christmas tradition, they hang sparkly spider webs.

Here in the United States, the Christmas tree is so beloved that it was the central storyline of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” when it originally aired on TV in 1965. In fact, the story is credited with single-handedly turning around the trend of fancy aluminum trees that were on the rise during the 1960s. Like Charlie Brown, Americans returned to their original evergreens and focused back on the real meaning of Christmas.

No matter what your tree looks like or how you celebrate, I wish you the merriest and brightest of Christmas seasons this year.

Blessed to be a Blessing,
Greg Syfan
President, Syfan Logistics

“I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” – Hosea 14:8