The Monumental Significance of Boston’s Christmas Tree

In recognition of last night’s (December 5, 2013) lighting of Boston’s Christmas tree, I thought it would be appropriate to re-blog this article I wrote years ago. I think the astounding history behind the tradition is becoming better known here in the States in recent years. I’ve noticed that Boston publications have written in greater detail about the Halifax disaster this year. Here’s to the spirit of kindness, giving and the Halifax-Boston Christmas tree!

Historical Digression

The City of Boston’s official Christmas Tree on the Common was ceremoniously lit on December 2 this year. I was not there. It seemed to me, up until recently, that this was just another Christmas lighting. But having recently learned the significance of Boston’s Christmas tree, I now understand it is not just “any” tree and will make a point of attending the event in the future.

I knew the tree is an annual gift from the Province of Nova Scotia. And I recall seeing a local news spot highlighting the fact that Nova Scotians take this very seriously and a considerable amount of time, competition, and consideration is involved in selecting the specimen each year. But only recently was my curiosity really piqued when I read an article about the tree lighting in the Boston Globe which, in addition to trumpeting the fact that the Radio City Rockettes and…

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About Patrick Browne

I am a historian of the Civil War Era, author, and PhD candidate View all posts by Patrick Browne

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