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. In fact, I’ve never actually attended this event. But, after learning a few things recently about the historical significance of the tree, I think I might remedy this situation and make a point of attending in the future.

I knew the tree is an annual gift from the Province of Nova Scotia. And I seem to remember once seeing a local news spot about how the 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 R&B singer Patti Austin would…

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About Patrick Browne

I am a PhD candidate in History, former historical society and museum director of roughly 20 years, an author, and quondam Civil War reenactor. I specialize in early American History, particularly the Civil War era. View all posts by Patrick Browne

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