The Christmas tree is often explained as a Christianization of pagan tradition and
ritual surrounding the Winter Solstice. This included the use of evergreen boughs.
The English phrase "Christmas tree" was first recorded in 1835 and was an importation
from the German language. The modern Christmas tree tradition is believed to have
begun in Germany in the 18th century although many believe that Martin Luther began
the tradition in the 16th century.
From Germany the custom was introduced to England, first via Queen Charlotte, wife of
George III, and then more successfully by Prince Albert during the reign of Queen Victoria.
Around the same time, German immigrants introduced the custom into the United States.
Since the 19th century, the Poinsettia has been associated with Christmas. Other popular
plants include Holly, Mistletoe, Amaryllis, and Christmas Cactus. Along with a Christmas
tree, the interior of homes are decorated with plants, garland, evergreen and foliage.
The Poinsettia arrived in the U.S. from Mexico by Joel Poinsett in the early 1800's.