From the ashes comes hope ~ Kinglake was one of the towns that was wiped out in the Black Saturday bushfires this year. The two blackened stumps are remnants of that fire. This photo was taken last week - outside the Kinglake police station. The adding of a Christmas tree and decorations brings a glimmer of hope not only to children but adults as well. Below the photo is the story of the Christmas Tree.
Many hundreds of years ago, people thought evergreen trees were special and put candles on them to banish the dark of winter. Throughout 10th century Europe came a beautiful story, (said to have been told by an Arabian named Georg Jacob) that on the night that Christ was born, all the trees in all the forests - even those in frozen countries - blossomed for one night, and bore fruit.
In 13th century France, legend tells of a huge tree in the forest lit with candles - some were straight, some upside down, and at the top of the tree there was an infant with a halo around his head. The tree represented humanity, the candles were people, good and bad, and the child was Jesus.
It is said that Martin Luther returning home one dark night, saw stars twinkling through the evergreen trees, and brought indoors a small fir and lit it with candles to show his family. From there, indoor Christmas trees spread throughout Germany and across Europe - Prince Albert set up a Christmas tree in England when he married Queen Victoria in 1841.
From Germany comes today's beautiful old Christmas carol O Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree) sung by the Vienna Boy's Choir. A Tannenbaum is a fir tree and this version was written in 1824 by Ernst Anschütz. The melody is an old folk tune.