There is a beautiful tradition that I read about recently that comes from a Bavarian custom called the Bride’s Tree. You might want to incorporate this tradition into your Christmas decorating or into your holiday wedding planning or in some other way. Maybe you’ll just read this and appreciate the beauty of the custom. Either way, I think this Bavarian custom really does hold some of the secrets to making a good and happy marriage.
So what goes into decorating a Bride’s Tree? According to customs, you want 12 molded glass ornaments that are made and given to the soon to be wed couple and each one is specifically designed to teach them a lesson about what is vital to build a good marriage between them. The decorations include:
- An Angel – the angel is representative of God’s Guidance and for the couple that seeks a positive relationship with their divinity, the angel is said to unite their beliefs with the blessings of God
- A Bird – the molded glass bird is the earthly representative of lifting up and soaring high upon wings and brings joy in the sense of freedom and love
- The Fish – Often the symbol of a belief of in Christ, it’s representative of Christ’s blessing on the family and the marriage
- A Flower Basket – Flowers have multiple meanings and a basket of flowers is often sent to someone celebrating or mourning, they offer good wishes
- A Fruit Basket – What celebrates the bounty of the harvest better than a fruit basket? It also offers the message of generosity to the couple about to be wed
- The Heart – This message should seem pretty direct because the heart represents true love
- The House – The house is the shelter that we take from the elements and the house on the tree represents protection
- The Pine Cone – Pine cones are planted and hopefully produce new life from the old and thus the pine cone represents fruitfulness
- The Rabbit – You might think the rabbit is representative of fertility, but what is fertility but hope for the future and so the rabbit on this tree is for hope
- The Rose – We give roses for love and for affection and here it is for affection
- The teapot – We serve tea to our guests and invite them for tea to show our hospitality and thus the teapot offers the lesson of hospitality
- Santa – the Santa is the twelfth ornament and as all our children know, he offers good will and the promise of more and so this twelfth ornament offers the lesson of good will
As you can see – the twelve ornaments of Christmas on the Bavarian Bride Tree really are a lesson in how to make a good marriage. Do you use ornaments to symbolize your marriage?