(ARA) As you trim the tree and deck the halls, have you ever wondered why you are doing it? How did these customs get started and what do they symbolize? Although your holiday decorating taste may not reflect your grandmother’s or even your mother’s style, tradition is part of this holiday, more than any other. Perhaps no symbol of the season is more widely recognized than the Christmas tree. Queen Victoria’s German husband, Prince Albert, is credited with introducing the Christmas tree to England in the 1840s. Wanting to emulate the royal family, people began to adopt the custom and it soon became popular. Some historians trace the origin of the Christmas tree to an even earlier period. Even before the Christian era, trees and boughs were used for ceremonies. Egyptians, in celebration of the winter solstice, brought green date palms into their homes as symbols of life triumphing over death. Likewise, when the Romans observed the feast of Saturn, part of the ceremony was the raising of an evergreen bough, and centuries ago in Great Britain, the Druids used Holiday ornaments have a sparkling history Last MinuteGIFT GUIDE December 23, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES II • Page 15 (NAPSI) In addition to their role as traditional Christmas decorations, poinsettias can serve as tokens of goodwill, friendship and joy during the holidays and beyond. More than 50 million Americans will purchase a poinsettia plant this holiday season. While 75 percent prefer the familiar red version, there are more than 100 varieties available. White, pink, yellow and even variegated poinsettias are gradually gaining popularity. Named after Joel Poinsett, who introduced this indigenous Mexican plant to the United States during the 1800s while he served as the U.S. ambassador to that nation, poinsettias have become America’s best-selling potted plant. More than 85 percent of all potted plants sold annually are poinsettias. Here are some care and handling tips for your own holiday classic: When purchasing your plant, select a poinsettia with The poinsettia is a holiday classic evergreens during mysterious winter solstice rituals. The Druids considered holly and mistletoe symbols of eternal life and placed evergreen branches over doors to keep away evil spirits. The urge to add sparkle to the tree started early. Martin Luther, in the 16th century, is credited as being the first person to put candles on a tree. The first electrically lighted Christmas tree appeared in 1882. In Victorian times, people had already started decorating trees with cakes, fruit, and small gifts that were hung on the branches with ribbon. In 1880, Woolworth’s first sold manufactured Christmas tree ornaments, and they caught on very quickly. Ornaments don’t have to be limited to hanging on your tree. Here are a few other decorating suggestions: Hang multiples of the same ornament from a mantle, interspersed with greenery, colorful berries, and candles, creating a shimmering holiday display. Enhance a chandelier or lighting fixture by attaching ornaments to it to provide a warm, enchanting setting. Transform a window into a stylish display, by hanging pinecones, cinnamon sticks, and ornaments from colorful string or ribbon. Liven up a floral arrangement or an evergreen wreath with multiple ornaments. dark green foliage, strong, stiff stems, and completely colored flowers. Make sure your plant has no fallen or yellow leaves and that it is fully balanced and attractive from all sides. Poinsettias thrive on bright, sunny, natural daylight. Place your plant in indirect sunlight for at least six hours per day. Keep your room temperature between 68 to 70 degrees. Do not place your plant near drafts, heating vents or appliances. Water the plant when the soil surface feels dry to a light touch. It’s very important not to let your plant sit in standing water. It is not necessary to fertilize your poinsettias when they are in bloom. However, after the holidays, a balanced, allpurpose household plant fertilizer will help maintain the rich, green foliage color and promote new growth. Do not place your poinsettia outside, as the plant is sensitive to chilling temperatures. Holiday Packages give the gift of relaxation. 90 Minute Warm Stone Massage and 60 Minute European Facial  $215  60 Minute European Facial and 60 Minute Swedish Massage  $160  30 Minute European Facial and 30 Minute Swedish Massage  $105  GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE ONLINE Araya Rebirth Make-Up, Massage Therapy & Skin Care Studio 10 Garber Square • Ridgewood, NJ 07450 P: 201-445-7005 • www.araya-rebirth.com HOURS: TUES & THURS 11-8 • WED & FRI 10-6 • SAT 9-5