The tradition of a Christmas tree is based in pagan customs. Centuries ago, wintergreen plants were a symbol for fertility. During wintertime, people in Northern Europe hung up fir branches in their homes to protect it against demons. The solemnly decorated maypole, too, derives from the medieval age. Finally, in the 17th century, the Christmas tree became custom for wealthy families (habe Goethe jetzt ausgelassen – was there a quote from Goethe that you deleted?).
Caucasian fir, Spruce, Blue Spruce, Scotch Pine and Douglas Fir are the most popular trees used at Christmas.
Chemistree? What`s that supposed to mean?!
A Chemistree is not included in the list, above. Why? A Chemistree is – quick and easy – a “Christmas tree made of laboratory things”. Pharmaceutical companies with a research & development departments keep a lot of scientists occupied. Their many ideas are the best starting point for creating an “alternative” Christmas tree. The inventive portmanteau word Chemistree (composed of Chemistry and Tree) shows the imaginativeness behind it.
A Chemistree tree can be decorated with different ornaments: e. g. with a petri dish. Those who love to get to the very root of something might prefer an ornament with a DNA-molecule. Those striving for luck might like an ornament showing a Serotonin-molecule.
Fantasy without frontiers
What else can be used to create a Chemistree? Perhaps, ornaments looking like microbes or amoeba. Or maybe a stylized atom, surrounded by protons, electrons and neutrons. There is absolutely no limit to where your imagination can take you.
One special design is a Christmas tree fashioned from a test tube filled with brown fluid forming the base, while the treetop is symbolized by a green cloud that ‘rose’ as if the result of an ‘explosion’.
More down-to-earth is a Christmas tree made of paperboard with “leaves” displaying the symbols of the Periodic Table of the elements. Extremely passionate scientists have the option to buy a coffee mug with the imprint of this Chemistree. What is best? Even those without a relationship to sciences like the creative Christmas designs. Maybe it’s a way for them to come to terms with their chemistry lessons at school…
Image source: © LTS Lohmann Therapy-Systems Corp