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Take Another Look at Your Christmas Tree

Our tree is up. Yeah our Christmas tree. Earlier than ever. But, good I think. As we get down to the shortest days of the year, it's nice to have the lights of the Christmas tree to warm the household a bit. A Christmas tree is theoretically secular. That's why you can safely put one in the town square. But legend has it that an early missionary used a fir tree and its ability to stay evergreen as means of showing Christianity's superiority to a pagan oak. Martin Luther used the tree to differentiate Protestants from Catholics. He needed something to replace the crèche or manger scene Catholics loved because the Protestants viewed the little figures as idols and verboten. Christmas trees didn't take off in America until the mid 1800's. A depiction of Queen Victoria's Christmas tree appeared in a popular American woman's publication in 1860, and since then, the tree has flourished.

Just a Minute...I'm Harry Smith, CBS News.

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