The Christmas tree today is a common custom to most of us. There are many interesting connections to ancient traditions such as Egyptian and Roman customs, early Christian practices, and Victorian nostalgia. However, most scholars point to Germany as being the origin of the Christmas tree.
One of the earliest stories relating back to Germany is about Saint Boniface. In 722, he encountered some pagans who were about to sacrifice a child at the base of a huge oak tree. He cut down the tree to prevent the sacrifice and a Fir tree grew up at the base of the oak. He then told everyone that this lovely evergreen, with its branches pointing to heaven, was a holy tree - the tree of the Christ child, and a symbol of His promise of eternal life. (see www.allaboutjesuschrist.org).
In 2004, Pope John Paul called it a symbol of Christ. He said it exalted the value of life: like in winter time, what is evergreen (trees), becomes a sign of undying life, and it reminds Christians of the “tree of life,” of Genesis 2:9, an image of Christ, the supreme gift of God to humanity.