The Christmas Tree
The symbol of the Christmas Tree had always been associated with the Christmas season as a centerpiece of celebration. Yet the evergreen and firs that are so revered during the holidays predate "Christ's Mass" thousands of years, going back to the time of the Druids.
The Druids were a priestly sect of the Celtic people that occupied what is now England and France. The Druids worshiped nature, and during the time of the winter solsitce, or Yule, the Druids decorated trees, out of doors, with apples and lit candles to give homage to their god Odin. The candles represented the eternal light of their sun god Balter and the apples respented fertility. The Druids were the first known people to decorate trees for a religious purpose.
It was much later that the Christians began to decorate trees, (as a symbol of the Garden the Eden), with apples, which represented Adam and Eve's fall from Grace.
The Romans, centuries later, decorated trees with candles during their Saturnalia, in honor of their god of agriculture, Saturnus. They also put little charms among the branches of their trees in honor of their sun god, Solarus.