El árbol de navidad moderno se originó en Alemania occidental. Como el 24 de diciembre es la fiesta religiosa de Adán y Eva, se utilizaba un abeto adornado con manzanas para representar el Árbol del Paraíso.
Con el tiempo, se le fueron agregando otros adornos, incluyendo velas y galletas.
Encyclopædia Britannica. 2003. "Christmas tree". http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/115737/Christmas-tree "The modern Christmas tree, though, originated in western Germany. The main prop of a popular medieval play about Adam and Eve was a “paradise tree,” a fir tree hung with apples, that represented the Garden of Eden. The Germans set up a paradise tree in their homes on December 24, the religious feast day of Adam and Eve. They hung wafers on it, later replaced by cookies of various shapes. Candles, symbolic of Christ, were often added. In the same room was the “Christmas pyramid,” a triangular construction of wood that had shelves to hold Christmas figurines and was decorated with evergreens, candles, and a star. By the 16th century the Christmas pyramid and the paradise tree had merged, becoming the Christmas tree."