The Christmas tree dates back to the 1500s: a German custom that arrived in Britain around 1800 through marriage: because Queen Victoria’s mother, grandmother and husband, Prince Albert all came from Germany, she grew up with the custom, and continued it with her children. From the royal family, it spread to the nobility, and finally to the general populace.
Reaching American shores around 1850, when Sarah Winchester was about 10 years old, the custom soon began to spread on this side of the Atlantic. Early Christmas trees were usually small, and sat on a table with gifts all around them. They were decorated with fruits, nuts, and small toys for the children. In the 1700s, candles were added, and the tree was lighted as the whole family watched.
Inspired by Sarah’s penchant for the number 13 and her love of the season, Winchester Mystery House will feature 13 beautiful holiday trees throughout the house.