FROM PHANTOM RANCH TO YELLOWSTONE AND DEATH VALLEY
The Christmas Trees in the National Parks Honor the Holiday Spirit and Ancient Traditions.
The history of Christmas trees goes back to the symbolic use of evergreens in ancient Egypt and Rome and continues today with the German tradition of Christmas trees. The Christmas Tree came into vogue when Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha introduced it in the 1800s in England. I love Christmas, so I thank Prince Albert profusely because he is why we decorate Christmas Trees!
Today, Christmas trees are found all over the U.S. and they are grown in all 50 states. You’d think having a green tree as a celebration of life and spring to come would be embraced by most people. But, most 19th-century Americans found Christmas trees an oddity. The first record of one being on display was in the 1830s by the German settlers of Pennsylvania. The pilgrims’ second governor, William Bradford, wrote that he tried hard to stamp out the “pagan mockery” of Christmas, penalizing any frivolity. In 1659, the General Court of Massachusetts enacted a law making any observance of December 25 (other than a church service) a penal offense; people were fined for hanging decorations.
With the German and Irish immigrations in the 19th century, things started to change. By the 1890s Christmas ornaments were arriving from Germany and Christmas tree popularity was on the rise around the U.S.. Combined with gift-giving, the tree became the centerpiece of the holiday celebrations in homes, public places, and of course, hotels and lodges. There’s nothing like Christmas décor in some of the national park lodges operated by Xanterra Travel Collection®, an award-winning globally diversified travel company, including the extremely remote Phantom Ranch on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The only way in is to walk or take a mule down the famed Bright Angel Trail. Even the tree must go down by mule, and then back up.
Next year, I need to go to a national park (I’d love to see Yellowstone in any season!) and enjoy the Christmas trees and hotel! How about you? Be sure to book your trip with Xanterra Travel Collection!
About Xanterra Travel Collection®
Known for its “Legendary Hospitality with a Softer Footprint®,” Xanterra Travel Collection® provides A World of Unforgettable Experiences® through its operations in national parks, including lodges, restaurants, tours, and activities, as well as through its ownership of resorts, a cruise line, a railway, and tour companies. Xanterra has operations in Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion, Glacier, and Rocky Mountain National Parks, and Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Xanterra Travel Collection® also owns and operates the Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel in Williams, Ariz., The Grand Hotel in Tusayan, Ariz., The Oasis at Death Valley in Death Valley Calif., Cedar Creek Lodge in Columbia Falls, Mont., Windstar Cruises, Holiday Vacations, VBT Bicycling Vacations, and Country Walkers. Xanterra is also affiliated with two Forbes Five-Star Resorts, The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO, and Sea Island on the coast of Georgia.