Inventing the Yale Christmas Tree

Although the true origins of the Christmas tree may be shrouded in mystery and lost to pre-history, the origins of our patented YaleBooks Christmas tree are thankfully well-recorded. It all began one starry night when our promotions team were visited by three ghosts… When the Yale interns arrived the next morning it was to find a Christmas miracle on their desk – an annotated diagram in green and red biro which, not unlike the Star of Bethlehem, pointed the way to a tree-mendous wonder.

But, as it was for the Wise Men, the journey from a wondrous sign to reality was an arduous one. Plans of action were debated, lists of potential titles drawn up and discarded, stacking angles precisely calculated. There was carrying, lots of carrying. At times, it seemed that inventing our YaleBooks Christmas tree was a fool’s errand, yet somehow the tree took shape. Yew’ve never seen anything like this:

It's a real fir-st.

It’s a real fir-st.

In Inventing the Christmas Tree, the definitive guide to everyone’s favourite festive fire-hazard, Bernd Brunner writes that the Christmas tree lets us ‘dream of nature’s life force returning. Its deep evergreen is the symbol of life long-lasting.’ In pre-Christian celebrations of the Winter Solstice, worshippers set light to sacred evergreens to celebrate the sun’s return to life as the days began to lengthen, a custom still found in some countries, and symbolised by a ‘Yule log’. In a way, our tree of books might be seen as a continuation of such ancient rites: the trees returning to life as books, to fight off the darkness of ignorance with the light of knowledge. After all, Yale’s motto is Lux et veritas – light and truth.

Anyway, we’re all very re-leaf-ed it’s finished!

Inventing the Christmas Tree by Bernd Brunner is available from Yale – its compact size make it the perfect stocking-filler for book obsessives everywhere.
Inventing the Christmas Tree jacket








Keep watch for more seasonal cheer as well as gift ideas and special offers via YaleBooks Twitter.

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