Duncan Dyason

Duncan Dyason

For most families having a Christmas tree is one of the basics of the Christmas season.  

royal treePutting an evergreen tree in your home and decorating it can be traced right back to 1605 when German families would “set up fir trees in the palours…and hang thereon roses cut out of many-coloured paper, apples, wafers, gold-foil, sweets, etc.” according to an anonymous writer in Strasburg, Germany.

In the UK it is known that Queen Victoria and prince Albert brought one into their home in 1840, but before this Queen Charlotte is said to have started the royal tradition by bringing the evergreen fir into her home whereby she would decorate it with candles and sweets.

According to History Today, Christmas trees then became all the rage, especially in upper-class circles where they often formed a central part of the festive social gatherings.

One tradition has it that Martin Luther was walking home late one evening and was struck by the starlight piercing through the fir trees.  His enthusiasm to share this experience with his family led him to place a small candle on the branches to symbolise his view of the Christmas sky.

The people of Oslo, Norway, continue a tradition that started in 1947 when they donated a Christmas tree to the City of Westminster, England.  The genuine expression of friendship was in gratitude for Britain´s help to Norway in World War II.

christmas tree decoratedToday 98% of fir trees are grown for the festive period and the Nordmann Fir is considered to be the leader among the festive evergreen trees.

However, the growth in artificial trees, made from PVC plastic, have created a discussion around whether they are no longer environmentally friendly.  The debate centres around the re-using of the plastic tree as opposed to growing a tree, cutting it down and then disposing of it after Christmas.

The Independent, quotes the Carbon Trust, in saying that real Christmas trees have a much lower carbon footprint compared to the plastic imitation, if disposed of in a sensible manner.  The fake tree has a carbon footprint 10 times the size of the fir unless they can be used for more than 10 years.

Emi Murphy, campaigner at Friends of the Earth suggests that “if you´ve got a fake tree already, keep using it and make it last as long as possible”, in an interview The Independent.

There are more options today for buying fir trees in pots, where you can transfer it to the garden during the year and then bring it back in at Christmas.

Whatever side of the debate you are on, we suggest you take great care with Christmas trees as every 52 reported home fires during the Christmas season are attributed to a fire from a tree.

We are thankful that Sergio has made it through his 4 months of rehab and is now looking for work and ready to begin again.

Sergio left the streets 4 months ago after taking the decison to not return to street life, thanks to the support of the SKD Guatemala street team.

Robyn Hackett is naturally gift songwriter, singer and author. Her album "Simply Christmas" contains beautiful tracks that will move emotions and music you will want to hear again and again.


David O'Brien, lead singer of the www.thecharcoalburners.com a folk fusion band based in Sussex wrote and recorded 'Xmas time' a family Christmas song this year as an antidote to the winter blues and to celebrate the classic Xmas song in all its glory. 

Radio Christmas has received some positive feedback from the Community Radio Award committe, but was not awarded anything this year.

We thought you would like to read the comments:

  • Radio Christmas is a very fun concept with a clear goal in mind: to raise money for Street Kids Direct, a charity that helps at risk children in Latin America.
  • The number of volunteers involved is staggering (compared to other entrants in this category). Some of those involved have evidently gone on to broadcasting careers.
  • The youthful presenters are charming and their state of spontaneity refreshing. The links and station IDs are professional-sounding.
  • Wonderful idea and a novel way of engaging with an audience at Christmas, definitely a clever way of presenting niche Christmas content without relying entirely on Christmas number ones.
  • Fantastic charity project. Money raised for children in Central America through a Christmas Radio.
  • Many volunteers (600-800 each year), especially kids. Lot of fun, jokes and on-air talks during the Christmas time.
  • Congratulations! What a wonderful and fun way to start the entry with the children on air who I am sure have caught the 'radio bug'. I really enjoyed how many young people were on the entry, some real future radio stars can say they started their careers at Radio Christmas.

Please help us to make a difference to high-risk families this Christmas.

We would like to provide every family with a Christmas box this year with groceries enough to feed a family of five.  Each box costs just £15 and if you can sponsor a box, please do to the DONATE page and help us make this Christmas a very special time for many vulnerable children.