There's a little blurb on the Catholic News Service website about Pope Benedict XVI's speech about the significance of Christmas trees and Nativity scenes. I thought it was interesting, so here it is:
"Displaying the Christmas tree and a Nativity scene can help create a loving, warm, spiritual atmosphere in a world bent solely on making material gains, Pope Benedict XVI said. Christians 'must preserve' the spiritual heritage of the decorated tree and Christmas creche, he told representatives of Italy's Val Badia region who donated the 86-foot spruce tree adorning St. Peter's Square. The pope met with civil and religious leaders from this Dolomite region in a special audience Dec. 14 at the Vatican. 'Christmas is a Christian holiday and its symbols ... make important references to the great mystery of the incarnation and the birth of Jesus,' the pope said. The evergreen is an important symbol of the birth of Christ 'because its evergreen boughs recall everlasting life,' he said. Together with the Nativity scene, the decorated tree creates 'an atmosphere replete with religious feeling and domestic intimacy,' he said."