The custom of displaying a pine tree at Christmas time started in Germany. It is believed that a man named Martin Luther was out walking in the snowy woods of Germany on Christmas Eve. Martin was taken by the beauty of the clear, cold night. He looked through the branches of a pine tree and saw the twinkling star light against the dark sky. The beauty made him stand still. He thought about his young children at home, and he wished they could experience this beauty as he did. So he cut down the tree and took it to his home to display for his children. To remind him of the star lights on the dark sky, Martin placed candles at the ends of the tree branches. His children loved their first Christmas tree. Soon children throughout Germany all had their own Christmas trees. When these people immigrated to America, they brought this custom with them. Today, German children still gather on Christmas Eve to light the tree. The mother brings out the tree, and it is especially fun because the children have not been allowed to see it until now. Afterwards, they decorate the tree with nuts, apples, candies, toys, and tinsel. They exchange homemade gifts. Special Christmas treats include a roast goose and a gingerbread house.