Applicants to nursing courses in England up 16% as NHS employs record number of nurses and midwives

A record number of nurses and midwives are employed in the NHS, as the Nursing and Midwifery’s Council reports its largest ever annual increase of registered nursing and midwifery professionals.

Around 18,370 more nurses, midwives and nursing associates are now on the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s permanent register to work in the UK compared to a year ago, bringing the total number to 716,607 by 31 March 2020. The number of people trained in the UK leaving the register has also fallen to a five-year low.

The number of nursing and midwifery applicants to English universities has also risen for the second year running as the Government works towards delivering 50,000 more nurses by the end of Parliament.

The latest UCAS stats show that applicant numbers for nursing and midwifery courses are up 16% year-on-year, reaching 47,320 by the end of June.

This is the second year in a row that applicant numbers have risen. In 2019 there was a 6.4% increase in people accepted onto nursing and midwifery courses in England compared to 2018.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

I’m delighted to see record numbers of nurses and midwives now working in our NHS as we work towards delivering 50,000 more nurses in this parliament.

As we continue our battle with this deadly disease, our world leading healthcare system has never been more important. We will continue to give it the support it needs today, as well as protecting it for generations to come.

Nurses have saved countless lives during the pandemic, and the NHS simply couldn’t function without them.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

This pandemic demonstrated just how talented and valued our brilliant nurses and midwives are, and it is fantastic to see an explosion of applications for nursing and midwifery courses.

As well as a hugely rewarding career in one of the world’s best healthcare systems, degree students will benefit from at least £5,000 a year from the Government in free additional support during their studies.

With over 12,000 more fully qualified nurses working in our NHS compared to last year, we are well on our way to delivering 50,000 more by the end of this Parliament.

The number of new applicants between January and June was 68% higher than the same period last year (11,360 in 2020, compared to 6,750 in 2019).

Nearly two thirds of nursing and midwifery applicants living in England are mature students aged 21 or over, a 24% increase on last year.

New applicants or those without an offer can still seek a place at university via the clearing process which runs from the 6th July to 20th October.

Student nurses and midwives starting courses from September will benefit from new guaranteed, additional support of at least £5,000 a year to help with their living costs, which they won’t have to pay back.




Best school bags: Your guide to the best backpacks

September means one thing to anyone with children: back to school and all the shopping and planning that requires. And while uniform and school shoes are fairly straight forward, the question of backpacks is a much wider one. So we’ve scoured the high street to find the best school bags, whatever your need or budget:

The colourful school bag

hype backpack

Got a child who knows what they want? Pink? Green? Gold? Silver? Shiny? Sparkly? Hype have got you covered! A dazzling array of designs, there’s literally no limit to the choices your child can have. From Mint Holographic to Blue Acid Denim and Gold Glitter, these roomy backpacks have become a popular, yet, thanks to the multitude of different styles, individual choice for style-savvy kids up and down the country. From £24.99.

SEE: Where the celebs get their children’s school uniforms from

The anti-theft backpack

tech backpack

If public transport travel is part of your child’s school commute, having a secure backpack will be high on your list of priorities. The Bobby Compact backpack is a literal Fort Knox – there’s no external zippers and has thick, cut proof material. Kids might be more enamoured by its sleek design and integrated USB port which you can connect to an internal power bank, so when their phone or tablet runs low, they can attach it to their bag for some more charge and carry on undisturbed. It’s fully waterproof, ergonomically designed, and comes in different colourways and full of hidden pockets too. From £74.99.

The bag for little adventurers

joules backpack

Wipe-clean is the only way to go when your little darlings are mini adventurers and this Mini Joules Backpack is spot on. With plenty of room for lunch boxes and school supplies, the padded arms mean it won’t cut into your child so they can run around till their heart’s content. The cute design should please them too. From £26.95.

The one for sporty types

UA

Sporty students will appreciate the multitude of pockets of the Under Armour Storm Contendor Backpack. The tough, abrasion-resistant bottom panel won’t fall foul to being dumped on a football pitch while the water-repellent front pockets are designed to keep valuables safe. Perhaps one of the best features though is the adjustable, padded, HeatGear shoulder straps, just the thing for post-cross-country. From £65.

The stylish rucksack

fiorelli

Older students will love the minimalism of style of this Fiorelli Zip Top Backpack, which puts a cooler spin on the traditional rucksack shape. It’s stylish as well as practical, as it opens fully (so easy to reach for those pens) but includes a small zipped pocket for valuables plus a slip slot for tablets. From £69.

The best bag for growing backs

yuuschool bag

A lot of students opt to lug all their books around at all times for fear of forgetting the one important item but that means a lot of weight on young, developing shoulders and for some this is a real concern. The YUUschool backpack takes weight distribution to new levels: vertical compartmentalisation of pockets keeps weight higher up and closer to the spine. S-shaped padded straps are sewn close together to centralise the weight to the body. Deep pockets and security straps avoid weight falling to the middle of the bag causing pain and pressure. From £39.99.

MORE: The most stylish celebrity nurseries and children’s bedrooms

The one for the glitterati

glitter backpack

You can’t beat a bag to put a smile on their faces and this cheap and cheerful number from Paperchase is just the ticket for those grey, autumnal days. The rainbow design carries through to the zip too, and with a large compartment and smaller one at the front, it’s an ideal choice for those that travel light. From £35.

 

 

Hello!




Guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for victims of domestic abuse

Measures announced over recent weeks to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19) have seen people’s day-to-day lives drastically altered. These changes are essential to beat coronavirus and protect our NHS.

The government acknowledges that the order to stay at home can cause anxiety for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse. There is never an excuse for domestic abuse, no matter what the circumstances are.

For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, it is important to remember that there is help and support available to you, including police response, online support, helplines, refuges and other services. You are not alone.

The household isolation instruction as a result of coronavirus does not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse.

Friends, family, neighbours and community members can be a vital lifeline to those living with domestic abuse. If you are worried that someone you know may be a victim of domestic abuse, reassure them that the police and support services are still there to help and direct them to sources of support.

The government supports and funds several charities who can provide advice and guidance and we are in regular contact with the charity sector and the police to ensure that these support services remain open during this challenging time.

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is not always physical violence. It can also include, but is not limited to:

  • coercive control and ‘gaslighting’
  • economic abuse
  • online abuse
  • verbal abuse
  • emotional abuse
  • sexual abuse

What signs to look for

If you believe that you or someone else could be a victim of domestic abuse, there are signs that you can look out for including:

  • being withdrawn
  • having bruises
  • controlling finances
  • not being allowed to leave the house
  • monitoring technology use such as social media platforms

Where to get help

If you believe you are being abused, or worried you may commit domestic abuse, please use the services on this page.

If you suspect that your neighbours or those in your community are victims of domestic abuse, we encourage you to report it to the police.

Call 999

If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police – the police will continue to respond to emergency calls.

If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, dial 999, listen to the questions from the operator and respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can. Then follow the instructions depending on whether you are calling from a mobile or a landline.

If you call from a mobile

If prompted, press 55 to Make Yourself Heard – this will transfer your call to the police.

Pressing 55 only works on mobiles and does not allow police to track your location.

If you call 999 from a landline

If only background noise can be heard and BT operators cannot decide whether an emergency service is needed, then you will be connected to a police call handler.

If you replace the handset, the landline may remain connected for 45 seconds in case you pick up again.

When 999 calls are made from landlines, information about your location should be automatically available to the call handlers to help provide a response.

National Domestic Abuse Helpline

Refuge runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which you can call for free, and in confidence, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. Its website provides guidance and support for potential victims, as well as those who are worried about friends and loved ones. It also has a form through which you can book a safe time for a call from the team.

Refuge’s website includes a range of resources on identifying the signs of domestic abuse, and a safety guide for women and children who are living with a perpetrator. It also features a tech abuse chat-bot with step-by-step instructional videos on how to secure devices such as phones and laptops. Look for the pink button in the bottom-right corner.

Women’s Aid

Women’s Aid has a range of direct services for survivors, including a live chat service and an online Survivors’ Forum. They have developed additional advice specifically designed for the current coronavirus outbreak. You can also find your local domestic abuse service on their website. They also provide information on the support helplines available in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Men’s Advice Line

The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them.

Telephone: 0808 801 0327

Galop – for members of the LGBT+ community

Galop runs the National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse specialist helpline.

Telephone: 0800 999 5428

Email: help@galop.org.uk

Hestia

Hestia provides a free mobile app, Bright Sky, which provides support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.

Chayn

Chayn provides online help and resources in a number of languages about identifying manipulative situations and how friends can support those being abused.

Sexual assault referral centres

Sexual assault referral centres continue to provide non-judgmental advice and support services to victims and survivors of sexual assault or abuse.

Interviews, forensic examinations and sexual health and counselling services are offered in a comfortable environment where staff will ensure that victims and survivors will be managed safely to comply with coronavirus guidance. Please call your local sexual assault eferral centre to arrange care and support, which may be provided in person or remotely depending on your needs.

‘Honour’-based abuse

If you are suffering abuse from your family or community because they say that you have compromised their ‘honour’, or if they are trying to force you into marriage, you can get help. Karma Nirvana runs the national honour-based abuse helpline.

Telephone: 0800 5999 247

Email: support@karmanirvana.org.uk

BME specialist services

Imkaan

Imkaan is a women’s organisation addressing violence against black and minority women and girls.

Southall Black Sisters

Southall Black Sisters offer specialist support, advocacy and information to Asian and Afro-Caribbean women suffering abuse.

Disability specialist services

These services are run by deaf and/or disabled people.

Stay Safe East

Stay Safe East provides specialist and holistic advocacy and support services to disabled victims and survivors of abuse.

SignHealth

SignHealth provides domestic abuse service support for deaf people in British Sign Language (BSL).

WhatsApp or Facetime: 07970 350366

Telephone: 020 3947 2601

Email: da@signhealth.org.uk

Economic abuse

If you are concerned about how coronavirus may affect your finances and leave you vulnerable to economic abuse, please see the advice provided by HM Treasury on what support is on offer.

The charity Surviving Economic Abuse has also provided additional guidance and support.

Welfare benefits and housing advice

The Department for Work and Pensions has published up-to-date coronavirus-related welfare benefits information.

If you are concerned about your financial situation, you can contact Turn2us. They help people to access the money available to them through welfare benefits and grants. Their website has an income-related benefits checker enabling you to check that you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to.

Shelter provide free confidential housing information, support and legal advice on all housing and homelessness issues. They also have an emergency helpline.

Support for children and young people

Witnessing and experiencing domestic abuse can have a serious impact on a child’s long-term health. It is a top priority that vulnerable children and young people remain safe during this uncertain period. If you are concerned that a child is at risk of harm, you should refer this information to children’s social care or to the police if you believe the child is in immediate danger.

NSPCC

The NSPCC has issued guidance for spotting and reporting the signs of abuse on their website.

The NSPCC Helpline is available for anyone with concerns about a child to contact for professional advice and support.

Telephone: 0808 800 5000

Email: help@nspcc.org.uk

Childline

Childline is available for children and young people to reach out for help and support by phone or using their online chat service. They also provide specific guidance for young people on how to get help and what to do if they are worried about a friend.

Telephone: 0800 1111

Barnardo’s

Barnardo’s provides support to families affected by domestic abuse.

Family Lives

Family Lives also provide support through online forums.

Information on child contact arrangements

Rights of Women provides guidance about child contact arrangements relating to coronavirus.

Support for employers

If you are an employer, it is important that you signal to all your workforce that if they are facing domestic abuse you want to help them to get help. Keep in regular contact with employees you know, or fear, may be facing abuse and if you lose contact with them, take swift action to visit them. If you believe there is an immediate risk of harm to someone, or it is an emergency, you should always call 999.

Encourage employees to look out for others who may be facing domestic abuse and signpost them to support. Your staff may also be worried about their own abusive behaviour at this time. There is no excuse for domestic abuse, no matter what stresses you are under and support is available.

The Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse website has a range of resources to support employers. Business in the Community also have a toolkit with information for employers.

Support for professionals

SafeLives is providing guidance and support to professionals and those working in the domestic abuse sector, as well as additional advice for those at risk.

Support if you are worried about hurting someone

If you are worried about hurting the ones you love while staying at home, call the Respect Phoneline for support and help to manage your behaviour. This is an anonymous and confidential helpline for men and women who are harming their partners and families. It takes calls from partners or ex-partners, friends, and relatives who are concerned about perpetrators.

Telephone: 0808 802 4040

More information

For more advice and guidance on domestic abuse, please see Domestic abuse: how to get help.




How to talk to your child about Corona

We are all overwhelmed by the wealth of information and news about the spread of the coronavirus that reaches us every day. For children, too, what they see on television, the Internet or social media, or hear about the coronavirus from other people, can be disturbing and confusing. This can cause anxiety, stress or sadness in them. It is therefore important to talk openly to children about this. This helps them to understand the situation better and to deal with it.

1. talk to your child about the corona virus and listen to him or her

Address the subject openly: Find out how much your child already knows and take it up. In order for your child to be able to talk to you openly and honestly, make sure that you are in a comfortable environment. Painting, storytelling and other playful activities can help to address the serious topic.
It is important that you do not trivialize your child’s worries and fears. Show that you take them seriously and that it is quite normal to be afraid of things. Listen and give your child your full attention. Make it clear that your child can talk to you whenever he or she has questions about corona viruses or wants to talk to you.

2. be honest – explain in a child-friendly way

Explain in a child-friendly manner what is happening right now. Children have a right to know what is going on in the world. Adults have the responsibility to protect them from danger, but also to tell you honestly about it. It is important to find a language appropriate to your child’s age – observe your child’s reactions and be sensitive.

If you can’t answer some of his questions, that’s not too bad! Do not speculate or cheat your children. Instead, try to find the answers around Corona together with your children.

Websites such as those of the Robert Koch Institute or international organisations such as UNICEF or the World Health Organisation publish serious information about the corona virus. Explain that some information on the Internet is not correct and that it is best to trust the experts.

3. show your child how to protect itself

The best way to protect children from the corona virus is to wash their hands regularly! You can also show children how to cover their face with their elbows when coughing or sneezing. Ask your child to tell you if he or she feels sick and feverish or if he or she has coughing or breathing difficulties. This will tell you directly whether your child is experiencing symptoms that may be related to the corona virus.

4. calm your child

We are currently encountering disturbing images and news almost everywhere. This may give the impression that the crisis is omnipresent. Children do not always distinguish between the images on the screen and their own personal reality. They may believe that they themselves are in danger. You can help your child to deal with the stress and anxiety by taking time, playing with him, giving him space to relax. Stick to routines and well-established daily routines as much as possible, for example before going to bed. If your child feels sick, explain that it is better for him to stay at home because it is safer for him and his friends. Show understanding that this may be boring or even disturbing and make it clear that these rules must be followed at the moment so that everyone is protected. We have compiled possible learning and crafting offers for you in another blog post.

5. find out if your child experiences stigma or prejudice

The coronavirus has increased fears and prejudices in many countries. For example, there are reports that Asian-looking people are excluded because they are associated with the pathogen. Since the beginning of the pandemic there have been numerous reports of discrimination. If children are bullied at school, they must be encouraged to talk about it with adults they trust.

Explain that the coronavirus has nothing to do with what someone looks like, where they come from or what language they speak. Remind your children that every person – every child – has the right to feel safe at all times. Bullying is always wrong and we should all be friendly and supportive of each other.

6. tell hero stories

Explain to your children how important it is that people help each other. Tell them about nurses or doctors, scientists or pharmacists who are working to help others, who are helping to stop the outbreak, and who are developing a vaccine. It gives your children hope and takes away their fears when they know that there are many people willing to help.

7. Take care of yourself

You can only help your children well if you are well and do not seem worried or frightened! Because children are very attentive. They notice immediately if you do not tell the truth. If you feel anxious or insecure, take time for yourself and contact other family members, friends and confidants in your environment. Take time to do things that will help you relax and recuperate.

8. pay attention to how the conversation has affected your child

Pay attention to what all this information does to your child. We cannot leave children frightened or unsettled. Try to get a sense of how scared your child is. To do this, you should pay attention to his physical reactions (pitch, body language, breathing). Remind your child that he can talk to you about other difficult topics at any time.




Dot-to-dot drawings

Get your pencils ready, boys and girl!!! Connect the dots and enjoy some colouring time… !! 🙂

 

Punkt zu Punkt Malbuch

 




Entertain the little ones: Download the mumsRu colouring book

Coloring Bookk




10 Ways to Prepare Your Child for School

 

 

Starting school can be a difficult time for children. Every child is hesitant to go somewhere new and see people she’s never met before. Here are some helpful ways to prepare your child for her first day of school:

1. Let your child know what his schedule will be like. Tell him what time school begins and ends each day.

2. Ask your child about her feelings — both the excitement and the concerns — about starting school.

3. Visit the school with your child to see his new classroom and meet his new teacher before school officially starts.

4. Point out the positive aspects of starting school. It will be fun and she can make new friends.

5. Let your child know that all kids are nervous about the first day of school.

6. Leave a note in your child’s lunchbox that will remind him you’re thinking of him while he’s at school.

7. Reassure your child that if any problems arise at school, you will be there to help resolve them.

8. Try to have your child meet a classmate before the first day of school so she will already have a friend when school starts.

9. Arrange for your child to walk to school or ride together on the bus with another kid in the neighborhood.

10. Find out about after-school activities that your child can join. Will there be a back-to-school party? Can she join a sports team?

Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; Caring for Your School-Age Child: Ages 5-12, by Edward L. Schor (Bantam, 1999)




Financial help and benefits for single parents

 

By Karen Holmes, Welfare Benefits Specialist at the charity Turn2us

According to official statistics, over a quarter of households with dependent children are single parent families and there are two million single parents in Britain today.*

Sadly, children from single parent families are twice as likely to live in poverty as children from families with two parents.** With the rising costs of food, energy and childcare placing increased strain on household budgets, it’s more important than ever that those families who are struggling can claim the financial help they are entitled to.

The following guide explains the financial support that could be available to single parents and how they can access it.

Benefit entitlements

The first thing parents can do to see if they can maximise their income is to check which welfare benefits and tax credits they might be entitled to.

Whether you are working or not, if you are on a low income you might be eligible to claim Child Tax Credit which helps with the costs of bringing up a child. The amount you could receive is made up of different elements based on your personal circumstances including how many children you have, and whether or not they have any disabilities.

If you are working and on a low income, you may also be entitled to Working Tax Credit, a benefit that includes a Childcare Element to help with the costs of registered or approved childcare. Single parents must work at least 16 hours to qualify.

Single parents, who are responsible for a child under five and are not in work, or working less than 16 hours a week, may be entitled to Income Support.

Other benefits you may be eligible for depend on your household income and situation. Even if you have checked your entitlements to benefits in the past, it is important to check again, especially if you have recently experienced a change in your circumstances. The free and easy-to-use Turn2us Benefits Calculator will help you work out what you are entitled to, the amounts you could receive and how to make a claim.

If you are a single parent with a child about to turn 16, you may also like to try this tool from single parent charity Gingerbread to work out if your welfare benefits and tax credits will be affected when they reach their next birthday.

Charitable grants

There is generally low awareness of charitable grants, and research by Turn2us found that nine out of ten people on low incomes had no idea that this help may exist. Yet there are over 3,000 charitable funds available which help people in different circumstances including single parents.

The funds award one-off grants for educational and welfare purposes, as well as other forms of support to those who meet their eligibility criteria. 

Turn2us has a free and easy-to-use Grants Search tool which provides access to all of these grants so you can find ones that best meet your situation. This also includes details of each fund’s eligibility criteria and how to apply. 

Other financial help

Claiming certain welfare benefits may make you eligible to receive other help with the costs of raising a child.

For example, if you claim one of the following: Income Support; Income-related Employment and Support Allowance; Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance; and in some cases Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit, and are pregnant or have a child under four, you may be entitled to receive Healthy Start Food vouchers, which can be exchanged for free milk, fruit or vegetables, or free vitamin supplements. Claiming some of these benefits may also make you eligible for free school meals for your children.

Depending on your circumstances, you may also be able to receive help with school uniforms and free school travel for your children. You can find further information about all of these benefits on the Turn2us website.

Further information and tools

Single parents who would like help with budgeting can try Money Advice Service’s budget planner tool and if debts are becoming a worry for you, the Money Advice Trust offers online debt service My Money Steps and National Debtline, a free confidential helpline (0808 802 4000).

Gingerbread, the charity that supports single parents provides money advice and support through its website and helpline.

Jane’s story

One person to have benefited from accessing support is Jane, a single mother of three who was out of work and struggling to cope with everyday costs.

By using the Turn2us Benefits Calculator, Jane identified that in addition to the Housing and Child Benefits she was already receiving; she was also entitled to Income Support at just over £70 per week.  Her eligibility for this benefit meant that she could also apply for free school meals for her two eldest children.

Jane, who is now working part-time, said: “Income Support made all the difference and helped me through a very difficult time. My job at a children’s support centre means I now get the opportunity to help other parents in a similar situation.”

* Office for National Statistics, 2012

** Households Below Average Income (HBAI) 1994/95-2011/12. Department for Work and Pensions, 2013




My little shadow…. – Being a mum and best friend

So we all have a shadow, generally only when the sun projects one…
But us mums and maybe even more so, loan parent mums, have a shadow following us around pretty mum 24/7 especially if they are a loan child..

We are not only their mum, but technically their best friend, their mum, dad, brother, sister all rolled into one.

They want to understand every little thing we do and why we do it, how we do it and what happens next.

I find I often tell my little dude to go over there, just to be away from me in fear of learning tasks he shouldn’t know how to do as they may be dangerous for such a curious little mind.

I remember when I struggled to grasp the loan parent duties, due to exhaustion, not enough hands, trying to work from home so that I was able to mind my son and the weekly visit to my family home… That’s when you either felt proud that you were doing good or that you looked like you were struggling, all because of the look on your own mums face.. And when leaving, my mum would say to my little dude, ‘be a good boy now and look after moma’.

Well, my little man took that totally to heart, took it as his duty to look after me as much as I do him.
If I let something fall, he rushes in and says, I’ll get it!
If I have a headache, he becomes ‘doctor dude’ and puts his little hand on my forehead…
If I look sad, his little eyes looks at me and gives me a kiss and a cuddle,..
He always wants to help make dinner or carry the shopping bags after filling the trolley!

He loves photos of us together, he loves me and I him!
Walking down the street with his little hand in my hand and him saying, ‘because I love you’!
Makes him the best shadow I could ever wish for 🙂

Claire




Where Did the Tradition of the Christmas Tree Come From?

Each year, when the weather gets colder and December approaches, many Americans who celebrate Christmas will get together to decorate a Christmas tree. But why in the world do we decorate these (often artificial) fir trees in the first place?

It turns out, the meaning behind Christmas trees as holiday decor goes back further than you might realize.

Both the ancient Egyptians and Romans saw the bright hue of plants that remained green all year, such as palm rushes and evergreen boughs, as a way to give warmth and hope to people during the winter, according to History.com.

Ancient people would mark the winter solstice (the shortest day and longest night of the year, which typically falls on December 21 or December 22) by using evergreens. These plants served as a sunny reminder that other greens would grow again once spring and summer returned.

People in some countries believed evergreens stood for everlasting life and even had the ability to ward off evil spirits and illnesses—another reason for the tradition of hanging evergreen boughs above doorways and inside homes.

1444

Some say the first-ever Christmas tree was in London, near what is now Leadenhall Market. However, it seems it was a one-time trend, as Christmas trees wouldn’t be back in Britain until the 19th century.

1500s

Many believe Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, began the tradition of adding lighted candles to a tree, which is why we decorate trees with strands of lightbulbs today. The story goes that while Luther was walking home one winter evening, he saw twinkling stars among evergreens and wanted to re-create the magical moment for his family.

1771

While Christmas trees were appearing in Germany years earlier, the trend really caught on after writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe visited Strasbourg, near the German border, and included the concept in his novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther.

1820s

The first record of a decorated evergreen tree in America was that of German settlers in Pennsylvania.

1846

Queen Victoria, German Prince Albert, and their children were shown standing around a Christmas tree in the Illustrated London News. Because Victoria was very popular with her subjects at that time, the Christmas tree trend took off in both Britain and the East Coast of the United States.

Christmas with Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, their children and Queen Victoria’s mother, in 1848 as depicted in the Illustrated London News.  Getty Images

1882

When Edward H. Johnson, the vice president of Edison’s Electric Light company, decorated a tree with 80 red, white, and blue lightbulbs and displayed it in his New York City window, a newspaper in Detroit helped him earn the title “Father of the Electric Christmas Tree.”

1895

Some Americans were still skeptical about using electric lights on their Christmas trees, although apparently not President Grover Cleveland. He is said to have introduced the first electrically lit White House Christmas tree.

1903

General Electric began selling Christmas light kits so that people could decorate their Christmas trees more easily than ever.

1917

But it was Albert Sadacca who is believed to have really made Christmas tree lights mainstream. The New York teenager had heard about a candlelit tree that burst into flames and started stringing lights for his family’s novelty business. Painting the bulbs proved to be the ticket—and one day his business became NOMA Electric Company (National Outfit Manufacturer’s Association), the largest Christmas light manufacturer in the world for many years.

1931

The first Christmas tree went up in Rockefeller Center—only it was a lot smaller than the ones debuted these days. And instead of an official lighting before a crowd of spectators, this one was orchestrated by construction workers.

1933

Two years later, a lighted tree was placed in Rockefeller Center, sparking the city’s annual tradition.

The Christmas tree at Rockefeller Plaza on December 20, 1934.Getty Images

 

Today

After a rich history, Christmas trees (both real and artificial) have become the centerpiece of the season—and a classic Christmas tradition that doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.