Once upon a time, there was a religious man. He was named Saint Boniface. He was a man of action. He protected the innocent.
Boniface was traveling to Rome, Italy. He had traveled a long distance. He passed through many villages. It was December and it was very cold. On December 21, 723, Boniface entered a small village. He looked for a hotel. The village was celebrating the winter solstice. In this village, they celebrated with sacrifices to the gods. They sacrificed humans.
There was a big crowd and people were shouting. So Boniface approached the people crowded under a tree. He was shocked! The crowd had captured an innocent girl. They tied the girl with a chain. She was a sacrifice to the gods!
Immediately, Boniface ran to the girl. With an ax, he cut the chain. He was furious! “Never again! Never again!” yelled Boniface. He did not want an innocent person to be sacrificed ever again. He decided to cut the tree.
At the moment the ax touched the tree … there was a strong wind. In one hit, the tree fell. The wind blew the people down. Miraculously, all the trees in the village fell down.
Only one tree did not fall: a small fir tree. A fir tree was the symbol of peace in their culture. Boniface said to the village, “God does not want sacrifice and violence. God wants peace.”
The people were very surprised! This was a miracle. Never again did they capture and sacrifice people. In December, the people decorated a fir tree. They crowded under the tree, but they did not sacrifice people. They gave gifts. They celebrated peace.