The Other Holy Trinity

No, I am not talking about the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.  Not that I have any problem with the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.  I am a Catholic after all.  No, the Holy Trinity I am talking about involves Christmas trees, NFL Football, and Made in America.

The Germans kicked off the Christmas tree tradition in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes.  Martin Luther pitched in on the Christmas tree effort by adding lighted candles to trees.  According to those Protestants in the know, Luther was walking home one winter evening, composing a sermon, when he looked up and was overwhelmed by the beauty of the stars twinkling amidst evergreens. He set up a tree at home and wired candles to the tree’s branches.  Some German families still use candles, lighting them only on Christmas Eve.

When Germans immigrated to America in the 19th century, they brought their Christmas trees with them.  There was some initial grumbling about German pagan symbols, but that soon dissipated. By the 1890s, intrepid German businessmen were exporting Christmas ornaments to America where they were being placed on Christmas trees that reached from floor to ceiling.

At about the same time as the German Christmas ornaments began reaching our shores, Americans started playing football.  In the 1880s, a rugby player from Yale, Walter Camp, proposed rules changes that transformed rugby into the new game of American Football.
The American Professional was formed on September 17, 1920 and two years later became the National Football League.  The first official NFL championship game was held in 1933.  The rival American Football League was founded in 1960. It was very successful, and forced a merger with the older NFL that resulted in a greatly expanded league and the creation of the Super Bowl, which our Seattle Seahawks won last year, waxing the Denver Broncos 43-8.  The lopsided score brought to mind an old joke that circulated about the Broncos circa 1987-90.  In those four seasons, the Broncos lost three Superbowls by scores of 39-20 (Giants), 42-10 (Redskins) and 55-10 (Niners).  Hence the joke:  How many Broncos does it take to fix a flat tire?  One, unless it’s a blowout then the whole team shows up.

I recently discovered an American firm that can allow you to combine the two great American passions of Christmas trees and NFL football.  Wendell August Forge produces a full line of metal NFL team ornaments that will make your tree the talk of the neighborhood.

I of course will be opting for the Seahawks ornament.

Wendell August Forge was founded in 1923 by Wendell McMinn August and is America’s oldest and largest forge, producing hand-wrought ornamental metalware and a variety of great objects in aluminum and other metals.  Starting with the production of hand-forged door latches, Wendell and Ottone “Tony” Pisoni soon started producing decorative ironware products such as fireplace andirons, candlesticks, lighting standards, door knockers, latches, railings, and grilles for windows and doors.

In the 1930s, Pisoni mastered the art of forging aluminum and after finishing a stunning architectural remodeling at the Grove City National Bank, the Bank’s president convinced Wendell August to relocate his firm to Grove City, Pennsylvania.  Wendell August’s Grove City forge is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.  Wendell August currently produces a very wide range of jewelry, collector’s plates and commemoratives, Christmas ornaments and gifts, trays, bowls, and vases.  Each piece is still individually made by hand using Wendall August’s original eight-step process.  Wendell August pieces are available in aluminum, bronze, pewter, sterling silver, and other metals.

I want to get my hands on one of the 12 solid bronze plates commemorating the SALT II treaty between the U.S. and Russia that the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency commissioned Wendell August to produce.  Unlikely I admit, but a man has got to have goals.

What with it being just a week before Thanksgiving, now is a perfect time for you to visit the Wendell August website.  Order your favorite NFL team’s Christmas tree ornament, and then get all of your holiday shopping done in one fell swoop.  Uncle Morty in Pittsburg?  Done.


Aunt Bess in Chi Town?  Done

Your Mum in Cleveland?  Done.

Don’t thank me, I am just glad I can help you get your Christmas shopping done before December even darkens our doorway and at the same time allow you to provide jobs for members of our extended American family who are working at Wendell August.


Now get shopping!

About Simply American LLC

I live in Seattle and love telling stories about Americans, the places where they work and the things that they make. I have just published a book, Simply American, encouraging Americans to purchase American made products; the book can be ordered at
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