|The most common image of Mithra|
|The Ravenna Mosaic|
In addition, Evergreens, which in ancient Rome were thought to have special powers and were used for decoration, symbolized the promised return of life in the spring and came to symbolize eternal life for Christians. The value of evergreen spans a variety of cultures, including the Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. The worship of trees was intrinsic to European druidism and paganism. In Christian tradition, trees were often put up in December to serve the dual purpose of warding off the devil and to provide a perch for whatever birds still remained. Evergreen trees decorated with apples and wafers were also used in Christmas Eve plays during the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance to represent the tree figuring so prominently in the tale of Adam and Eve. The first evidence for a decorated Christmas tree emerges from German craftsman guilds during the Renaissance. Trees enjoyed a surge of popularity among Protestant households after the Reformation as counterparts to the Catholic nativity scene.