The Christmas tree is a 17th-century German invention according to the University of Bristol. It comes from the pagan practice of bringing greenery indoors to decorate in midwinter. Americans buy 25 to 30 million real trees and 8 to 12 million artificial trees to decorate each year. The most expensive Christmas tree was decorated in the United Arab Emirates in 2010 at an estimated cost of over $11 million. The modern Santa Claus is a direct descendent of England’s Father Christmas, who was not originally a gift-giver. Father Christmas and his other European variations are modern incarnations of old pagan ideas about spirits who travelled the sky in midwinter.