Christmas Traditions today give off that vintage taste, like old timey sleighs.
Small city buildings decorated in ribbons and wreaths. Add a little bit of snow to the mix and it feels like we traveled through time. But the Christmas Traditions we know and love today aren’t even that old of traditions! In fact, most of our traditions didn’t even come around til mid 19th century!
Oh, Christmas Tree:
Decorative Christmas Trees were something German Americans had in their living room for the celebration and one thing Americans were soon very fond of. They would line the tree with strings of popcorn or beads and some homemade trinkets. Soon the tree became of symbol of art and family for the holiday.
This led to the booming business of tree decorations in the 1870’s. German made ornaments and colorful bulbs were found in toy stores, on street corners and in variety stores. But the tree wasn’t always set up and spruced out for December 25th. In fact, Christmas itself was celebrated much earlier.
St. Nicholas Day was celebrated on December 6th, leaving St. Nicholas Eve to be the 5th. This holiday is very similar to our current day Christmas, only the opposite. Children would leave out a St. Nicholas boot by the fireplace or front door where St. Nicholas would leave their gifts. The big gift exchange actually took place on St. Nicholas eve instead of the day itself! The story of St. Nicholas can even be traced back to hundreds of years to a Greek Bishop, who was actually named St. Nicholas who helped the needy. The tale is that he came from a wealthy family; after his parents passed away he distributed his wealth among the poor.
Cookies and Reindeer
After America and Britain started celebrating their version of Christmas, the holly jolly man we know and love was introduced – Santa Claus! Of course Santa is probably the Christmas Tradition we have come to know best! Soon to follow were all kinds of poems and children books that painted the picture of Santa we all know and love today – his belly that shakes like jelly, his sleigh being led by reindeer, leaving out cookies for him to eat upon arrival.
These stories and newfound traditions gave Christmas the momentum to be what is is today – a joyous holiday being celebrated with and for your loved ones.
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