Old Christmas Traditions
There are lots of modern day Christmas traditions - the tree, stockings, mistletoe, etc. However, there are several Christmas traditions that died out with time. Which ones do you think we should bring back?
Christmas Traditions in Poland
Predicting the future was a big tradition in Poland around Christmas. Maidens who were curious about their future love didn't have their palms read. Instead, on Christmas Eve, some of them would eavesdrop on their neighbor. If they heard the word "go" it meant she would be getting married in the next year. The word "sit" meant she'd be single for a long time. Another way to find out their futures was to blindfold each other on the way to Christmas Eve midnight mass and touch fence pickets. A straight and smooth picket indicated a resourceful husband. A crooked and rough one meant a clumsy and awkward husband.
Christmas Traditions in Estonia
Estonians had the same tradition for both Christmas and New Year's Eve. They would prepare their house for a large feast and celebration then go to the sauna. The steam bath was usually visited before the Christmas Eve service. For the first Christmas surprise, children would get festive new clothes and shoes to wear to the Christmas Eve service.
Christmas Traditions in Victorian Times
An old Victorian tradition was to hide a glass pickle in the Christmas tree the night before Christmas. Whoever found the pickle would either get a special gift or get to open the first gift. The story behind this tradition goes back to medieval times. A horrible innkeeper stuffed two kids into a pickle barrel. St. Nicholas happened to stroll by the inn later on and heard of the kids' dilemma. He tapped the barrel with his staff and freed the kids, who ran home for Christmas dinner.
Humble (or 'umble) pie was made from, get this, the inner organs of a a deer. That's the heart, liver, brains and all that good stuff. Lords and Ladies ate the best part of the deer while servants took what was left over and put it into a pie and baked it. This is probably where the phrase, "go eat humble pie" came from. By the 17th century almost everyone had humble pie at Christmas time, at least until the government outlawed it.
What are your family's Christmas traditions? Do you hide a cheese-stuffed pepper for someone to find? Do you have a particular outfit you wear just for Christmas dinner? Let us know by leaving your comment below!