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Origins of Christmas Traditions

Dec 01, 2010

There are several different stories behind the many Christmas traditions we have today. Some of them might even be true. Here are a few of the stories behind popular Christmas traditions, just in case you've ever wondered.


The Story of Christmas Stockings

Stockings have to be one of the best parts of Christmas - unless you're one of those naughty kids who only gets a lump of coal. The tradition of stockings started in Holland during the 16th Century. Kids would leave clogs filled with hay near the fireplace for Santa's reindeer. Santa would then leave behind treats for the children. Eventually people began using stockings instead - something we still do today.


The Story of the Christmas Tree

No Christmas is complete without the Christmas tree. But how did this tradition begin? Well, the story goes that St. Boniface, who is credited for converting many Germans to Christianity, came across a group of Pagans worshiping an oak tree. This made him angry, so he cut the tree down. What sprouted up in its place was a fir tree. St. Boniface took this as a sign from God, and it has been a Christian symbol ever since. Also, when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, he gave a tree to his wife for Christmas, since it was a custom in his homeland of Germany.


The Story of Gingerbread Houses

Who doesn't love making a gingerbread house during Christmas? Ginger can be traced back to Europe during the 11th Century. Explorers came back from the Middle East with the spice ginger. It quickly became popular, especially in Germany. Nuremberg, Germany is the gingerbread capital of the world. The Brothers Grimm, who wrote Hansel and Gretel, made gingerbread houses even more popular.


The Story of Christmas Cards

The first Christmas card was made by Sir Henry Cole who worked for the British Postal Service. He hired an artist to create three scenes - in the middle a family sat around the dinner table, on the left, the hungry were being fed and on the right, the needy were being clothed. The familiar greeting "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You" was written on it. English schoolboys also wrote greeting cards to their parents as proof of how well they could write.


The Story of Mistletoe

Mistletoe has been getting peoplelocking lips together for a long time. The Celts used to believe that mistletoe was a powerful charm against lightning, thunder and other scary things. The Norse thought the plant was a symbol of peace. Warriors who met under the green leaves would not fight and warring couples would "kiss and make up". Other European cultures believed that mistletoe aided in fertility and was an aphrodisiac - which explains why peeps become so smitten underneath it!


Have Your Say

What Christmas traditions do you have? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

1 Comment

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Poll

Fave Christmas Tradition?

  • The presents, duh!
  • Putting up and decorating the tree.
  • Making a gingerbread house.
  • Pelting my brother with snowballs.

General In The Forums

Fairkss
Explanation: Hoshi was best friends with the moon girl, Sina who secretly loved him but they drifted apart when Hoshi met Dimitre, a Russian boy. He hung out with Dimitre more and they both fell in love with each other. However, Sina was jealous and so she got Cira, the sun girl, who was in love with Dimitre to distract him and hang out with him. Dimitre was too kind to reject her so he just hung out with her. In the shadows, Sina was bullying and threatening Hoshi not to meet with Dimitre because if he did she would hurt Dimitre. One day Hoshi couldn't handle it and so he ran to find Dimitre after school. He saw Dimitre and went towards him only to get hit by a car. Dimitre saw Hoshi lying on the floor and rushed towards him and hugged him while Hoshi slowly died in his arms. Dimitre never got over his death after that point.
reply about 2 hours
Fairkss
There once was a boy named Hoshi. Just like his name his smile was as bright as the stars in the sky. One day he met another boy who's eyes were a mixture of the aqua ocean and green land, Earth. His name was Dimitre and he came from a far away land. They fell hard for each other. Their love stronger than anything in the galaxy. The star left the moon's side to join hands with the earth in their journey of love. But a girl carrying a name that meant the moon felt jealous. Jealous of the stars love for the Earth. She wanted to make it so that Hoshi could never meet Dimitre again, and with the help of another girl with her sun-kissed hair, the star could never see the Earth. The sun would blind the Earth so much that he couldn't see Hoshi who would shine brightly with teary eyes, and then when the sun would go to sleep so did the Earth, and only the stars would feel pain. Months went by and Hoshi's heart only broke harder and harder until a plan popped in his brain. The star, lost and all alone, cut off the wings that allowed him to shine and he fell out of the sky with hot fiery pain. Dimitre saw Hoshi in his hurt and painful state and embraced him. They could finally be together. Only for a brief moment, until Hoshi could feel himself slip into a deep sleep wrapped in Dimitre's arms. The star had gone out, and had left a gaping hole in the Earth's heart that could never be filled.
reply about 2 hours
nqme
nqme posted in Debating:
I appreciate it, but that doesn't help my conscience.  To me, you're practically saying "if one of us dies, that's okay because there are still plenty of other humans all around the world".  I don't put other animals above us, of course, but they still exist.  Anyway, good day.  Enjoy this egg's before  [s:p/1n9v] and after  [s:p/1n7e] because I'm not sure how to say "good day" without sounding sarcastic.
reply about 3 hours
Igiveuponthename
That's because of our own human nature. We often value ourselves more than anyone else. Everybody affects everybody indirectly. People value progress over everything. One day the world will come crashing down, and with this crumbling and twisted society with it. Want to make a difference? Well, it's not too late to start.
reply about 4 hours
Fairkss
Fairkss posted in Say Anything:
I really hate how society is built. I really hate how unaccepting people are and how we have gotten this far due to sacrifices and inflicting pain on others. Why do we do this to our own kind? ​We are just destroying ourselves because we are unable to understand why some people do what they do. Why can't we just accept people for how they are? They're heart and their soul. I know the world can't be perfect but honestly right now the world isn't okay. Of course I'm just a kid so whatever I say won't matter but anyways that's just what has been on my mind lately :)
reply about 4 hours