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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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Fave Christmas Tradition?

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

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"Pink_Cool_Girl" wrote:1. What's your name? Mellisa2. How old are you? 143. What gender are you? Female4. What gender[s] are you attracted to? Males5. Who is your BFF on here? RL- no INT- yes6. Who is your least favorite person on here? Really nobody7. What's your main fandom? AAHHHHH UM PERCY JACKSON AND HARRY POTTER 8. What's your main bandom?Well Coldplay doesn't have a fandom. They are my favorite but my closest favorite with a large fandom is definitely Twenty One Pilots  9. What's your favorite thing to do on here? RP10. Would you rather spend a day in the chatroom, the forums, or the PMS?Definitely forums 11. If you could be any rank of the KW staff, what would you be?Junior Mod 12. What's your favorite color? Blue13. What's your favorite chore?I don't like doing chores, but if I had to choose, it would be organizing 14. Who is your enemy in real life? I have none at the moment 15. Who is your BFF in real life? I don't have one BFF. I have close friends, but they go to different schools. I have friends at my new school, but they aren't close enough16. Would you faint at the sight of blood?Nope 17. Do you have glasses? Yep18. What's your stereotype in school? "Smartest in the class" Band Geek, Choir Nerd19. Single, taken, or is it complicated? Single20. Any siblings? One21. Any parents? Two22. Where would you rather live? On a ranch or on an island close to the coast of California? Coast, but I don't like California23. You are home alone for the day, the chores are finished, homework is finished, and all your friend are free... What do you do?  Listen to music or read 24. You are stranded on an island. Do you build shelter or search for food first?Shelter 25. What's your eye color? (I want to leave the next few a mystery. I always wanted to know how people imagine me.)26. What's your hair color?  See 2527. What's your skin tone? See 2528. What's your lip color? See 2529. Do you play video games? If so, what's your favorite game and console? OG Wii or OG DS30. Did you enjoy my quiz? YES! ADVERTISEMENT
reply 2 minutes
"XxIHateMathxX" wrote:people tend to think I'm older than I actually am because I'm tall.  :punk Oh I see your problem. Don't fret though! Enjoy. When you get to about my age then you'll probably be judged but honestly you're still in... elementary? So have fun trick or treating! I think when you become a teenager then going trick or treating is a no-go. 
reply 43 minutes
people tend to think I'm older than I actually am because I'm tall.  :punk
reply about 1 hour
11 is fine. You are still young! Go ahead. Meanwhile, I'm 14 and I want to go trick or treating but I think it's weird for my age :3 
reply about 1 hour
Hey guys, XxIHateMathxX here. ;) As we all know, Halloween is coming soon, but I was wondering if the age of 11 is too old for trick or treating. Since it's mostly for younger kids, i'm just not sure if I can this year. reply below!  [s:sm3/1jw1]
reply about 1 hour