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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.

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henlo! welcome to KW!  the people on here is nice so i hope you like it! nice to meet you.
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Hello and welcome to KW! I hope you like the people here, because they're friendly tbh but anyways, nice to meet you~
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There's a lot of evidence, my friend. First evidence is that Trump is not allowing trans to join the army. The Muslim ban? He's such a racist and such a discriminator...do you want me to give you more evidence?
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Tennis123
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And btw, it’s acceptable for a person to defend himself from the polar bear or whatever animal
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Tennis123
Tennis123 posted in Debating:
"Kirsteeeeen" wrote: "Tennis123" wrote: i have changed my views on things like this, i think 99% of people that hunt and the people that complain about the hunting are complete hypocrites though.  if you think that its justified to kill an animal in a given context, you must have a difference between a human and the animal that if true of the human would justify killing the animal, otherwise you say X justifies killing something but doesnt justify killing something ate the same time, which of course is a contradiction. hopefully people can understand that.  What gives, polar bears for example, the right to kill humans for food but doesn't give humans the right to kill an animal for food? Polar bears have no moral agency and they must kill for food. If we went over to a place in the North Pole and a mentally disabled person with the inability to understand right and wrong and they had to kill for food, I wouldnt add any moral weight to the act they commit bc how can you morally judge an act one commits without them having any conception of morals? Some mentally disabled people have no moral agency and can’t really understand anything. Would you judge them morally? 
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