Christmas Tradition Trivia
Everyone enjoys the hustle and
bustle of Christmas shopping and decorating. Children
love to write letters to Santa and get a reply with
an envelope stamped "North Pole". But even more fascinating
is the origins of many of our beloved Christmas traditions.
Exchanging Gifts: In ancient times holiday meals
were shared with family, friends, and the poor. It was
believed that in order to have a prosperous year, one
must not be selfish for to hoard what they already had
that they would never be blessed with more. This is
why we exchange gifts today.
Tree decorating: In olden times trees represented
life triumphant over death. The Romans trimmed trees
with trinkets, candles, and toys. The Druids tied polished
apples and other offerings on tree branches. In Munich,
even trees in cemeteries were decked with holly and
mistletoe. Therefore, the evergreen tree, which decorates
our homes today, has come to signify the ever living
Yule Logs: The ancient Druids and other cultures
believed that the sparks from a burning log carried
their wishes for
a prosperous New Year to the gods. Today, fireplaces
with burning logs recapture this ancient custom with
that the firelight is symbolic of the light that came
from Heaven when Christ was born.
Candles: In England, large candles were burned
in conjunction with the yule log. In America today,
the candles represent the Star of Bethlehem.
Holly: The Druids believed that holly was favored
by the sun because it was always green. Today holly
ever living Christ. The white flowers, purity; the red
berries, his blood; the leaves, his crown of thorns,
and the bitter bark, his sorrow.
Mistletoe: Comes from a Norse legend. Freyja,
a goddess, had arranged for her son to be protected
from all earthly
dangers. When he was shot with an arrow made from mistletoe,
Freyja made mistletoe promise never to harm
anyone ever again. So today, mistletoe is a symbol of
peace and love. It's winter blossoms bring promise of
the coming spring.
Caroling: In Scandinavian custom, every Christmas,
a party was given to the god Thor, represented by a
much singing and dancing the goat would pretend to die
and return to life. Today, carolers go from door to
singing and this represents the life of Christ.
Santa Claus: Santa actually started out as a version
of Poseidon, Greek god of the sea. Sailors feared him
he could bring terrible storms or grant them safe journeys.
Because he could save them from angry waters, he became
known as "giver of all good things". Due to the rise
of Christianity, the old custom was changed to honor
Nicholas of Myra, an Asian bishop. Nicholas wore red
clothing, rode a white horse who could fly, and delivered
anonymously. Today, he is Santa with his flying reindeer!
About the author:
Author: Marilyn Pokorney Freelance writer of science,
nature, animals and the environment.
Also loves crafts, gardening, and reading. Website: