A World of celebration
Christmas is just 10 days away! While I’m excited for Christmas to come, I can hardly believe December is already halfway over! Where does the time go? Anyway, because Christmas is so close, I wanted to look into some of the holiday traditions that make up our Christmas heritage.
- Norway – You may be familiar with Christmas time being called Yuletide. This term is derived from the Norwegian tradition of the yule log. On the winter solstice, the people of Norway would light the yule log to symbolize the sun’s recurrence. Therefore, because December 21st is so close to December 25th, Christmas is called Yuletide.
- Germany – Christmas trees hail from Germany. The Germans began decorating trees as a winter tradition before making it specifically a Christmas tradition by the 1600’s. During the 1700’s, these “Christmas trees” became popular throughout Germany. England and America eventually adopted the tradition as well in the 1800’s.
- Mexico – The country of Mexico produces the holiday-favorite poinsettia plant. Joel R. Poinsett, for which the plant is named, brought the poinsettia over to America in the early 19th century.
- England – The English made sending Christmas cards a common tradition with the work of such like John Calcott Horsley. The English also established the traditions of kissing under the mistletoe, Christmas caroling, and hanging stockings.
Reading over the history of our traditions, I find it fascinating that so many cultures make up our Christmas heritage. Traditions – some centuries old! – from all over the world have blended together to make Christmas how we celebrate today. Do you have any family- or culture-specific traditions that aren’t listed here? Tell us about them! We’d love to hear how you celebrate Christmas!