We are old enough to know that Santa Claus was never the one who used to drop our gifts near the Christmas tree. Instead, he was so busy manufacturing the gifts that he had to send his elves to do the work in his place.
Christmas is not only a sacred religious event but is also a joyful festival that brings people together. And, one of the best parts of Christmas is the decorations.
#1. The Origins of Christmas Wreaths Will Remain Mostly a Mystery
Made with fir branches, holly and ribbons, Christmas wreaths are traditional Christmas decorations that are hanged on doors or on walls. But, exactly how and from where did these Christmas wreaths originate?
As per CBS, the American commercial broadcast television and radio network, two theories can be proposed for the origins of Christmas wreaths. First, they are some sort of adaptation of the ceremonial wreaths of ancient Greece and Rome.
The second theory comes from the sixteenth century, where it is believed that wreaths were introduced by Lutheran Protestants who used their circular shapes to symbolize the eternal nature of Christ or the promise of everlasting- life. As a result, they used the wreath as an instructive symbol of Advent and adorned it with four candles to mark the four weeks before Christmas.
As per some other theorists, the circular shape of the wreath represents an ancient symbol of protection. For example, ancient Egyptians, the early Romans and the Vikings would exhibit plants such as green palm rushes, fir, spruce and evergreen branches so as to ward off evil spirits and illness.
However, compared to ancient times, today, Christmas wreaths are used more as a decoration rather than as protection.
#2. Americans Did Not Immediately Adopt the Christmas Tree
American history is always filled with enthralling facts. So, who is excited to learn how the Christmas tree became en vogue in America?
During the sixteenth century, Germans Christians started using and decorating trees during the Christmas period (this fact does not come from me but from The History Channel). Back then, trees were decorated with candles, sweets and fruits (yes, fruits!) Can you guess exactly what fruits? (Well, if you have a little bit of grey matter, you would know that apples were mostly used so as to represent the Garden of Eden).
A few years later, even when some German settlers transported their Christmas tradition to Pennsylvania,
Americans rejected this practice as, at that time, trees were considered symbols of paganism. However, when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert decorated a Christmas tree in the late 19th century, it became a trend in America.
#3. Many Americans Decorated Their Trees With Imported Ornaments up Until World War II
Did you know that before World War II, Americans used to buy most ornaments from Germany?
However, soon after World War II began, Corning, an American company, started to manufacture ornaments, that too with the help of a light bulb machine. And, per day, around 300,000 ornaments were produced.
#4. What Is the Story Behind Stockings?
When Christmas is approaching and Santa Claus is coming soon, don’t we all hang our Christmas stockings by the chimney? And, what do you usually say if your kid asks you the reason behind it? That the stockings are hung so as Father Christmas can fill them up with presents (only if you have been good during a whole year). Well, what if I tell you that there is a beautiful legend behind this practice?
The story starts with a poor, widowed man who had three young daughters. Due to their poor condition of living, the father was very worried for his daughters. However, one night when Saint Nicholas heard their conversation, he slid down their house’s chimney and placed many gold coins in the girls’ stockings that were left to dry by the fireplace.
What a heart-touching story, isn’t it?
#5. Why Do We Put Up Mistletoe and Holly?
Well, the simple reason is that they can make the house smell and have that Christmassy look. But, you will be surprised to learn that mistletoe and holly originate from an ancient Celtic celebration of the winter solstice on 21 December. Holly used to symbolize protection against evil spirits, while mistletoe was the symbol of life.
There are more to add to the list, but I think it’s enough for today. So, if you liked this article, why don’t you go ahead and share some of your memorable Christmas experiences in the comment section below?