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Christmas Traditions

Thursday December 19th, 2019
Christmas can be the busiest time of the year. There is so much to get done and the pressure to produce the perfect Christmas for your family can be overwhelming. It’s important to stay grounded during the hustle and bustle of the season. Traditions help us do that. They help us focus on the things that really matter, creating memorable moments with the ones we love. Many of us have unique Christmas traditions shared with just our families, but there are a few that we all seem to share. Things like decorating the tree, hanging up stocking and putting cookies out for Santa. These are festive activities to do around the holidays, but where did these traditions start?

Why Do We Decorate the Tree?

Bringing evergreen trees into your home and decorating them started as a Pagan tradition. The trees symbolize light and life during the cold winter months. Christians didn’t adopt the tradition until the 1500’s and now it just isn’t Christmas without a Christmas tree. These trees still add a little bit of life to winter and let's face it, they’re pretty!

Why Do We Hang Stockings?

Placing out footwear in the hopes that it will be filled with goodies in the morning leads all the way back to Norse mythology. Children would leave their shoes out full of hay and carrots for the Norse God Odin’s flying horse. The treats for the horse would then magically be replaced with candy and coins. How we progressed from leaving out shoes to stockings, no one really knows. There is however a myth about a poor father who could not pay for his daughter’s dowries. The daughters had hung up their stockings by the fireplace to dry and St. Nick dropped gold coins down the chimney. The gold coins just so happened to land in their stockings and thus the tradition was born. 

Why Do We Leave Out Cookies for Santa?

Because he’s hungry of course! But really, the tradition to leave out milk and cookies for Santa became popular in America during the great depression. This tradition stemmed from parents trying to teach their children gratitude for the gifts they were to receive.

Knowing where traditions come from is fun but not nearly as important as the memories we make doing them. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to create the perfect Christmas. Christmas is made perfect by spending time with your loved ones.

We hope you’ll have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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