Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Traditions

Christmas Tree

Christmas tree is a popular tradition associated with Christmas.
Basically, Christmas tree is a decorated tree.The tree may be Artificial ,Natural or Prelit tree.
Normally, Coniferous tree is decorated with lights, colourful ornaments and gifts during Christmas
time. An angel or Star is placed on the top of the tree.

Cool Christmas Trees from All Over the World

You can create digital Christmas tree using these links.

Santa Claus

Saint Nicholas of Myra is an inspiration for Santa Claus. Santa Claus is a mythical character. He will bring gifts to the children by his sleigh with a team of eight or nine reindeer. He will give coal to the naughty child.
He is also called as Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Santa, Santy and Kris Kringle.There are different names that he is also known by in different or countries in the world
.Hisory of Santaclaus
Penguins dress as Father Christmas in Japan

Christmas Crib

Christmas crib represents the scene of the birth of Jesus. Mini statues of Mary,Joseph,Jesus, The three
kings,Sheep,Ox,Donkey,Shepherds and an angel are crib characters.
In 1223 at Greccio ,Italy st.Francis of Assisi is created the first nativity scene to depict the
birth of Jesus. St.Franci's nativity scene was formed by living humans and animals.
Later humans and animals are replaced by statue.Now a days Christmas cribs are made by
wood,terracotta and chocolate.

Magi and Star of Bethlehem

Three Wise men or Magi from the East came to visit Jesus the new born baby.They are also referred as Three Kings.They brought gifts to Jesus.The gifts are Gold,Frankincense and Myrrh.
The three kings are Caspar,Melchior and Balthasar. But certain variations are there in their names.
During their visit they don't know how to go to Jesus place.That time one star came and guide them to that place.This star is called by Star of Bethlehem or Christmas Star.

Christmas Stockings

Christmas stockings/shock shaped bags are used to hold Christmas gifts and decoration. Usually an empty stocking will be placed near the chimney by the children.They are believing that Santa will come and fill the stockings with small gifts like chocolate, candy, smalltoys...etc but a naughty child will receive a coal alone.The gifts which are all used to fill the stockings are called as stocking fillers or stuffers.
There is a legend behind the Christmas stockings.There was a nobleman in a town. He had three daughters who were not yet married because he has no money to give dowry.The daughters placed their stockings on the fireplace mantel.During the Christmas eve Santaclaus came and put a bag of gold in their stockings.The next day they saw their stockings were filled with gold coins. Using that gold the girls got married.

Candy cane

An edible 'J' shaped candy cane is originated in Germany in the late 1600s.Originally it was straight white sticks.
A German Choir man changed the shape of the candy into 'J' which represents Shepherd's staff. After 1900 certain changes were made.The changes are Red color stripes added and also it is flavored with pepermint or wintergreen.
The candy cane's shape looks like 'J' for Jesus.The three red stripes on the candy denotes Holy Trinity and the blood of Jesus.The hardness of the candy cane denotes rock the foundation of the church or Jesus is our rock and refuge.The flavor of the peppermint is related with hyssop.In old Testament hyssop is used for purification.

Christmas Card

A Greeting which is sent before Christmas is called Christmas card.Nativity scenes,Santa claus, Star,Christmas tree,Flowers,Wreathe,Winter pictures and candles will be shown.The wishes may
be a poem,prayer or biblical words.The most popular Christmas wish is " Wishing you a Merry
Christmas and a Happy New Year".

Sir Hentry Cole was the designer of the commercial Christmas card.Christmas cards for charity
purpose also produced.


Christmas Reindeer is magically flying on the sky .It is associated with Santa. A team of Eight reindeers are pulling the Santa's sleigh to deliver the gifts to children.They are called by Dasher,Dancer,Prancer,Vixen,Comet,Cupid, Donder(Donner) and Blixm(Blizten).
These names are appeared in American Literature in 1823.This famous poem was written by Clement Clarke More entitled "Twas the Night Before Christmas".
In this team a new member called "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is added.

Twas the Night before Christmas Poem

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

In 1939 Robert L.Mary wrote Rudolph's story for the Montgomery ward chain of department stores and it was published as a book.
As per the story,Rudolph is a red nosed reindeer.Because of his red nose ,it was not able to mingle with other renideers. One Christmas Eve was very foggy so Santa Claus was not able to deliver the gifts.That time he saw the glowing red nosed reindeer.He got the help from glowing red nosed Rudolph to lead the sleigh for the rest of the gifts delivery.
This story is very famous Christmas story and also the song.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer : Lyrics

Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him,
you would even say it glows.

All of the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolph
join in any reindeer games.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say:
"Rudolph with your nose so bright,
won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"

Then all the reindeer loved him
as they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
you'll go down in history!


Usually Poinsettia is used for decoration during Christmas.During Christmas time oinsettia leaves will turn
from green to red.There is a Mexican legend behind poinsettia.the story will go like this.A poor girl wants to give a gift for Jesus's birthday celebration.But she is not having any gift to honor.That time an angel told her to bring some weeds.She also brought like this.While offering the weeds ,they were magically transformed into scarlet flowers.
In Mexico the poinsettia is called "flower of the Holy Night".In Spain its is known as "Flor de Pascua"


The world "mistletoe" is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words "mistel"(dung) and "tan"(twig).
Mistletoe is most commonly used as a traditional Christmas decoration.
Mistletoe is a partial parasistic plant.As a parasistic plant it grows on the branches of a tree.Specially oak or apple tree.As a non parasistic plant it grows on its own and it will produce food using photosynthesis.
The Druids dedicated mistletoe as a Goddess of Love.Kissing under the mistletoe is a custom.
A traditional rhyme about mistletoe

'Pick a berry off the mistletoe
For every kiss that's given.
When the berries have all gone
There's an end to kissing.'

There is a myth behind mistletoe.Once upon a time it was tree.It's wood was used to make "Cross" for
Jesus.After crcification it became dwarafed parasitic vine.


Holly is used for decoration purpose.Druids considered Holly a sacred plant.They depicts the symbol of fertility and eternal life.Hanging the plant in house is believed as a good luck.
The red berries of Holly represents the blood of Jesus.It's white flowers symbolize purity.

Christmas Carols

The tradition of singing carols was introduced by St.Francis Assisi.He started Christmas carols in church ceremonies."Carol" is a derived of the French word caroller, which means dancing around in a circle.

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