Christmas Jolly

CHRISTMAS HISTORY

Christmas history is a long, varied and very fascinating subject that many of us do not know alot about. This vastly rich topic extends through the religious history behind the holiday and the history of traditions which have carried through to modern times. All Christians know the story behind Christ’s birth which is celebrated in Christmas masses on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. However, not many people are familiar with the Christmas history of how the celebration has evolved over the years.

For instance, did you know that even the stockings hang on the mantle each year are steeped in Christmas history? The 16th century Dutch would leave clogs filled with straw in front of their fireplace each Christmas Eve. The straw was for Santa, or Sinterclass as he is known in Holland, to feed his reindeer. In appreciation for the gesture, Sinterclass would fill the clogs with treats in return for the kindness bestowed on his beloved reindeer. Over the years, this tradition has morphed into the delightful tradition of stocking stuffers we continue to practice.

Learning the Christmas history of other countries and how our own traditions have evolved is a fascinating and educating journey. Include the children in this lesson of Christmas history so they may gain some insight as to how the holiday celebrations originated. When picking out your Christmas tree, you may relate to the children the legend of the 7th century monk who used the triangular shape of an evergreen tree to teach the holy trinity to his followers. When decorating the tree, remind your children of the Christmas history which started this favorite tradition. The first known lit Christmas tree was in the home of well known Protestant Martin Luther in an attempt to recreate the twinkling of the snow on the boughs of trees in the light of the moon for his children.

These are just a few tidbits of Christmas history from around the globe. Learning more on this subject can make your family traditions that much more meaningful and more foster a greater appreciation for some of the festivities we enjoy.

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