Every year during December, ABC puts on a thing called The 25 days of Christmas. This is when they play all the Christmas classics like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and Santa Clause is Coming to Town. As you could've probably guessed, I'm in love with ALL of these shows :) But the cool thing is that ABC does a countdown to the 25 days of Christmas countdown. Tonight, Aladin is on. One of my favorite Disney movies of all time :) I must give a shout-out to my mom and say thank you to her. The other day she was out and picked up a tv guide of the entire 25 days of Christmas shows so that I could see what was going to be on. Thanks, mom!
For tonight's Christmas post, I thought I would share some facts about the many traditions of Christmas and how they started. Please enjoy!
Santa Claus was born in US in the 1860's he was named this as he had a white beard and a belly, so he was named Santa Claus as this was the Dutch word for St Nicholas, Sintaklaas. Although the Dutch had bought him with them in the 17th century, he did not become an important person at Christmas until the Novelist Washington Irving put him in a novel that he wrote in 1809. This first Santa Claus was still known as St. Nicholas, he did smoke a pipe, and fly around in a wagon without any reindeer, but he did not have his red suit or live at the North Pole, he did however bring presents to children every year.
In 1863 He was given the name Santa Claus and bore the red suit, pipe, and his reindeer and sleigh.
Now Christmas celebrations vary greatly between regions of the United States, because of the variety of nationalities which have settled in it.
The tradition of having an evergreen tree become a symbol of Christmas goes back past recorded written history.
The Druids in ancient England & Gual and the Romans in Europe both used evergreen branches to decorate their homes and public buildings to celebrate the Winter Solstice. Over the years, these traditions were adopted by Christians, who incorporated them as part of their Christmas holiday celebration.
Trees used specifically to celebrate Christmas are mentioned in the early 1600's in Germany and surrounding countries. The families would set up these trees in a prominent location of their home and decorate them with colored paper, small toys, food, and sometimes candles. As these people moved or immigrated to other countries, they brought this tradition with them.
Through the years many different things were used to decorate Christmas trees. As the world moved into the 1900's, many trees were decorated with strings of popcorn, homemade cards and pictures, cotton to look like snow, candy in all shapes and sizes, and occasionally, fancy store made glass balls and hand blown glass figurines. Candles were sometimes used, but often caused devastating fires, and many different types of candle holders were devised to try to prevent tree fires. Electric tree lights were first used just 3 years after Thomas Edison has his first mass public demonstration of electric lights back in 1879. The early Christmas tree lights were handmade and quite expensive.
Today, Christmas tree ornaments can be found in nearly every size, color, and shape imaginable, and they are used to decorate the millions of Christmas trees used throughout the world.
Mistletoe was often hung over the entrances to homes of the pagans in Scandinavian countries to keep out evil spirits. An old Scandinavian myth tells of the seemingly invulnerable god, Balder, who was struck down by a dart made from mistletoe. The tears of this mother, Frigga, became the white berries of the mistletoe, and it was decreed that the plant must never again be used as a weapon.
Frigga, who was the goddess of love, henceforth gave a kiss to anyone who passed under the mistletoe. It may be that our present custom of kissing under the mistletoe derives from this old legend.
Legend holds that the Druids, who were members of a pagan religious order in ancient Gaul, Briton and Ireland, held the mistletoe in such reverence that if enemies met under it in the forest, a truce was declared for the day. It was their belief that only happiness would enter a home when mistletoe hung overt the door.
When the Yule season approached, the mistletoe was cut down from the sacred oaks by the Prince of the Druids who used a golden sickle. The mistletoe was distributed to the people who believed it possessed powers of the protection against sickness and evil. Later among Christians it came to symbolize the healing powers of Christ.