We are fast approaching the most important Birthday Party of the year. This time of year brings joy, gifts and celebrations with family and friends.
Traditions are those things that are passed from generation to generation. That means that Christmas is a tradition. I have found some interesting facts about Christmas traditions and I want to share them with you.
nX-mas: The first letter of the Greek word for Christ is X (Xristos). For the early Christians, most who spoke and wrote Greek, the word signified “Christ’s Mass”. As the centuries passed fewer and fewer people understood Greek. They thought the “X” had some pagan meaning and that the word “Xmas” showed disrespect.
Christmas Tree: Originated in Germany. The great Protestant reformer Martin Luther was said to be the first one to decorate the tree prior to the tradition moving to England and eventually to America. Luther was walking home one evening when he looked up and saw the stars twinkling through the branches of the fir trees. He was so inspired by the sight that when he arrived home he put up a tree and decorated it with candles.
St. Nicholas: A real person St. Nicholas of Myra, Turkey, was a thin pale figure who dressed in bishop’s robes of red cassock and a mitre, the traditional hat of a bishop. He traveled by donkey and delivered his gifts on December 6th. St. Nicholas was much loved in Europe, and when the Dutch went o America in the 17th century they took him along. His name was spelled Sint Nikolaas, which changed into Sinterklass and then gradually into Santa Claus.
Holly: A wreath with holly, red berries and other decorations began from at least the 17th century. Holly, with its sharply pointed leaves, symbolized the thorns in Christ’s crown-of-thorns. The red berries symbolized the drops of Christ’s blood. A Wreath at Christmas signified a home the celebrated the birth of Christ.
Mistletoe: It was used by the Druids to celebrate winter and as a symbol of love. Its tradition in today’s Christmas is, if one stands under the mistletoe they are to be kissed by someone standing close by.
Have a Merry Christmas and may you and your family enjoy those special traditions that make this season one of the most celebrated holidays of the year.