What does your family do for the holidays? What new traditions would you like to add to your holidays in the future?
My family has many traditions for the holidays. My mother and grandmother always had fruit salad for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Their recipe consisted of fresh bananas, apples, oranges and grapes, with crushed pecans and mini marshmallows. I have held that tradition with my family and I always look forward to snacking on fruit salad all day. The fresh juice from the fruit brings out the marshmallow flavor.
My daughter always held the tradition of having an advent calendar of activities for the grandchildren. The activities included: watching a favorite holiday movie, having hot chocolate bars, getting a new pair of pj’s and so much more. The kids always look forward to experiencing each of these activities every day until Christmas.
Some great traditions have included:
- Receiving new pj’s on Christmas eve
- Watching your favorite holiday movies
- Baking and decorating Christmas cookies
- Driving around to take in the Holiday Lights
- Stringing the popcorn garland for the tree
- Singing Christmas Carols in the neighborhood
- Working at the food pantry or homeless kitchen
- Writing a letter to Santa
- Getting photos with Santa
- Taking your annual visit to the Tree Farm for a tree
- Reading your favorite Holiday stories
- Sitting with the Tree Lights in the dark
- Lightning your neighborhood with Lights on your home
- Sending out greeting cards to your favorite people
- Attending midnight mass
- Going to a holiday concert or show
- Having an ugly sweater party with friends
- Participating in a secret Santa program
- Volunteering at a shelter or home
- Donating gifts or participating in an Angel Tree project
- Setting up your Christmas village or train
- Taking holiday photos with family
- Serving a BIG holiday breakfast for family and friends
- Joining a cookie exchange with friends
Let’s take a look at some of the holiday traditions that are practiced in America.
The American tradition of decorating Christmas Trees dates to the Middle Ages, as Germans and European settlers popularized the tradition in the 19th century. A New York woodsman named Mark Carr opened the first Christmas tree lot in 1851. A survey conducted in 2019 by the American Christmas Tree Association, predicted that 77 percent of households displayed a decorated tree over the holidays. The survey also predicted that 81 percent were artificial and 19% were real trees. Do you have an artificial or real tree?
The Christmas Pickle is a shiny green ornament that gets hung in the tree before Christmas. The tradition is that the family hides the Christmas pickle on the tree and the first child to find it gets a gift. The idea behind this tradition was to slow the rush of Christmas and to provide an activity to the children. It is believed that this tradition started from a Woolworth’s marketing campaign in the late 1800’s. The retailer received the first pickle ornaments from a German importer. Do you hide a Christmas Pickle on your tree?
Gerhard Land, a German publisher, offered the Advent Calendar for children to be able to count the days til Christmas in 1903. These calendars gained mass popularity by 1920. Today, you can find calendars with small gifts, candies, wines, and so much more. Have you ever gotten an advent calendar?
Some families have traditions of baking and assembling Gingerbread Houses. This tradition is credited to Queen Elizabeth I. The Germans lay claim to starting the gingerbread cookie and house decorating traditions. When the Grimm brothers wrote the book, Hansel and Gretel, a new holiday tradition was born. Have you ever assembled a gingerbread house?
In the 1950’s, the Ugly Sweaters became popular in the mass commercialization of Christmas. They were called “Jingle Bell Sweaters.” The original sweaters were not intended to be ugly. The TV character that made these popular was Cliff Huxtable of The Cosby Show. Some individuals have company parties, family gatherings, and parties with the theme of ugly sweaters. The individual with the most creativity could gain the prize. Have you ever worn an ugly sweater?
The creation of the Candy Cane dates to Germany in 1670 when the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany. He gave the sugar sticks to the young singers to keep them quiet during the ceremony. The sticks were bent in the shapes of shepherd’s crooks. These candies made it to the U.S. in 1847. A German-Swedish immigrant decorated his blue spruce with paper ornaments and candy canes. Do you place candy canes on your tree?
The Christmas Wreath was started in ancient Greek and Roman times. The wreaths often had boughs of holly. The wreath took on a Christian meaning with the circular shape represents eternal life with the holly leaves and berries holding the meaning for Christ’s crown of thorns and blood. There are many different types of wreaths today. Do you have a Christmas wreath on your door?
There are so many holiday traditions. What will be some new holiday traditions that you would like to have in the future?
Written by Vialet Rayne, Magical Creator of Discover Your Spiritual Gifts
Vialet has been on a healing path her whole life. She has been called a spiritual guardian that is strongly connected and highly intuitive. A teacher, coach, healer, and spiritual leader that dreams of a peaceful and harmonious world.
Her mission is to provide individuals with the tools and resources to discover their own healing powers within themselves so they may empower their own lives. Vialet's spiritual journey has provided her with everyday life rituals, experiences, and spiritual wisdom that allow her to overcome difficult situations and to create a life that she has always dreamed of.
Vialet wants everyone to discover their spiritual gifts in the tools and rituals that will improve their lives and the lives of their families. Find out more about her here.