Christmas is the most fun time of the year for many people. The Christmas jitters often come as early as early December, after St. Nicholas has passed. Starting now, people begin to decorate their homes and gardens with colored lights, a Christmas tree and fun Christmas decorations. On the four Sundays before Christmas, Advent candles are burned, the house smells of freshly baked cookies and classic Christmas songs come on the radio. Moreover, every day starting December 1, a little door in the Advent calendar is waiting for us to be opened. This fun and warm time concludes with Christmas, which we often spend together with our loved ones. But where do these Christmas traditions actually come from? And are there opportunities to celebrate Christmas differently this year?
Christmas tradition 1 – The festively decorated Christmas tree
The luminous Christmas tree is the highlight of Christmas celebrations. It does not matter whether it is in the living room or somewhere in the city – the Christmas tree is simply the symbol of Christmas. But where does this tradition actually come from? The Christmas tree probably has Germanic roots and was brought to us by earlier religions. To reenact the biblical story of Adam and Eve, they needed a tree to represent the “Tree of Paradise” with the apples. Thus, over time, a green tree with red balls became a tradition.
Christmas Tradition 2 – The Burning Advent Wreath
The four Advent candles are burned on the four days of Advent and are a kind of Countdown to Christmas. When all four candles are lit on the candlestick, Christmas is no longer far away. This is also the original idea of Advent candles, which have not been forgotten until today. In 1839, a theologian from Hamburg invented the first Advent wreath, to give orphans an orientation, when it is finally Christmas.
Christmas tradition 3 – Sending each other Christmas cards with a sweet message
In the days before Christmas, we often receive several Christmas cards from friends and family with sweet Christmas and New Year’s wishes. You yourself may also send a nice Christmas card to everyone around you. This tradition goes way back and comes from the Middle Ages. In Europe at that time, the poor offered various carvings with religious messages to their bosses. The first real Christmas card was designed in the 19th century by an English artist. From 1873, the first Christmas cards were also sold in the Netherlands. Great ideas for your Christmas cards this year can also be found in our article “making Christmas cards”.
Celebrating a funny Christmas – the bad Christmas sweater
Why not start the Christmas season with a broad smile on your face? With the bad Christmas sweater and a Santa hat (Dutch: kerstmuts) or Santa suit (Dutch: kerstmanpak), you bring a new atmosphere to the Christmas party. The funny Christmas-themed sweaters set the mood and are always good for a fun joke. When you complement your outfit with a Christmas hair band or funny Christmas glasses, you can surely take unforgettable souvenir photos and you will forget the Christmas stress in no time.