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Christmas Traditions

Christmas Traditions really are what make Christmas as we know it so special and memorable year after year. They are why we look forward to the holiday season, or, in some cases, dread it. Whether it be while driving to see dear friends and family or shopping in the mall, Christmas traditions are the customs and symbols that are written in the songs we hear on the radio; they form the vocabulary of the season. Traditions are why we look forward to Christmas, the things we do every year with our family, our friends or even with strangers. They create the magic of the season. These Christmas customs are the main reason we are sad when the holidays are over; after all, people look at you funny if you are watching Christmas movies, listening to Christmas music, hanging mistletoe or eating candy canes in May.

How Did These Traditions become Associated with Christmas?

The truth is the exact origin of many of these Christmas traditions is not historically known. There are many myths and stories that are associated with how these traditions became an integral part of the celebration of Christmas as we know it today. While aspects of many of these traditions can be historically traced at least in part to general time frames, people, places, and events, many of the details have been lost to time and replaced with speculation and myths that now serve as explanation. The traditions written in green already have their own page with information about those Christmas traditions. The ones written in red will have their own pages soon. These are the commonly held beliefs of how these traditions started and why they are today part of the Christmas holiday. Just click on the name of the Christmas tradition below to find out more about it:

  1. Advent Calendars

  2. Candy Canes

  3. Christmas Cards

  4. Christmas Caroling

  5. Christmas Cracker

  6. Christmas Tree

  7. Gift Giving

  8. Gingerbread Houses

  9. Holly and Ivy

  10. Mistletoe

  11. Nativity or Manger Scenes

  12. Nutcrackers

  13. Poinsettias

  14. Snow Globes

  15. Stockings

  16. Yule Log

Christmas Traditions are Unique and Personal

Christmas Traditions are intensely personal and unique to each family or person. For example, just looking at the tradition of putting up a Christmas tree, while most families who celebrate Christmas put up a Christmas tree, there are many traditions that spring up associated with just this one tradition that vary from person to person and family to family:

While this is just one example of how and Many of these traditions many families do at Christmas like putting up a Christmas tree, hanging Christmas stockings, sending Christmas cards, etc. However, each family has their own traditions associated with these. For example, just with Christmas trees, who puts the star on the top of the tree? Are the presents in the stocking opened first or the ones under the tree? What ornaments are used to decorate the tree? Is a live tree used or an artificial one? Does your family travel to a tree farm together each year to pick out a tree together? This list could go on and on, but the point is everyone has their own unique take on these traditions. These traditions are many times passed down from generation to generation with little more understanding than that's what I did as a kid.

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