Christmas is a magical time of year, made even more special thanks to various traditions that take place all around the world. You’re likely familiar with some traditions, whether kissing under the mistletoe or leaving out milk and cookies for Santa, while there are likely others you’ve never heard of.
So, this article aims to cover the main traditions of Christmas, preparing you for the year ahead and ensuring you make the most of it - after all, it only comes once a year!
Kissing under the mistletoe
The first tradition of Christmas we have for you is kissing under the mistletoe. This tradition dates back thousands of years; however, the kissing part likely began in England, with men finding a way to sneak a kiss from their crush.
However, one part of the tradition that is forgotten is that once a kiss takes place, a berry should have been taken from the mistletoe. Once all the berries were gone, the kissing would stop.
Milk and cookies for Santa
This tradition is almost as old as Christmas - leaving a glass of milk and a plate of cookies out for Santa. Oh, and don’t forget a carrot for the reindeer. However, what you may not know is that in countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark, the reindeer are instead believed to be horses, hence the carrots.
On the other hand, the popularity of the milk and cookies skyrocketed during the great depression in the 1930s, with American families teaching their children to give back and be thankful during tough times. Since then, this tradition has become widespread across the globe.
The exchanging of gifts
The exchanging of gifts is likely the tradition we are all most familiar with. However, how did this come about? These gifts symbolize the presents given to baby Jesus by the Wisemen, and is why to this day, Christmas usually involves some sort of gift-giving.
Some cultures don’t celebrate Christmas, but they still give gifts to their friends and loved ones, a universal sign of togetherness, love, and tradition, even amongst different religions and beliefs.
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Leaving coal for the naughty kids
The final tradition we have for you is Santa leaving the naughty kids coal instead of presents. However, it wasn’t just coal, it was also thought to be twigs, garlic, salt, and even onions. Yes, you read that correctly, onions…
While families likely don’t leave their own kids coal, the tradition was created to encourage kids to behave in the run-up to Christmas and throughout the year. We can only hope that no kids have actually received coal.
There are many, many different traditions of Christmas that take place every year. This article has only covered a handful of these, with others including the nativity scene, attending Church, drinking eggnog, and more!
So, next Christmas, maybe consider incorporating a few more traditions; it may just feel more Christmassy.