At my house, it is a time to reflect on Christ, enjoy our family and friends, preparing meals, but not stressing over them, and not spending out of our budget. We try to keep it simple and meaningful. Too often Christmas becomes all about the gifts and food. We forget the people that make all the other days of the year worth living.
Have you ever wondered where all the common traditions come from that we in America use to celebrate Christmas? I did a little looking and this is what I found, courtesy of a book titled Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things by Charles Panati
Poinsettia was adopted as the Christmas flower around 1828. Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States ambassador to Mexico, brought the plant from Mexico into the United States, where it was renamed in his honor.
Christmas Tree custom is thought to have originated in Germany in the 8th century (700s). The earliest account is of St. Boniface (born Winfrid in A.D. 680) preaching to a group (tribe) of Germanic Druids on the outskirts of a town named Geismar about the nativity. (St Boniface was a British monk and missionary.)
Christmas Cards (commercially printed) originated in London in 1843. The first Christmas card designed for sale was by John Calcott Horsley, a respected illustrator. Prior to this, people had exchanged hand written holiday greetings.
Outdoor Christmas Lights began in Germany during the early 17th century as candles on the tree and in the windows (to indicate a Christian home). In 1880 during the Christmas season, Thomas Edison introduced the first outdoor electric Christmas light display to the world. Technology has continued to improve the quality and safety of these outdoor displays.
December 25 was chosen as the day to celebrate the birth of Christ since around 354 AD, although the actual date of birth of Jesus is unknown. It coincides with the Winter Soltice celebration and it was the date of a Roman pagan festival in honor of the Sun god Sol Invictus.
Do you have traditions at Christmas? Share with us what you do to celebrate. Above all, celebrate! Don't turn down any opportunities to have dinner or a fun night with friends.