Christmas time is full of fun, family, and tradition. These are just a few traditions and the history that made them what we know and love today.
1. Advent calendars
Today, when you hear about advent calendars you think about little candies/toys, the countdown to Christmas, and the stress of being the first to do it each day. However, it was not always like this, the first known Advent calendar was made in 1851. The first advent calendars did not include the candy and toys we are used to today, they actually consisted of tally marks on a door throughout the month of December counting down to Christmas. Small pictures were also used to mark each day.
2. Gingerbread houses
Making Gingerbread houses have become a staple of entertainment for kids and adults alike. They originated in Germany during the 16th century. They became popular through the story of Hansel and Gretel written by the Brothers Grimm. Today, people battle it out to make the largest, smallest, or most extravagant gingerbread houses.
3. Christmas lights
Christmas lights are a normal sight around Christmas time and I'm definitely not complaining. There is something beautiful and cheery about seeing all of these bright bulbs beaming in the night. In the mid 20th century, Christmas lights were beginning to make their start in and around people's homes. Before electric lights were made, candles were used (which is extremely dangerous, so glad that didn't catch on for this generation). Christians are credited with the introduction to Christmas lights, they saw the lights as a display of God's light during this time of year.
Decorating a Christmas tree is widely known as the ultimate way of celebrating Christmas and the new year. Christmas trees were originally used to celebrate winter festivals. Fir trees were used to decorate peoples homes to help remind them of the spring to come, some trees were even hung upside down. It is unknown where using a fir tree to decorate for Christmas originally started, but Germany, Latvia, and Estonian have been arguing about who had it first.
Two words. Candy. Canes. Candy canes are sweet and appealing to the eye treat for anyone to enjoy during the holiday season. Candy canes originally were "candy sticks" made in Massachusetts in 1837. In 1866, they were first called candy canes and in 1874 is when they were first associated with Christmas. Early recipes didn't have the original peppermint flavor we are used to today and simply just tasted like sugar. Today's candy canes come in multiple colors and flavors, however, the original peppermint taste will always reign supreme.