11 Christmastime Traditions That Need To Come To America

11 Christmastime Traditions That Need To Come To America

Nothing like a little arson to get you in the Christmas spirit.

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Christmas season in America means the Hallmark Channel, mall Santas, commercials begging us to buy a Ford to the rhythm of "A Visit from St. Nicolas," flashing lights, far too many cookies, the occasional Nativity scene, and amalgamated bits and pieces of Christmas traditions from the past couple thousand years. Let's see how other countries do Christmas--and maybe take a cue or two.

1. The Gavle Goat, Sweden 

Straw goats are a staple in Swedish Christmas decorations. In 1966, someone thought it would be a good idea to make a giant version to attract tourists and attract customers to the Castle Square shops. Since then, the giant goat has been a yearly tradition, though it never lasts long: it has also become a tradition to try to kidnap him, hit him with cars, and most popularly, burn him down. Maybe a little arson could liven up our holiday season as well.

2. Hiding brooms, Norway

In Norway, there are superstitions that associate Christmas Eve with the arrival of witches. Therefore, all brooms must be hidden (so you don't end up accidentally play a part in taxi-ing around the servants of the devil). Who knows? A little more superstition might do us all good, plus this could prevent all that last-minute cleaning from being forced children by their parents.

3. Good-luck almonds, Finland

Finnish families sometimes celebrate Christmas with a traditional porridge made of rice and milk and topped with cinnamon. One lucky child will have a hidden almond in their serving, that's supposed to spell good luck--but sometimes parents cheat and put almonds in all their children's bowls.

4. Christmas turrón, Spain

Turrón is a traditional Christmas dessert from Spain made of almonds and honey. Can we please replace all fruitcake with this?

5. Day of the Little Candles, Columbia

"Día de las Velitas," or "Day of the Little Candles" is celebrated in Columbia on December seventh, to honor the Immaculate Conception. Thousands and thousands of candles are lit throughout the country, and for every candle, a wish is made.

6. Christmas Eve sauna, Finland 

Another Christmas tradition in Finland is to end Christmas day with a trip to the sauna, for relaxation and to symbolize spiritual cleansing. No explanation needed for why this would be a welcome tradition.

7. Handmade farolitos, Mexico

In Mexico, families cut designs into brown paper bags to make lanterns, called farolitos, that light homes and streets with the spirit of Christmas--a bit more impressive than your typical paper snowflakes.

8. St. Lucia Day, Sweden 

St. Lucia was a young girl who was martyred in 304 A.D. On December 13th, Sweden honors her with St. Lucia day, where girls who have been chosen to represent St. Lucia visit hospitals and nursing homes to bring carols, food, and Christmas cheer to the patients.

9. The red candle, Ireland 

During a time of great Irish Catholic persecution, Catholic families would light red candles in their windows. This was a secret message to any priests in need of shelter that they were a Catholic family and would harbor them. To prevent suspicion over the lighted candles, the Catholic families would tell the authorities that the candles were to welcome Mary and Joseph into their homes during the Christmas season. Now, a lighted red candle in the window has come to symbolize hospitality during the holiday season.

10. Good-luck kutya, Ukraine 

Kutya is another holiday dish meant to bring good luck for the future. It's made of wheat berries, sweetened with honey, and traditionally served on Christmas Eve.

11. Christmas picnics, Australia 

In Australia, Christmas comes right at the beginning of the summer season, and is often celebrated out on the beach. For most of the U.S., this isn't an option, but if you live in one of the warmer states, why not give a Christmas picnic a chance?

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Having A Unique Relationship With Your Roommate Isn't Bad, It Can Actually Be Quite Great

Some people are always talking to their roommate hanging out all the time, but mine might be different.

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College is the land of the jungle and one of the best ways to get through is to have some friends. Usually, your first friend is probably your roommate and that is totally understandable but my first friend wasn't my roommate and honestly had a different way of getting to know him.

When I was going through out housing portal to find a roommate I really didn't know what i was doing. Should I message him? Should I try to meet him beforehand? I didn't do either. I saw the first name and went from there, for all i knew he could've been completely insane but, he wasn't thankfully.

Moved in and it was all good and we still didn't talk to each other on move in day, I know that sounds crazy but we didn't say a word to each other. It was weird that I would have to share this tiny cramped space with someone that I haven't even talked to yet. But, hey at some point i knew we would. to be honest, my mom was the first one to talk to him and they actually had a lot on common. they both grew up in the same neighborhood, crazy.

We finally talked to each other after about three weeks of going here and living with each other. We got to know each other a lot and we actually had a lot in common, we must've talked for 2 to 3 hours about random stuff, but it was so much fun. Then after that we didn't talk again for like another 3 or 4 days. Honestly, that is completely fine with me. We both understood how busy our lives would be since we are taking so many classes, studying, being with friends, and working.

I'm going to be honest, we don't talk to each other everyday, hang out and go to eat together, go to parties, or hell even play video games together. We share the space and we stay cool with each other. We make sure everything works in the room and we maintain the relationship of that we make it through the year without problems. I think both us don't expect much since we are guys and that can be an easy thing to handle.

But, through all of that I gladly call my roommate my friend. He's a guy that I can go to for advice on relationships, talk to about nerdy stuff that I know others couldn't relate to, and also be cool with that we won't talk every single day or hang out a bunch. It is different, but it's that good different that makes you step out of the comfort zone a bit. Someday he will read this and I hope he has embraced our time and sees me as a friend as well. Because I know he's a great guy and a great friend, maybe he doesn't right now but maybe over time we will be great friends.

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