The True Stories Behind Popular, but Weird, Christmas Traditions

The True Stories Behind Popular, but Weird, Christmas Traditions

Why do trees, stockings, and St. Nick = Christmas?
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Those of us who celebrate Christmas have many traditions that we partake in without even thinking twice about the fact that are actually pretty weird, and any other time of year they would not be socially acceptable. Here's why some of the most common Christmas traditions (that are actually a little strange) were even created in the first place.

1. Santa Claus


When you really think about the legend of Santa Claus, it is actually a very unusual tradition. Why is it that only at Christmastime, we teach our children that it is completely normal for an old man in a red suit to break into our houses and bring us gifts? Don't we also teach children "stranger danger?" I'm very confused by who came up with this tradition.

The strange tradition of Santa Claus was created from the legend of a monk named St. Nicholas who traveled his country sharing his wealth with the poor (source). Which brings us to our next weird tradition...

2. Stockings

Why is it socially acceptable to hang oversized socks by our fireplaces? Not only is this unusual, but it is also a little dangerous to hang fabric that close to a burning fire. And who wants to eat candy that has been inside of a sock?

However, there's a famous legend behind the creation of this tradition. There was once a family with several daughters living in poverty. St. Nick came to their town and heard about the family's situation. He came down their chimney, saw their stockings hanging over the fire to dry, and filled them with gold coins. The family was overjoyed when they woke up to find the wonderful gift (source).Thus, the tradition of hanging stockings by the fireplace was born.

3. Tacky Christmas Lights

Drive through any neighborhood in America during the month of December, and you're likely to see at least a few houses with elaborate displays of lights outside their houses. While displaying bright, and sometimes multicolored, lights doesn't seem to have any connection to the Christmas holiday, it has become an iconic symbol of the season.

The first Christmas light display was created by Thomas Edison. He showed it for the first time next to a set of train tracks for all of the passengers on board to see. Later, Edward Johnson created the first string lights to be sold in stores around the country (source). Hence, the tradition of creating beautiful lights displays became a lasting tradition.

4. Christmas Trees

Again, it is only at Christmastime that it is normal to use a live tree as a piece of beautiful home decor, and to decorate that tree with lights and decorations. Any other time of the year, this would not be socially acceptable.

It is believed that Germany was the first country in which Christmas trees were brought inside homes, and Martin Luther was the first to decorate a tree with candles as a symbol of the holiday. This was viewed as a strange practice by Americans until Queen Victoria began following this tradition, which led America to practice this tradition as well. Ever since, strings of popcorn have been traded in for strings of colored lights, and ornaments have evolved from being homemade, to being widely produced and sold. Who knew the tradition of Christmas trees simply began as a fashion statement by the queen (source).

Regardless of how odd all of these traditions may be, I am so thankful for Christmas festivities such as these that makes this time of year so merry and bright.

Merry Christmas!

Cover Image Credit: Dakotah Smith

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52 Instagram Captions Perfect For Your Next Beach Vacation

Perfect for those beach daze.
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Summer is officially in full swing. We are all looking forward to the adventures that await us. A lot of us have been dreaming about the day when we finally get to kick our feet up and relax by the ocean. If you find yourself getting ready for a trip to the beach then read these quotes to help get your in the mood for your vacation. Whether you are looking for an Instagram caption or are just trying to settle a bad case of wanderlust, here are 52 quotes on summer:

1. "Hello summer."

2. "I'm happiest when I'm floating in the ocean."

3. "May you always have a shell in your pocket, and sand in your toes."

4. "Life is better with palm trees."

5. "Sandy toes. Sun-kissed nose."

6. "Balmy nights, pink sunsets, and salty air."

7. "Talk to the sand."

8. "Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink the wild air." -Emerson

9. "Everyone should believe in something. I believe I should go to the beach."

10. "Spontaneity is the best kind of adventure."

11. "The ocean is calling and I must go."

12. "Here comes the sun."

13. "If it requires a bikini, my answer is yes."

14. "I'm just a beachy kinda girl."

15. "As free as the ocean..."

16. "As endless as the ocean, as timeless as the tides..."

17. "Life's a beach. Enjoy the waves."

18. "A pineapple a day keeps the worries away."

19. "Let the currents guide your heart."

20. "Happiness comes in waves."

21. "Let's go somewhere where the stars kiss the ocean."

22. "My favorite color is sunset."

23. "I lost my heart to the sea."

24. "Sun, sand, and surf."

25. "Salt in the air. Sand in my hair."

26. "Smell the sea, and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly." -Van Morrison

27. "High tides and good vibes."

28. "Mermaid kisses and starfish wishes."

29. "Stop and smell the ocean."

30. "I'm happy anywhere I can see the ocean."

31. "Tropical state of mind."

32. "Forever chasing the sun."

33. "Girls just wanna have sun."

34. "Some of the best memories are made in flip flops." -Kellie Elmore

35. "Good times and tan lines."

36. "Palm trees, ocean breeze, salty air, sun-kissed hair, endless summer, take me there."

37. "The ocean is calling."

38. "Love you to the beach and back."

39. "Paradise found."

40. "Seas the day."

41. "Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air..." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

42. "Eat. Beach. Sleep. Repeat."

43. "I never met a sunset I didn't like."

44. "Beach daze always."

45. "Catch me by the sea."

46. "Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair." -Zac Brown Band

47. "Stay salty."

48. "Done adulating- let's be mermaids."

49. "Find me under the palm trees."

50. "Sea you soon."

51. "Hello sunshine."

52. "Don't mind me... I'm just chasing the sun."

Cover Image Credit: Jakob Owens // Unsplash

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I'm Keeping My Christmas Tree Up All Winter And There's Nothing You Can Do About It

It's the WINTER Season... ;-)

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I think that my tree would not be considered Christmas-y if the ornaments are taken off and the lights are kept on. I think to just looks wintry. I am also keeping up decorations that say "let it snow", and I am keeping up any snowman without holly berries or presents in their hands.

The tree looks wintry in my opinion. It looks pretty with the lights and brings the room together. It gives off a warm ambiance, unlike that of fluorescent lighting.

I've taken all ornaments off except for gold snowflakes and I've left the silver tinsel garland on as well as the lights. It looks wintry to me still. I will probably be taking the whole tree down by the end of this month to prepare for Valentine's Day decorating. (Yes, I pretty much decorate my apartment for every holiday—sue me).

There's nothing like coming downstairs and seeing those lights sparkling.

Or coming inside from a dreary, rainy day outside and seeing them light up the room in a calm, warm, and comforting glow.

Or having a bad day, looking up, and seeing them shine.

It sort of makes me upset when I come downstairs and see that someone has unplugged them, to be honest.

I guess they don't see it as I do.

Pretty, twinkling lights forever!

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