I’m launching my 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway
today in tandem with a Purrfectly Fantastic Blog Hop.
For as long as there’s been holidays, there have been traditions.
As a reader and a writer who enjoys the Colonial era to the early Victorian era, I feel it only right to share some of the traditions that started then that many of us still do today:
- Mistletoe–was gathered and hung in the late 18th and early 19th century to symbolize peace, harmony and hope. Sprigs were hung around the house, particularly from chandeliers.
- Christmas Trees–early Christmas trees were actually hung upside down! They were also considered by some a symbolism of God because of their triangular shape representing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Prior to 1846 when Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their children were drawn in an illustrated circular standing around their tree, Christmas trees in England were not very common.
- Trimming the Tree–in 1610 Germans began creating decorations for their tree (even Martin Luther once wrote about decorating a small tree near Christmas time). One of the German’s favorite thing to use was tinsel which was made of real silver until the late 1800s. In the mid-1850s glass bulges and beads were created, resembling long necklaces, and used to decorate the trees. Throughout the ages of Christmas trees, small toys and trinkets were hung on the trees–and not necessarily just for decoration. Most times, these were actually gifts meant for family members.
- Entertainment–these days we have carolers who walk around in groups singing, during the Regency era–and before, they had Mummers which were lower class men who’d dress in costumes to perform short plays or tell jokes for money.
- Christmas Cards–First issued (recorded anyway) by Queen Victoria during the 1840s. She sent them out to friends and family to tell of the significant events of the year for her family and to wish them well for the holidays. It wouldn’t be until more than a century later that the leader of the US (President Eisenhower in 1953) would send out the first official Christmas Cards from the president–which featured the White House, naturally.
- Christmas or Xmas–Ever wonder where we get Xmas from Christmas? It’s not as new as you think and actually dates back to the early years of Christianity because in Greek, the word Christ starts with an X.
Considering we’re all modern people living in modern times, we all very well might have participated in at least one of those traditions: cards, carols, decorating the tree, kissing under the mistletoe, but it’s always fun to have our own traditions.
In my family, we have two that date back to the first Christmas my husband and I were married:
1. On Christmas Eve we tie a “fly”.
2. On Christmas Day–no matter how cold it is or if we have to break the ice over the pond–we fish with it, each person casting at least once.
(If you’ve ever wondered why I have several of my heroes as fly fishermen, this is why!)
These are not traditional traditions by any means. Nor are they what any little girl dreams of doing each year when she grows up. But sometimes the best traditions aren’t the ones that everyone else does, but the ones have the most meaning to you.
So what are your traditions?
Comment below telling us what your favorite holiday (can be Christmas or any holiday) tradition is for a chance to win a $25 dollar gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
If you came to visit on the blog hop, I do thank you for coming by, and be sure to follow this link back to the list of participants.
If you’re participating in the 12 Days of Christmas giveaway that I’m running, not only will your comment today be in the drawing for today’s prize, but also for the grand prize of a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet on Christmas morning (or evening depending on which part of the world you live in).
And don’t forget, there are other ways to enter the 12 Days of Christmas for many more prizes. In case you missed any details on this giveaway, please follow this link.