Christmas has its origins in early 336 AD according to the Roman calendar. Mary and Joseph were blessed with a son, Jesus Christ – the son of God. Today, Christmas is one of the most universally celebrated holidays. This time of year, everyone gets into the spirit of gift giving and spending quality time with family, friends and loved ones. There are many ways of enjoying this holiday cheer. Whether it’s leaving some treats out for Santa or simply decorating the tree. People find many ways to celebrate. Some like to wake up early in the morning and go to church, light candles, sing Christmas songs and read stories.
Christmas is full of varied family traditions. Here are some ways to celebrate the holidays and enjoy or learn more about the holiday tradition.
Decorate the Christmas tree & House
This is a fun occasion for the family to go hunting for the perfect tree and then decorate it with lights and ornaments including cartoon characters, toys and coloured balls. Take the opportunity to brighten your house with luminous lights and hang Christmas pictures and mistletoe in doorways. One can also dangle Christmas bells on doors and set Christmas statuettes of Santa or Rudolph on tables. Families can also brighten up a computer desktop with Christmas Wallpapers and provide Christmas puzzles at home for kids. Traditions can vary based on region, for example, in southern India, Christians often put small oil burning clay lamps on the flat roofs of their homes to celebrate Christmas. Christians in China use paper lanterns to decorate their Christmas trees and houses.
Go caroling with your friends, family or in a group of others instead of going alone. Rehearse together and gather more people make the songs more powerful. Some can also add instrumentals to boost the performance. You can go together door to door and sing for neighbors. Caroling is also encouraged in churches in some areas.
Gifts Giving & Family Gatherings
Invite friends and family for a dinner or arrange a potluck and keep some traditional food like mince pies, chestnuts, plum pudding, roast goose, mulled wine or from scratch eggnog. Customize Christmas cards and calendars and send to your friends and family. When giving presents to family and friends, be creative and leave them in different places! Try putting them in shoes, boots, stockings or go for a more traditional place under the Christmas tree. Presents are opened on different days around the world as well. In Holland, Kids open it on St. Nicholas’ Eve on December 5. In Belgium, Germany Czech Republic and some other European countries open on 6th December. Children in the UK, USA, Canada and many other countries open their presents in the morning with their family together on Christmas Day – December 25th. The latest presents are opened on January 6th which is known as Epiphany celebrated in Spain and Mexico. One popular way of giving presents in groups such as clubs, school classes and workplaces is to have a ‘Secret Santa’. This is where you pull the name of a random peer or co-worker out of a container and then buy a present for them. When the presents are given out (often at a Christmas party) each person is given their present but they will have no idea which person in the group bought it for them!
Share Candy Canes
Distributing Candy canes to friends and family is a popular Christmas tradition. It is the most popular of all the usual Christmas treats. There are several stories behind the origin of the Candy Cane’s shape. One explanation is that it represents the J in Jesus’ name. The other explanation is that it looks like a shepherd’s crook to keep the sheep from wandering away from the flock. The Bible says that, “The Lord is my shepherd” in keeping us safe. The candy cane’s white color is also a symbol of purity, and the three red stripes represent the blood of Christ. Thus, simply eating a Candy Cane can help remind us about the true meaning of Christmas.
Some people like to attend the Santa Parade to show their festive spirit and take in some holiday cheer! Others might choose to take their children to see Santa Claus – the merry old man in the red suit that we all know and love – in department stores, shopping malls or even parties. Kids get to tell Santa their wish list, and parents can use the experience to create some positive, long-lasting family memories.
May your Christmas be full of fun, cheer and wonder! Merry Christmas!
U. Lakhia | DBPC Blog