A Christmas celebration feels incomplete without a decorated tree, delicious cookies, and a rousing round of Christmas carols. But where did these come from? Here are the origins of a few of our favorite Christmas traditions.
The Involvement of Trees
In the early days it was common for people use evergreen boughs in their home decor to remind them that winter was only a phase and that the plants and sunshine would return as the season ended. This tradition was eventually adapted for Christmas and now children everywhere know to check under the Christmas tree for gifts from Santa.
The plant that many have used as an excuse for smooching was originally celebrated by Celtic Druids. The druids treated mistletoe as a symbol of enduring health and fertility due to the plants ability to bloom even in harsh winters.
It's probably the latter part that led to the idea of planting kisses.
During the celebration of Yule there was a tradition that revolved around the practice of "wassailing". The lord of a manor would greet his guests with a toast to "waes hael" or "be well". This eventually evolved into groups of merrymakers strolling to homes with a bowl of "wassail" drink singing songs and spreading cheer. Centuries later we may not be offering free drinks but people still like to travel in groups singing carols for others to enjoy.