Don't forget to visit the
Nativity page ... for the Nativity Story and Christmas Carols ....
Scroll down to find the facts behind many of our Christmas Traditions, and some
beautiful old fashioned
Christmas images, too.
The Christmas Tree
The Christmas tree is believed to have originated in germany in the 16th Century.
It was first introduced in England by Queen Victoria.
After marrying Prince Albert (who was German),
they moved back to England to raise their family.
Around 1840, Prince Albert decorated a tree.
Because of their love for their Queen, the British people copied her Christmas
custom of the Christmas tree and decorations, and it has continued as a tradition ever since.
Kissing under the mistletoe
Kissing under the mistletoe is first believed to be associated with the
Greek festival of Saturnalia and later with primitive marriage rites.
At Christmas time a young lady standing under a ball of mistletoe,
could not refuse to be kissed. It was believed a "Mistletoe Kiss" could mean real romance.
It was said that if the girl remained unkissed whilst under the mistletoe
that she could not expect not to marry the following year!
The earliest known designer of a Christmas card was Sir Henry Cole in 1843.
The Penny Post postal service which was introduced in 1840 helped
the popularity of sending Christmas cards.
Cards in unsealed envelopes could be posted for half a penny.
By 1846, one thousand Christmas cards were sold at one shilling each.
There are many tales of how the Christmas Stocking originated
but here is the most popular one:
A long time ago (in about the 4th century) it was said that Saint Nicholas (now called Santa Claus)
threw 3 bags of coins down the chimney of the home of 3 very poor sisters.
Each of the bags landed inside the 3 stockings left hanging from the mantelpiece
to dry by the fire by the sisters on Christmas Eve.
It has been a tradition now for many hundreds of years to
hang stockings there in the hope that we may have the same good fortune.
Father Christmas is based on a real person, St. Nicholas, the patron of children,
a man with a very generous and loving nature who used to give gifts anonymously to the poor.
It is said that he used to throw gifts through the windows, as well as drop them down the chimney.
The Dutch called him Sint Nikolass, which eventually evolved into Sinter Klaas.
As the name became more globally known, it was eventually translated into the name “Santa Claus”.
an English tradition that began as plum porridge.
People ate the porridge on Christmas Eve, using it to line their stomachs after a day of fasting.
It evolved into plum pudding and then into Christmas cake as we know it today.
In the year 1670 the local choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral
gave his young singers sugar sticks to keep them quiet during the long ceremony.
He had the candy bent in the shape of shepherds’ crooks to celebrate the festive occasion.
The day after Christmas is St Stephen’s Day.
The name "Boxing" comes from medieval times when the clergy, on the day after Christmas,
were supposed to empty the alms boxes and distribute the alms collected among the needy.
This later developed into the wealthy boxing up their left-overs from Christmas Day
and distributing the boxes amongst the poor.
To find our HUGE new galleries,
full of glitter, snow and sparkles
The Nativity Story
Click on the picture below for
THE NATIVITY STORY
♫ CHRISTMAS CAROLS ♫
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Click on any of the images below for more Christmas magic!