Since the festive season is almost in full swing, we thought we could have a little fun together and celebrate the upcoming holidays with a Christmas A-Z countdown!
A is for Advent Calendars
These used to look very different from the popular paper or wood versions of today! They originated in Germany during the 19th Century and took the form of lit candles and chalk marks on doors to count down the days during Advent.
It has gifting and charitable roots, where employers in the UK gifted their employees a Christmas “box” as a show of thanks.
The local Parish also had a box for donations for those in need. By the 18th century, Boxing Day became more of a day off for people to relax after Christmas.
These festive fixtures are full of symbolism and have been around for centuries. The cane shape is said to represent a shepherd’s crook.
An integral part of any celebration (you won’t see us without a Christmas Cake or Christmas Pudding on the table come December 25th)!
This divisive Christmas drink (of raw eggs, milk, cream, sugar and alcohol) began in Britain as a wintery drink for aristocracy but is now more commonly associated with America!
Festive Family Feast
It’s no secret that food is an amazing way to bring friends and family together, making this day even more special.
From the traditional (Christmas puddings) to sentimental handmade or modern presents; Christmas gifting is just another way to show the people in our life how much we appreciate, love and care about them.
Holly is also the flower for the month of December and symbolises peace and goodwill.
Ice Skating Cream
Ice would just be melted water during December in Australia, so let’s replace the common Christmas-time activity of ice skating with a refreshing ice cream instead!
This infamous festive song was written in 1857, (and was originally called “One Horse Open Sleigh”). Did you know it was also the first song ever broadcast from space in 1965?!
Kris Kringle (aka Secret Santa)
In modern terms this most commonly refers to a gift exchange where each member involved is randomly assigned another name to organise a surprise gift for. It’s a budget friendly solution that’s popular in large extended families and offices!
It might not be over the “Knock Knock” joke inside your Christmas Cracker, but no Christmas gathering is complete without laughter that is fondly reminisced on for the year to come.
This seemingly innocent looking plant is actively sought out (and avidly avoided) during Christmas time (depending on if you’re looking for a kiss, or not). The legend dates back to 1784, and it remains a holiday phenomenon today, kept in popular culture by movies, songs and more!
Why do we hear “Nöel” at Christmas? It’s derived from the old French word meaning “born on Christmas” and is now used for carols and as another word for Christmas. Joyeux Noel!
This citrus fruit used to be a coveted item in Christmas stockings, as back when this tradition started, oranges weren’t cheap or readily available, so they were a special treat indeed!
This is our all-time favourite, traditional Christmas-inspired treat! It’s just as delicious on the 25th of December as it is enjoyed the day after fried up with ice cream.
Beginning in 1932 with George V; Queen Elizabeth II has delivered the televised royal Christmas message ever since, and it is heard/watched by many countries around the world.
These animals have become synonymous with Christmas and are almost legendary. In fact, when surveyed, many Americans didn’t know that reindeers were real and thought they were mythical animals!
Santa Claus (of course)
Ask any child and they’ll tell you it’s important to leave milk and cookies out for this very real red suited figure who will be delivering gifts to nice children (and coal to naughty ones).
As you can see there are so many festive traditions steeped in rich cultural history, including unique ones between families – what’s your favourite?
There’s so much you can do once you’ve unwrapped your Christmas goodies! From recycling the paper to creative ways to upcycle the calico cloth your pudding is wrapped in. Finds ideas on how to do that here.
Whatever your beliefs are, this time of year is the perfect opportunity to take a step back, slow down and enjoy and appreciate time spent with those you value most.
Choose a star in the sky on Christmas Eve night and make a wish for the year to come!
Although Christmas Trees were decorated as early as the 1500s, according to historians, it was Prince Albert who brought the German tradition of decorating a Christmas Tree to England in the 1840’s!
Norway is the birthplace of the “Yule Log”, which is burnt to celebrate the return of the sun at winter solstice.
The sleep (and perhaps even snores) to be had after a delicious Christmas meal.