There are so many Christmas traditions in the United States: decorating your Christmas tree, preparing the Christmas dinner, and opening gifts, to name a few. But what are Christmas traditions around the world like? Let’s start with how the Christmas tree originated.
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Christmas Tree Origin
It is a widely held belief that Martin Luther (1483-1546), a German Protestant reformer, was the first person to decorate a Christmas tree. Walking home one winter evening, he was so moved by the beauty of stars twinkling between branches of a fir tree, he brought one home and decorated it with candles for his children.
Germans made the first artificial Christmas trees. They used dyed goose feathers to imitate the needles of a pine tree.
Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the United States, was the first President to put an indoor Christmas tree in the White House during the 1850’s.
United States President Calvin Coolidge designated the General Grant Tree in California’s King’s Canyon National Park as “the Nation’s Christmas Tree” in 1926. The giant sequoia is estimated to be over 1,600 years old and is the second largest tree in the world.
Traditional Christmas Decorations
The tradition of tinsel on the Christmas tree came from Nuremberg, Germany in 1610. It was originally made of shredded silver and was based on a legend about spiders whose web turned into silver when they were spun in a Christmas tree.
In Poland, spider webs are common Christmas tree decorations. According to legend, a spider wove a blanket for the baby Jesus. Finding a spider or a spider web in your Christmas tree is considered a symbol of goodness and prosperity.
The first decorated trees were filled with apples, candy canes, and pastries in the shapes of stars, hearts, and flowers. Round glass ornaments came later and were first made in Germany.
Traditional Christmas Dinners
The Spanish have a tradition of serving a sweet bread ring known as Roscón de Reyes on January 6th. This is the day that families get together for a huge feast and unwrap presents to celebrate Día de reyes (the arrival of the 3 Wise Men). There’s usually a baby Jesus figurine inside the bread ring and the lucky person who finds it gets to buy the following year’s roscón.
The royal courts of England favorite Christmas Day menu was roast swan but records show that Queen Victoria had roast turkey for Christmas in 1851.
A British Christmas pudding tradition is to put small items such as coins (wealth), a ring (marriage), and buttons (bachelorhood) inside, and supposedly foretold what the New Year would bring.
Fun Christmas Traditions
Every year around in December, there are beautiful traditions of setting up Christmas trees, adding ornaments, and lights to make the home look beautiful and bright. Here are some in interesting traditions including Conquistador Pest & Termites own Ken Fredrick.
The Christmas pickle is a less-known holiday traditions for some Americans. A pickle-shaped ornament is hidden somewhere on the Christmas tree. A game of “Find the Pickle” ensues and the person who finds it gets an extra present.
In Iceland, people embrace Jolabokaflod, or “The Christmas Book Flood.” They will give their loved one’s books on Christmas Eve, then spend the rest of the night reading them and eating chocolate.
In Lebanon, on Christmas Day, tradition has children running up to any adult they see and shouting, “Editi ‘aleik!” (You have a gift for me!). The goal is to find an adult with a present to spare which the kids can add to their Christmas morning haul.
Christians in Syrian follow their Christmas traditions. Children receive gifts from the smallest camel who carried the “Three Wise Kings”. Children look for a camel not a sleigh.
8 Cool Gifts for the Bug Lover
While combing the Internet for Christmas traditions, we could not help noticing these cool gifts. Know someone who collects everything insect-inspired? Here you will find some fun and interesting gift ideas for the bug lover (and their links) for Christmas.
4 Great Recipes for the Bug Lover
Everyone will love these bug-inspired recipes, but we know the kids will enjoy eating them.
Bug Proof Your Holiday Decorations
Once the gifts have been unwrapped and the holiday meal eaten, it is time to put everything away until next year. There are a few things you should consider when it comes to storing your holiday decorations.
The coldest months of winter are still coming, and unwanted pests are looking for shelter from the cold. Unfortunately, your decoration boxes are an ideal target. Look at these tips for a safe storing.
- Heavy duty plastic containers with airtight lids are the best containers to store your holiday décor. Avoid using cardboard boxes or plastic bags, they can easily be penetrated by pests
- Use large sealed storage bags for your linens and soft fabrics, and then put the bag into an airtight box.
- Don’t store edible decor, like stringed popcorn and candy canes. Hungry pest wills find them.
- Pine cones are especially attractive to pests. If you plan on storing pine cones, be sure that they are well-protected.
If you do happen to find an unpleasant surprise while unboxing your holiday items next year, don’t panic. Call the knowledgeable technicians at Conquistador Pest & Termite. We’ll help ensure you have a happy, pest-free holiday season.