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Home Page Christmas Traditions.

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Presentation on theme: "Home Page Christmas Traditions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Home Page Christmas Traditions

2 Victorian Christmas Traditions
Christmas Greenery Mistletoe Presents Christmas Trees Caroling Christmas Card Santa Back to Home Page

3 Back to Christmas Traditions
Christmas Greenery Christmas decorations began appearing well before the holiday for many. The favorite plants were the berried evergreens, mistletoe, holly and ivy. During the Roman Solstice Ceremony known as "Saturnalia" holly was exchanged as it was believed the red berries would ward off lightning and evil spirits. It had to be carried in the house by a male, as the berries are only on the male plant. Ivy was twined in the holly as a symbol of the 2 halves of divinity. Back to Christmas Traditions Back to Home Page

4 Back to Christmas Traditions
Mistletoe Mistletoe was not allowed in churches because of it's pagan origins.  In ancient times, Druid priests harvested it from sacred oaks on the fifth day after the new moon following the winter solstice.  Norse warriors who met under the mistletoe declared a truce for that day.  The Victorians used mistletoe suspended from the ceiling.  Those who met under it could claim a kiss.  The number of kisses allowed under each plant depended on the number of berries.  Each time a kiss was given, a berry was taken off.  No more berries, no more kisses!   Back to Christmas Traditions Back to Home Page

5 Back to Christmas Traditions
Presents The exchange of presents, of ancient origin, symbolized the good luck, prosperity, and happiness wished for friends. The Victorians began planning their presents many months ahead. Most cherished were handmade, needlework, or something useful. People exchanged remembrances with family and friends. Children made their gifts as well. Back to Christmas Traditions Back to Home Page

6 The Christmas Tree – Page 1
The Christmas tree has been a German tradition since as early as the 17th century, but many ancient civilizations held evergreens to be a symbol of life during the long winter months and decorated trees as a symbol of eternal life.  In 1841 Prince Albert, German husband of Queen Victoria, introduced the charming custom to the royal family.  In 1850 a tinted etching of a decorated tree at Windsor Castle was published and the Tannenbaum became a necessity for every fashionable Victorian home.  It was a tradition quickly embraced by Victorian England.  Live trees were set up for the Christmas season decorated with lighted candles, draped with tinsel, ribbon, paper chains, cookies and candies. Page 2 of Christmas Trees Back to Home Page

7 The Christmas Tree – Page 2
Homemade cornucopias of paper filled with fruit, nuts, candy, and popcorn were hung from branches of trees in America and England.  Beautiful shaped cookies were hung for treats on Christmas day.  Often the gifts were also wrapped and hung from branches.   Also popular were molded wax figures of angels and children.  Many ornaments were made of cotton-wool wrapped around an armature of metal or wood and trimmed with embossed paper faces, buttons, gold paper wings and "diamond dust", actually powdered glass. Back to Christmas Traditions Back to Home Page

8 Back to Christmas Traditions
Caroling The custom of caroling is a purely English tradition which was quickly taken up by America.  In cities, the approaching holiday season was marked by strolling carolers, usually in groups of three, one caroler to play violin, one to sing, and one to sell sheet music.  Holiday shoppers would pause to purchase music, joining in the trio for a few stanzas, before hurrying homeward.  Carolers would stop at houses to sing,  hoping to be invited in for a warm drink. Back to Christmas Traditions Back to Home Page

9 The First Christmas Card
The first Christmas card, designed by J.C. Horsley, was sent by Henry Cole, who decided to send his many aquantainces something different from his usual Christmas letter. They sold for one shilling each, and only one thousand copies were lithographed. It depicted the charities of clothing and feeding the poor, with the middle section depicting a well to do family toasting to Christmas and the year ahead. It proved to be a very popular idea. Back to Christmas Traditions Back to Home Page

10 Back to Christmas Traditions
Santa Santa is a mixture of many different figures from many different cultures.  The Dutch St. Nick, England’s Father Christmas, and the German Kris Kringle.  In ancient times Norse and German people told stories of The Yule Elf who brought gifts during Solstice to those who left offerings of porridge.  When Clemment Moore's poem "The Night Before Christmas" became enormously popular, the "Jolly old elf" was adopted as the ideal Santa.  Years later Thomas Nast illustrated him as a round bellied whiskered figure in tight red leggings and coat.  Coca-Cola's popular advertising changed the concept of Santa to a cheerful full bearded man with the now popular red suit, black boots and wide belt. Back to Christmas Traditions Back to Home Page

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