Mistletoe was used by Druid priests 200 years before the birth of Christ in their winter celebrations. They revered the plant since it had no roots yet remained green during the cold months of winter.
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The origin of Santa Claus begins in the 4th century with Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, an area in present day Turkey. By all accounts St. Nicholas was a generous man, particularly devoted to children.
A native Mexican plant, poinsettias were named after Joel R. Poinsett, U.S. ambassador to Mexico who brought the plant to America in 1828. Poinsettias were likely used by Mexican Franciscans in their 17th century Christmas celebrations.
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Doctor Maulana Karenga, a Professor at California State University in Long Beach, California, created Kwanzaa in 1966. It is a holiday celebrated by millions of African-Americans around the world, encouraging them to remember their African heritage and consider their current place in America today.
In the 1600's when Christmas trees began, people used baked items to decorate them. The sugary sticks called candy canes were popular. They were only white and just straight sticks. In Germany, a choir master at the Cologne Cathedral put the hook on the end to look like a shepherd's hook. Supposedly he passed them out the the children during the long services to keep them quiet.
The modern Christmas Tree was first done in Germany in the 1500s. Christians began decorating their homes with evergreen trees and branches. Some made structures that resembled the pyramid shape of trees out of wood. Lighted candles on the tree are credited to Martin Luther. Luther used candles to resemble the bright stars he had seen one night.
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The song Jingle Bells was written in 1857 for a Sunday School in Boston for Thanksgiving. But, it just became so popular that it went on to be big at singing at Christmas time.