Origins Of 14 Christmas Traditions, Explained

Many Christmas traditions' origins have been inaccurately rewritten to reflect a Christian narrative. But Christmas is celebrated in the U.S. through a hodge-podge of different cultural histories, as evidenced by the following 14 traditions‚Ķ. 


Candy Canes WANTED AOY ANALL A HE THENKS WrO LICKME CAN Candy canes existed since at least the 17th century. They are thought to have been brought to

Source: Smithsonian Magazine


Gingerbread Houses CRACKEDCO Queen Elizabeth I is credited with the idea of decorating gingerbread men, but gingerbread houses originated in 16th cent

Source: PBS


Wrapping Paper CRACKEDCON Gift wrapping was first documented in ancient China. It was popularized in the U.S. when Hallmark founder J.C. Hall ran out

Source: NPR


Santa's Reindeer CRACKED COM The Night Before Christmas in 1822 kick-started the lore. But, in 1926, businessman Carl Lomen, tried to mass-market re

Source: CNN


Kissing Under the Mistletoe CRACKED COM Ancient Greeks might have started the tradition within their celebration of the winter festival Kronia.

Source: Dictionary


Nativity Scenes CRACKEDcO St. Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first nativity scene in 1223. He set up a manger with a live oX and donk

Source: Slate


Christmas Lights CRACKED CON Christmas lights were invented by Edward Hibberd Johnson in 1882, who was smart enough to think to replace fire-hazards-g

Source: Smithsonian Magazine


Saying Merry Christmas bno merny h Chris The phrase dates back at least to London, 1534, in a letter between Henry VIII's chief minister and a bisho

Source: Wonderopolis


Eggnog Medieval Britain had a drink called posset, a milky ale used to toast to good health. It led to eggnog, which became a holiday tradition with A

Source: TIME


Hiding Christmas Pickles CRACKED cO This tradition likely started as marketing gimmick. Woolworths made up stories about German customs to sell the im

Source: Atlas Obscura


Decorating Christmas Trees CRACKED.CO The Christmas tree originated in Germany in the Middle Ages. A guild decorated a tree with apples and tinsel in

Source: TIME


Advent Calendars Deibnadits Kalender CRACKED co In the mid-1800s, German Lutherans made chalk marks on doors to count the days leading up to Christmas


Hanging Stockings 600'53 CRACKED C The legend is that a poor man couldn't afford dowries for his daughters, SO St. Nick snuck gold into stockings left

Source: Metro


Writing Letters to Santa 10 CRACKED CON Originally, Santa wrote letters to children, sending well wishes or notes on how they could improve their beha

Source: Smithsonian Magazine