It is finally that time of year where Christmas is around the corner. Christmas is celebrated on the 25th of December every year. It basically is a Christian festival but is celebrated all over the world with happiness and enthusiasm. Not only do Christians enjoy celebrating this festival but every nonchristian person also happens to enjoy this festival. This is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader.
Christmas is one of the oldest festivals. It was first celebrated in the 4th century. During the early days of Christianity, only Easter was celebrated. But in the later 4th century, Christmas started to be celebrated by every Christian as the birthday of Jesus Christ. The traditional way of celebrating Christmas includes the gathering of family and friends where they gather together at one place and have a delightful family dinner together. The traditional Christmas celebration includes
Traditional family dinner
Any Celebration is incomplete without food. The traditional family dinner is done as a part of the Christmas celebration at their native house. The family dinner concept brings family and friends close to each other. People, kids, and their grandparents gather happily and have dinner together. The traditional Christmas dinner features turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, Cranberry sauce, vegetables. Another type of poultry, roast beef or ham is also used. For dessert pumpkin or apple pie, raisin pudding, or plum cake is served. These are the traditional food items that are included in traditional Christmas celebration dinner.
Traditional cake mixing ceremony
The cake mixing ceremony is an age-old ceremony practice. In a traditional Christian household, the origin of the cake mixing ceremony dates back to the 17th century. It marked the arrival of the harvest season. During this time, lots of fruits and nuts were harvested and prepared for making the traditional plum cake. It is an intimate family affair. The family members would gather after the harvest season to celebrate and share the happiness of the upcoming Christmas and the new year season. The families would distribute these cake mixtures among their friends and relatives.
The traditional cake mix includes almonds, cashews, raisins, dates, figs, dried cherries, pistachios, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, dried ginger, candied fruit, prunes, walnuts, sugar, eggs, all-purpose flour. In some traditions, it is made with rum which is mixed with all the nuts in a certain proportion. It gives a tangy sour taste to the traditional plum cake. This ceremony is celebrated widely worldwide with enthusiasm as a part of Christmas.
Picking out a Christmas Tree
Picking out a Christmas tree is one of the traditions. It is basically like picking one unique tree that fits in your place; the one which looks complete and healthy. Picking the best pine tree is one exciting event during the time of Christmas. Picking a tree raises a question: why is a Christmas tree needed for the celebration? Using the Green leaves of an evergreen tree to decorate home during wintertime started as a Pagan tradition; designed as a symbol of life amid the dark, cold winter night. The tradition dates back to Roman times when they performed the activity usually around their new year celebration. The significance of celebrating this festival with trees is like celebrating life with light, colors, and joy.
One gift on Christmas Eve
This was one of the kids' favorite things to do during Christmas time. This is an enthusiastic and joyous thing for kids on Christmas as a part of the Christmas celebration. Gifting something is a way to show love, gratitude, and respect to your near and dear ones. And that is the reason, gifting is one of the traditions as a part of Christmas.
Decoration of house and yard with Christmas light
Decorating houses and trees with lights dates back to when candles provided light for Christmas trees and shined on mantles for symbolic religious reasons. With the invention of electricity came modern miniature bulbs and the twinkling of hundreds of lights; reminded each person of a cozy Christmas night. In some countries, Christians decorate their yards. Yard decorations have become extremely popular with Santa's sleigh light-up reindeer and inflatable snowman. All making appearances on lawns throughout the nation in December. Some countries even turn the affair into competition encouraging residents to deck the yard.
Exchanging gifts and giving presents to someone is the most common thing during birthdays and festivals. But during Christmas, secret Santa happens as a part of the Christmas celebration. It makes gifting, exchanging gifts exciting in a unique way. The gift exchange game might be an American tradition today but it originated in Scandinavia called ‘Julkalapp'. This original version of secret Santa involves leaving a present outside someone's store or house, knocking on the door, and running away. It has evolved nowadays and is a popular game among friends groups and even in offices. During the holidays, individuals draw the name of someone else from the group and they purchased a present for this person; only keeping their own name a secret. This game is trendy and heartwarming because everyone involved gets a gift uniquely chosen by their loved ones.
Build a gingerbread house
Making gingerbread houses is generally a German tradition. But it has evolved in a way that it has become uniquely popular among all Christians and even with the ones who are not Christians but celebrate Christmas. This tradition can be a part of decoration and part of traditional food as well. It involves baking fresh gingerbread. And with that gingerbread making small houses; using white liquid chocolate cream frosting and candies as a decoration. This particular tradition attracts kids as they get to decorate gingerbread houses the way they want to decorate. And later they can eat all the elements they have created with chocolate and candies. This is one of the most unique traditions because one gets to eat the decoration as a part of the Christmas celebration.
Tree lighting ceremony
The lighting ceremony is basically a traditional American holiday ceremony. It dates back to 1923 when President Calvin Coolidge held the first national tree lighting ceremony. This event has now become an essential part of Whitehouse history. Now it is an annual tradition with a tree lighting ceremony hosted worldwide. One of the most notable is the annual tree lighting at Rockefeller Center. This ceremony is attended by each person either with friends or family. The basic idea of a tree lighting ceremony during the Christmas celebration is that it keeps your spirit bright like this light, and gives you strength to move forward with your life events.
Hanging Christmas socks
Hanging Christmas sock or the Christmas stocking is usually an empty sock or sock-shaped bag that is hung on Christmas Eve to be filled for Christmas morning. Traditionally they are filled with small gifts such as fruits, nuts, sweets, or toys. But over the years people have been getting more creative and using them as a way to give other small presents. The Hanging sock raises a question: why has it been hanged? The tradition of Christmas stocking comes from Saint Nicholas who happened to be called Santa Claus. He is said to have bestowed a gift of money to some girls who wanted to get married by leaving gold coins in a stocking hanging from their Chimani. It happened to be a miracle and that is how this tradition has started. It is like getting blessings from Santa Claus and the elders of the family.
Christmas is around the corner and I hope each and everyone celebrates it with their friends and family. It is a good wrap-up for the year when it is celebrated with happiness and with loved ones. Have a happy and beautiful Christmas this year and don't forget to sing Jingle Bell Jingle Bell!!!
Apoorva is a Data Analyst by profession, Data Enthusiast, and likes to work and analyze data. She is a published poet, writer, painter, art, and music lover. It's her belief that life is a series of tiny miracles and we just need to notice them, we just need to enjoy the ‘life' ride patiently. She likes to chant Vedas and loves reading books in several genres.