Christmas Traditions

Christmas is the season of joy, and it is also full of beautiful traditions everyone follow without really understanding it. Lets look  at 5 of these Christmas traditions and try to explain the history behind it.

Christmas Trees – The origin of decorating pine or fir trees with apples, roses, candies and colored paper has its roots in the Renaissance and early modern Germany. Its 16th century origins seem to center around Martin Luther but its widespread popularity followed introduction by various members of the nobility. To decorate a Christmas tree became much more popular and widely accepted in the United Kingdom after Queen Victoria’s marriage to the German Prince Albert.


Christmas Stocking – There is a lot of confusion surrounding where the tradition of Christmas stockings came from but popular legends have found ways to try and explain it. They tell of an old man with three beautiful daughters who had no money to pay for their dowries and so they could not marry. St Nicholas was riding through the village and heard of this story, understanding that the old man would not accept charity he crept down the chimney that night and found stockings that the daughters had hung by the fireplace to dry. Into these 3 stockings he placed a bag of gold each, the next morning the 3 beautiful women and their father were overjoyed and soon after the women were married. Ever since adults and children alike have hung stockings by the fireplace or at the end of their beds to be filled with presents while they sleep, ready to be joyfully opened the next morning!


Candy Cane – According to popular history in 1670 a German choirmaster wished to find a way to get the children to be quiet in his church during Christmas Eve ceremonies. He asked the local sweet maker to make sweet sticks for the children but in order to justify the giving of candy during worship he had the sweet maker add a crook to the tip of each sweet (to resemble the crocks of the three shepherds) and to make them red and white (to reinforce Christian beliefs in the sinless life of Jesus). These delicious candy canes then spread through Europe while being given out at nativity plays. Now they are a popular tradition each year and come in many different flavors, not just the traditional peppermint, which the whole family can enjoy.

Christmas Candy Cane Wallpapers[HD] (1)

Poinsettia – This plant and its associations with Christmas stem from Mexico, where they tell the story of a young girl who was too poor to pay for a present to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Angels inspired her to pick weeds from the roadside to place in front of the church alter and these weeds became poinsettias when beautiful crimson blossoms sprouted from them. From the 17th century onwards friars in Mexico incorporated these bright flowers into their Christmas celebrations, as they believe the flowers have a special symbolism. The star shape of the leaf symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem and the red symbolizes the blood sacrifice through the crucifixion of Christ. Today these beautiful flowers are popular Christmas decorations, with December 12th being National Poinsettia Day in the USA.


Mistletoe – Traditionally mistletoe cannot touch the ground between being cut and its removal and it is to be the last of the greens removed from the house after the Christmas season is over. It is supposed to be hung each year to protect the house from fire and any man and woman that met each other under it were obliged to kiss. After each kiss a berry was plucked from the bush, once all the berries were plucked the privilege ceased. The use of mistletoe as a Christmas decoration was common but was not much alluded to or mentioned before the 18th century.

mistletoe Many of these traditions are old and steeped in centuries of history but that doesn’t make them any less important or special today. All five of the listed traditions are some of the most beautiful and enjoyable parts of Christmas! Enjoy it!


Holiday Gift Hunting

Holiday Season can be very stressful. There are so much to do and always not enough time.

You have to find a right outfit, come up with a menu, in case you are hosting a Holiday Party and on top of all that you have to find gifts for all the members of your family and friends.

To make your Holiday preparations less time consuming and more enjoyable we explored few Holiday Markets in the city, and found plenty of cool, affordable gift options.  You really don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on gifts, just walk around the city and get inspired by beautiful holiday lights, decorations and pop-up holiday markets with great selection of creative unique items.

One of the most popular Holiday Markets in New York City is the one in Bryant Park. Whatever you’re looking for, the Winter Village has you covered, with crafts and goods from over 125 retailers. You will find there hand-made candles, high-end teas, Christmas Tree ornaments, plenty of cute wardrobe pieces for cold winter days, hand-made interior decorations, and even unique hand-made  skin care products. Plus free ice-skating, and a pop-up restaurant overlooking the rink will make it even more enjoyable shopping experience. Winter Village at Bryant Park is going to be open until January 4 2015.

Christmas Market bryant park


Another big Holiday Market located in Grand Central is hosting 15th annual Holiday Fair with 76 vendors, from the New York Times to artisanal hat and jewelry makers. Who can turn down a break from the cold in Vanderbilt Hall? This Market will be open until December 24.


One of our favorite Markets is The Union Square Holiday Market . When the red-and-white-striped tents go up, you know it’s time to start gift hunting. Sip on steaming hot apple cider as you wander through rows of stalls filled with ornaments, spices, and practically anything that can be handmade. This Holiday Market heaven is open until December 24.

holiday union square market

For the residents of Upper West Side  Columbus Circle Holiday Market will be open until December 24. After a winter stroll through Central Park, stop off at this annual market to grab some top-notch chocolate, hot cider, or comfort food. Then check out the locally made wares, including jewelry and homemade wooden puzzles. Plenty of cute gift options can be found there.


Holiday Handmade Cavalcade is another Holiday pop-up market in Chelsea, open only for 1 weekend December 13 – 14. Here you will definitely find a gift for everyone on your list. brings its online crafts bonanza to life with a weekend in Chelsea Market. Over the weekend, 60 different vendors will sell their one-of-a-kind goods, including handmade clothing, toys, home wares, and stationery. Plus, the first hundred shoppers each day will receive a swag bag.

Happy Holiday Shopping Everyone :)