According to research 9 out of every 10 Americans celebrate Christmas. Most of us associate warm and fuzzy feelings with our holiday traditions and dream of enjoying the perfect Christmas with our dearest friends and family.
Holiday traditions are considered important for building strong bonds between family members, and with the wider community. Traditions give us a sense of belonging and are a way to express what is most important to us.
While most of us celebrate Christmas in some way, research shows that only half of us who celebrate the tradition of Christmas actually view it as a religious holiday. Most Americans see the Christmas season simply as a cultural holiday.
There are many Christmas traditions and they vary from country to country. Christmas celebrations for many around the world include the lighting of Christmas trees, the hanging of wreaths and Christmas stockings, the setting out of cookies and milk for Santa Claus, as well as the creation of Nativity scenes depicting the birth of the baby Jesus Christ.
Here are some of the most popular Christmas traditions celebrated around the world. Which are your favorite ways for celebrating the Christmas holidays?
- The Christmas tree
- Christmas lights
- Christmas wreaths
- Christmas cards
- Christmas music
- Holly and ivy
- Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus)
- Christmas gifts
- Candy canes
Topping the list of favorite Christmas traditions is by far the Christmas tree. Originally a pagan tradition, Christmas trees were adopted in Europe as far back as the 14th Century when in 1539 in France there was a tree set up in the Strasbourg cathedral.
Christmas wreaths which are thought to be an offshoot of the Christmas tree in modern day are, in fact, connected with the pagan holiday of Yule. Yule marks the winter solstice, which was celebrated by the Celts at the time of mid-Winter. A Yule log was burnt by the Celts to bring light into the darkness at the Winter Solstice. The Celts thought the sun stood still for twelve days to bring the return of light. Yuletide was enjoyed as a time of good luck when much cheer was shared. The ancient Germanic and Scandinavian peoples also celebrated Yule. This 12-day festival at midwinter was held to honor the returning of the sun. It was a time of renewed hope and a much anticipated seasonal cycle.
Today, the most widespread and well-known use of wreaths is connected with Christmas and Christianity. The circular shape of wreaths is thought to symbolize eternal life and the unending love of God. During the 1500s century the use of wreaths during Yuletide was adopted by Christians when the custom of Advent wreaths was first started.
Today, Christmas trees come in a variety of evergreen species. By far the favorite Christmas tree is Pine, followed by Spruce, Fir, Cedarwood and Cypress. Research shows that many people drop the tradition of putting up a Christmas tree after the children leave home. Instead they opt for just putting up Christmas wreaths and strands of Christmas lights.
The delightful scents of Christmas trees are easy to emulate with the use of pure essential oils. Here’s a Happy Christmas Essential Oil Recipe for you to use this holiday. Many of the oils used in this recipe are also used in traditional wealth attraction formulas.
Happy Christmas EO Recipe - Makes 1 - 5ml bottle (100 drops)
- Black Spruce (Picea mariana) - 40 drops
- Himalayan Cedarwood (Cedrus deodora) - 20 drops
- Cypress (Cupressus sempevirens) - 20 drops
- Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) - 10 drops
- Ginger (Zingiber officianale) - 10 drops
To a 5ml euro-dropper colored glass bottle add your drops of essential oil. Cap bottle tightly and shake vigorously to blend oils thoroughly together. Allow to synergize for 12-24 hours (or more) before using.
Following manufacturer’s guidelines, dispense drops of essential oil blend into your aroma diffuser and diffuse into the air for 10-15 minutes. The Happy Christmas EO Recipe also makes a wonderful holiday aromatic mist. Add 90-120 drops of your blend to a 2oz colored glass misting bottle filled with purified water. Shake bottle well and spritz.