- Holidays and Celebrations
Do you make traditional home made Christmas sweets?
Do you make a crib?
Do you put up a tree and decorate it?
Do you leave gifts under the Christmas tree?
What is Christmas?
Christmas is a popular Christian festival that is celebrated on the twenty-fifth of December. It is the commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ. It is the time to spread love and joy and forgiveness.
How is Christmas celebrated?
Christians believe that it is an important day to be with friends and family. The house is decorated and the whole family gets together to make all the traditional Christmas sweets. Evergreens are a symbol of eternal life and are used in the Christmas decorations. Holly is the most common of the evergreens used. The belief is that holly was used in Jesus’ crown and the berries represent His blood. The Christmas tree is another popular evergreen. It is decorated with lights and tinsel. Gifts are left beneath the tree for everyone to open on Christmas morning. The exchange of gifts is a great cause for excitement. Handmade gifts are most appreciated. Christmas songs are an important part of the festivities. They are called carols. Carols are played for days before Christmas. Christmas poems are also popular
How you can make Christmas more special this year
- Don’t forget to send your special Christmas wishes to family and friends who are far away well in advance. There are a variety of e-cards available on the internet. However, they would appreciate a customised one much more. You could put an appropriate photograph on it and write a short and meaningful poem of your own. If you are not poetically inclined, you can find a lot of Christmas poems on the internet that will help you. Your loved ones will know that you took the time to do something special for them.
- Invest in some great Christmas songs. There are many ‘all-time-favorites’ and some newer ones as well. Here are some examples of the old ones that everyone loves.
Jingle Bells, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Jingle Bell Rock, Deck the Halls, Winter Wonderland, Silver Bells, I Saw Mummy, All I want For Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, Feliz Navidad, Frosty the Snowman, It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas, ‘C’ Is For The Christ Child, etc. If you want a wider variety of Christmas songs, browse the net a bit.
- If you have the space, the time and the energy, you can make a crib. This depicts the manger scene when Jesus was born. The crib can be made with bricks and clay and straw. Statues of Jesus, Mother Mary, and Joseph are placed in the crib, together with statues of the wise men, their camels, shepherds, some sheep, a donkey and an ox, etc. You can make fields around the crib, and add a well, mud roads, etc.
- Put up a star outside your house. The star signifies the star that the three wise men followed in order to find Jesus when he was born.
- You may also want to put up a Christmas tree. Spread some cotton wool on the branches. Put some tinsel and lights around the tree. Hang a star right on top of the tree and decorate the rest of the tree with bobbles and other ornaments that are easily available all over. They can also be bought online. If you are creative, you could even make them at home.
- A stocking is traditionally hung somewhere in the room close to the Christmas tree. There should be one huge stocking for each person in the house. This stocking is filled with gifts for the person on the eve of Christmas. If you don’t use stockings, you can place the gifts under the tree.
- Traditionally, the front door is decorated with a wreath which is also evergreen and has a bow on top. You can have variations like pine cones hanging from the wreath or a door border made of evergreens and decorated with berries. You could have silver bells at the front door. You might want to tie up a bunch of pine or fir twigs with a colourful bow and put it on the front door. You could also have a little basket full of evergreens and berries or pine cones hanging there. Use a colourful combination of evergreens, pine cones and ribbons to play around and get the best effect you like.
- Mistletoe is hung over the door too. The legend says that people who kiss under the mistletoe at Christmas time will find everlasting love.
- Red and green are traditionally the Christmas colors so you could decorate your home with these colors. Maybe you could invest in a new set of curtains and cushion covers, a table runner, centrepieces, etc.
- Make a list of all the Christmas gifts you need to buy. Handmade gifts are loved by everyone so maybe you would want to give that a thought. Go shopping a few days before Christmas and keep all the gifts packed and ready. That way, you won’t make the embarrassing mistake of forgetting someone.
Here are some ideas for original handmade gifts:
Coffee sleeves with snowmen made of white buttons or felt snowflakes, photo frame, Cute paperweights like pebbles with hand painted designs, knitted mufflers or caps or gloves, candle stands made from glass and etched with glass paints, a flower pot with an evergreen in it, a bottle of wine with a bow and a special message, a towel with block printing done on it, a pincushion made from a ball and covered with wool, a handmade pillow or cushion with some fabric painting done on it, etc.
- You also need to keep the traditional Christmas sweets ready. If you don’t have time to make them, you can buy them. However, making the sweets and getting all the family members to help you, is great fun.
Some of the traditional Christmas sweets are:
Plum cake, cookies, pies, candy, cheese straws, Newries, Kulkuls, Rose Cookies, Marzipan, Snowball, fudge and Jujups.
All the above preparations are made several days before Christmas. On Christmas Eve, keep all the gifts ready, either in the stockings or under the tree. At midnight, Christians attend a special Christmas service and many go for dances after that. The Christmas dances really help to keep the spirit of Christmas. On returning home from the dance in the early hours of Christmas day, gifts are opened, exchanged and everyone wishes each other.
The traditional Christmas dinner may be eaten on Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day, whatever is more convenient. The meal usually consists of a roasted stuffed turkey, besides other items. However, different countries all over the world have their own preferences. This is a time for family members to get together over a special meal, especially if they haven’t met each other for a long time.
Christmas is a special time for loving and giving. It is a time to spend with loved ones, reminiscing the past and planning the future together.
© 2012 Melaine