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Christmas Traditions That Are Dying Out

Updated on October 28, 2014
Photo taken by: ripplestone garden
Photo taken by: ripplestone garden | Source

Christmas traditions are not long running, static rituals performed yearly. These traditions gain and lose popularity through the years. Some countries also have traditions that others do not. Some Christmas traditions, considered staples in the past, are now dying out. Here are several past traditions that used to be much more popular in America, but are now quickly dying out.

Yule Log

The first example to mention is the Yule log. In this tradition, a family would burn a log for a short time once per year. After a quick burn, the family would put out the fire and store the log for next year. The idea is that a single fire kept them together throughout the years. This tradition has been dying out for good reason. The first reason is that few people have fireplaces anymore. People may also have gas fireplaces that do no work with traditional logs. The second reason this tradition is dying out is the fire hazard it presents. If the log is not put out, it can re-spark up and burn down the house. There is also the smell to contend with. Very few homeowners want to associate the holidays with soaked old wood smell.

Photo taken by: Herry Lawford
Photo taken by: Herry Lawford | Source

Caroling

Another holiday tradition in jeopardy of going away is caroling. Caroling starts by dressing up in festive garb, then going door-to-door singing Christmas songs. School children used to dress up, much like Halloween, before singing through the neighborhood. Often groups of kids would ride on hay bales as a horse pulled them through the neighborhood. In the modern world, people live more private lives. Many times neighbors do not even know each other, let alone sing to each other. On top of this neighborhood privatization, Christmas songs are available year round. Perhaps these two reasons are why Christmas caroling has had a popularity downturn. There is also an increased sensitivity to many Christmas songs as they are seen as religious. While "Frosty" may be safe, "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!" may not be safe to sing throughout the neighborhood.

Photo taken by: Barta IV
Photo taken by: Barta IV | Source

Candles on Trees

One popular tradition that converted before dying out is using candles as decorations on trees. Many fires were started with Christmas candles. When a fire was started, if the houses were built next to each, a whole neighborhood could go up in Christmas flame. Common sense would dictate not putting a flammable source, such as a dry Christmas tree, under a flame. Candles gave way to Christmas lights, which now are used throughout the world. The initial lights were still fairly hot, and caused fires though. Through the years, LED lights have brought cooler and more unique options to each Christmas tree.

Photo taken by: Lee McCoy
Photo taken by: Lee McCoy | Source

Christmas Pudding

While fruitcake appears to be going strong, Christmas pudding is no longer a tradition in many households. Perhaps this decline is due to the many sweet holiday treats now on the market. In the past, several home baked goods would be the extent of the Christmas sweetness. Now grocery stores have a wide a selection through the holiday season. Beyond large stores, Christmas craft shows often have custom baked delicious treats to eat. All these are on top of the treats that each home likes to bake themselves. With so many goodies available, no wonder something as everyday as pudding is no longer an active Christmas tradition.

Photo taken by: Karen
Photo taken by: Karen | Source

Christmas Cards

There have been reports that Christmas cards are declining as well. Yet, the method this tradition is being monitored may be reason for a false report of decline. In the past, Christmas cards bought in store often contained family newsletters. Combining these two allowed a family to stay in touch with distant relatives. These newsletters are quite outdated now that social media exists. A distant relative can now know when a significant family event occurs, while it is occurring. What is replacing these traditional Christmas cards is custom Christmas cards. Many young families are bringing their digital photos to custom Christmas card manufacturers. The result is a collage of the best photos through the year. This card is cost effective to send, often even being much cheaper than a traditional Christmas card bought in the store.

Christmas traditions have a way of changing throughout the years. Some change from an unsafe method to a safe one, such as candles to Christmas lights. Society abandons other traditions, such as the Yule log. While these traditions continue to shift through the years, one tradition remains rock solid: getting together with family and friends. Regardless of the Christmas activity, close family and friends have holiday fun together. Spending time together is one Christmas tradition that will never die out.

What tradition would you like to make a comeback?

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Re-invention of dying tradition!

As stated in the first paragraph, traditions are not one way paths. One tradition has been re-invented in the past few years and gained great popularity. That tradition is the Yule log. No longer a fire danger, the Yule log is now a cake treat rolled up to look like a log. Each slice has a fantastic heaping of filling, frosting, and cake, swirled around each other. Below are several photos of what this tasty treat looks like.

There is also a great recipe to make this Yule log at Taste of Home. There are also many examples and recipes available via Google.

Photo taken by: Caitlin Childs
Photo taken by: Caitlin Childs | Source
Photo taken by: Mark Skipper
Photo taken by: Mark Skipper | Source

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