As the year is ending, the excitement to celebrate festivities like Christmas and New Year is leveling up each day. While people all over the world are making preparations to welcome Santa Claus, children, during this time of the year, are very happy and full of enthusiasm.
Christmas is indeed a day of joy and fun and since it’s also about giving gifts, here are some of the best-selling Christmas products.
The Christmas tree tradition is said to have started in Lutheran Germany in the 16th century when devout Lutherans brought decorated trees into their homes. When trees were scarce, some Christians used to build pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles. Martin Luther, for example, first added lighted candles to a tree. Walking toward his house one winter evening, composing a sermon, he was surprised by the brilliance of stars twinkling amidst evergreens. To recapture the scene for his family, he then erected a tree in the main room and wired its branches with lighted candles.
Other believe that Christmas trees originate from a pagan custom. According to some, Christmas is a celebration stolen and corrupted from Yule and the decorations are actually an amalgamation of centuries of beliefs, traditions, customs etc.
When Christians began adopting the holiday late in the Middle Ages, people started believing more in the magic of decorating Christmas trees. Evergreens are usually a symbol of permanence. This theme of immortality and constancy is born from these trees remaining evergreen all year round. These evergreen trees have the ability to keep their crisp and color all year. The fragrance of evergreens is also a symbolic salute. Science has proven that the aroma of pine, fir and cedar is both relaxing and invigorating. This is one of the reasons why you get that noble, ebullient feeling of Christmas when buying and decorating a Christmas tree.
In 2004, for instance, Pope John Paul called the Christmas tree a symbol of Christ. This very ancient custom, he said, exalts the value of life, as in winter, what is evergreen becomes a sign of undying life, and it reminds Christians of the “tree of life” of Genesis 2:9, an image of Christ, the supreme gift of God to humanity.
Traditions vary between countries and cultures and so does the traditional Christmas cake. However, in most countries, Christmas cakes tend to be the very dreaded fruitcake, which has a worse reputation than it deserves. My favorite fruit cake is a moist cake that has chocolate chunks, finely crushed peppermint, cranberries, orange zest, and also crushed-up nuts.
In Germany, the traditional and most common type of Christmas cake is the Christmas stollen, a yeast bread that is baked with dried fruits, candied citrus peel, nuts and spices. Another one includes the chocolate-glazed cylinder, which is one of Germany’s true Christmas staples with a century-old tradition. The little brown barrel is a delicate cake that goes by the name of Baumkuchen. Its name – literally “tree cake” – derives from the numerous thin layers of dough which remind of the annual rings of a tree.
Christmas is one of the biggest festivals of the year and we love to festoon our spaces this day while dressing up ourselves party-ready. But, more than anything, we love to decorate our places to welcome our guests, get surprises from Santa and share good food and wine. While some want to festoon their places with lots of tealight holders and Christmas trees, others may want an elegant decor with a big crystal candle holder and Christmas tree.
Overall, Christmas has so many popular decorations. Some people love gingerbread houses and they are for some the only thing that represents Christmas. The lovely smell of freshly baked gingerbread and the brightly colored hard candies, decorating every inch of that cookie house is so festive.