Origins of Many Christmas Traditions

While starting to find the best Christmas gifts for friends and family, have you ever taken the time to think about the various Christmas traditions and why they are practiced? This article seeks to get to the bottom of how certain Christmas traditions started. Many of these Christmas traditions started with Europeans and usually developed out of their common traditions.

Mistletoe and Holly

Commonly found amongst Christmas decorations are mistletoe and holly that are usually found in garlands and wreaths. The mistletoe tradition was started by the Druids over 200 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Mistletoe was used by the Druids when celebrating the winter season and these plants would be used to decorate their houses in order to ward off evil and invite good fortune into the home with these plants. Mistletoe was also used by them for various healing practices as well as for increasing fertility.

Mistletoe and Holly

The Scandinavians believed that mistletoe brought harmony and peace and was tied to the goddess of love, Frigga that they worshiped. This probably led to the common practice of kissing under the mistletoe.

During the Victorian age, mistletoe would be hanging from doorways and ceilings during the Christmas holidays and if someone was standing beneath the mistletoe, he or she would be kissed by someone else in the room.

Many Christian leaders banned or sought to ban the use of mistletoe because they associated it with various pagan practices. Holly was then suggested as an alternative to the use of mistletoe.


Another decorative piece at Christmas is the use of poinsettias. Native to Mexico, these plants are named after the first US ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett who brought poinsettias to America in 1828.

The people of Mexico believe that the plants are symbolic of the Star from long ago in Bethlehem that announced the birth of Christ and led the wise men to the manger. There is an old story about a lad who decided to go see a Nativity Play that was playing at a church but did not have a gift for Baby Jesus. The boy gathered some green branches and after placing the branches close to the manger, the story goes that bright red poinsettia flowers began to sprout on each of the green branches which caused poinsettias to become a Christmas tradition.

Candy Canes

For most, finding the best Christmas gifts 2019 will not be complete without also getting candy canes. These did not become a Christmas tradition because of the red and white stripes which matched the colors of the Christmas season but because they are associated with discipline.

They were first distributed to well behaved German children that remained well mannered during the duration of church sermons. As time went on, candy canes became associated with important Christian beliefs such as the Holy Trinity and the blood of Christ. Jesus is an important symbol of how Christians ought to behave and he embodies purity, holiness, self control, etc, and is the Good Shepherd. The candy cane represents the three qualities – red stripes, white stripes and the shape of the candy cane.

Greeting Cards

Greeting cards are the most popular Christmas tradition and is one of the traditions that are celebrated all over the world and are customary to be sent with the best Christmas gifts or on their own to friends, family, acquaintances, etc.

This tradition of sending Christmas cards began in Britain in 1840 when the “Penny Post” postal delivery service began. The tradition became hugely popular from 1860 onwards when large numbers of Christmas cards began to be produced. Their popularity was also aided by the fact that the postal service would send them for one half penny which cost 50% less than standard mail. Traditionally, Christian figures such as Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, shepherds, angels, wise men, etc, were predominantly used on the greeting cards.

Today, many Christmas greeting cards still feature these Christian symbols but others also show Santa Claus, gifts packages, wintry scenes, etc.

Best Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids 2022

Best Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids 2021 – Giving your kids a family present where everyone can join in and have fun is a holiday idea that will give plenty of laughs. There’s one avenue that you just can’t go wrong taking when buying a gift for all the kids and that’s a video game console.

Xbox One S 1TB Console – Starter Bundle

But you don’t want to get the ones where there’s only a couple of controls so that only two can play at a time. You want something where everyone can join in at once. There’s the Kinect – a console that comes with sensor technology and can sense the movements of the players.

So you can the whole family in on kicking the ball or jamming out while playing gaming musical instruments. You can explore together as a family and climb to the mountain or go below the water to check out the sights.

Nintendo Switch

Video games using group movement like dance jams are great gifts for kids and you can find video games for every type of gaming console, like Wii. If you already have some dance video games, you can go with the dance pad option.

16FT Trampoline for Kids

Another gift that would suit all of the kids is a trampoline. You can get the large ones that go outside and have the safety surround or you can get one of the mini two-person ones that are lower to the ground if you have younger children. There’s also one that’s for use as either an indoor or an outdoor trampoline and everything is safely enclosed, including the springs.

Mini Tabletop Pool Set

Other inside fun things you can get for your kids are games that require some physical action. Air hockey tables are still a big hit among kids as are pool tables and ping-pong tables. For games that they can play outside, you can pick up a badminton or volleyball set that has everything you need to get started on a game.

Engineering Building Blocks Set Toys for Boys and Girls

A quiet activity that many kids like to do is to work a puzzle together. You can get these in various age levels and even cool 3D ones that when they’re finished, can be glued and framed to make cool artwork for a kid’s room.


Getting board games for kids to share is a good idea, too and you can find ones that can be played interactively using the television as well. Go with classic or trendy games, like The Settlers of Catan.

Playing a sport together is a great idea when you want to get a family gift for your kids. You can invest in a basketball set for the driveway or baseball or golf equipment where the batter or swinger hits into a net for practice.

ESPN 2 Player EZ-Fold Arcade Basketball Game with LED Scoring

Gift cards where all of the kids can share an adventure at a theme park or take in a movie are good ideas, too. You can get gift cards to local theme parks or splurge on a family vacation to somewhere like Disney World.

Best Christmas Gift Ideas for Her 2022

Best Christmas Gift Ideas for Her 2021 – Have a special woman in your life? Right now is the best time to start shopping for Christmas gifts for her. You can get everything you want without the hassle of the crowds and without worrying that what you do want to get will be sold out. You can use this handy list of suggestions to shop for the women you want to buy gifts for.

Gifts that work in the kitchen are always well received, and she’ll love a gift like a hand blender because they can be used to make everything from protein shakes to soups. Another hot kitchen gift item for 2021 is a griddler.

OXA Smart Powerful 4-in-1 Immersion Hand Blender Set

A griddler can be used to make foods like burgers or other meats and to grill vegetables. You can use it to make bacon and eggs at the same time. It’s a convenient countertop appliance that’s perfect for grilling inside.

Fragrances are a great holiday gift for her – and even if you don’t know what her favorite fragrances are, you can buy those gift sets so that she gets to try multiple new fragrances. You can get these in designer scents.


Books are great for women who love to read and you can get a lot of popular books for her by one author together in a nice box set. Or, invest in a Kindle or Fire tablet so that she can download a myriad of books coming out in 2019.

A set of dishes, whether they’re Christmas dinnerware or not, makes a lovely holiday gift and you can find such nice sets. Spode offers gorgeous designs and you can get intricately detailed Italian dishes that will make a table look festive for any occasion.

Aicok Juicer Masticating Slow Juicer Extractor

Some of the best gifts you can give her are those that make her life easier. If she’s on a health kick, or you know she will be making New Year’s resolutions that include nutrition, then you might consider an item on the most wished for list – a juicer that extracts healthy nutrients from fruits and vegetables.

Is your female friend or family member on Pinterest? Many women are, and they’re constantly pinning clothing they want to buy someday. You can take a peek in her closet to find out what size she is and order one of the outfit sets she’s pinned to one of her boards. These usually encompass everything from the tops and bottoms to the shoes, handbags and jewelry.

Sidefeel Women Hooded Knit Cardigans Button Cable Sweater Coat

If you’re completely stumped about what she likes, then consider one or more gift cards to help bail you out of the Christmas gift idea rut. Gift cards can be for specific stores, like Coldwater Creek, or to stores that sell a little something for everyone, like She’ll appreciate that you were thoughtful and caring enough to provide her with a shopping opportunity!

Top 5 Christmas Gifts for Sewing, Knitting and Quilting 2021

Sewing, knitting and quilting are all growing in their popularity among younger individuals who are picking these crafts up as a favorite hobby!

There are some wonderful staples you can always buy someone who takes part in this kind of activity:

Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, CS6000i

Gift #1: Sewing machines or needles that can knit and quilt with are wonderful gifts. You can get inexpensive items or top of the line ones, depending on who is on your gift list.

Luxbon Sewing Threads Kits 39 Colors Rainbow Polyester Sewing Thread Box Kit Set

Gift #2: You can never have too much fabric and thread if you’re into knitting, sewing and quilting. Make sure you give an ample amount of this to your favorite craft enthusiast.

Honey-Can-Do CRT-01683 12 Drawer Chrome Studio Organizer Cart

Gift #3: Organization and storage gifts are great ideas, too. It can get pretty messy if you have lots of threads, needles, and materials lying around all over the room.

Large Sewing Kit, 206 Pcs Premium Sewing Supplies

Gift #4: You can get little kits for the beginner crafty people in your life. Or, if you know someone already has a lot of stuff for their craft, get them a kit of extras, like extra crochet hooks or hand needles.

One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Projects

Gift #5: Subscriptions to magazines about their craft are a good gift idea! This way they’ll always have a bevy of great ideas, month after month!

The 2021 Christmas Gift Guide is a neat read that helps you pinpoint the right kinds of gifts for all of your friends and family this holiday season – be sure to pick it up!

Top 5 Christmas Gifts for Runners 2021

Runners are a special group of athletes. They push themselves to achieve new goals and get their body to the next level of fitness.

There are tons of runner’s gifts you can buy online that are perfect for the runner in your life.

Running shoes

Gift #1: Running shoes are a common sense gift for runners. They don’t go through shoes like the rest of us – their shoes take a real beating, so they have to have a big budget for their footwear.

MP3 players and iPod

Gift #2:  MP3 players and iPod are popular with runners. They like to put in some tunes using a nice pair of ear buds that work well with running and hit the pavement.

Running Clothing

Gift #3: Clothing is a nice gift for a runner. Whether it’s hot or cold weather apparel, your runner will like extra socks, leggings, and t-shirts that wick sweat away from their body.

Sports Watches and Heart Monitors

Gift #4: Sports watches and heart monitors are great gadgets for your favorite runner to have on hand when they go on a run.

Pedometers and Activity Trackers

Gift #5: Pedometers and Activity Trackers give them an accurate count of how far they’ve gone – and it allows them to keep track of the goals they’re keeping for themselves.

You might want to grab the 2021 Christmas Gift Guide to help you navigate your shopping season this year! It has ideas in it for everyone on your gift list.

Top 5 Christmas Gifts for Wine Lovers 2021

Do you have a wine connoisseur in your life? Someone like this is often called an oenophilist  and you can get them gifts that other casual wine drinkers may not treasure.

JoyJolt Spirits Stemless Wine Glasses for Red or White Wine

Gift #1: Personalized wine glasses are a very nice gift. You can get them engraved with initials or Something more.

Danby DWC036A1BSSDB-6 3.6 Cu.Ft Cooler

Gift #2: If someone you know and love well is into wine, consider a larger gift – like a wine refrigerator.  That way, they can store all of their bottles and have them chilled and ready to go!

Wine openers

Gift #3: Wine openers vary in size and expense. Some wine drinkers just have a hand held gadget, but you can get really fancy with something that’s more automated.

Decanter and aerator gift

Gift #4: Decanter and aerator gift sets are always a welcomed addition to a win lover’s bar. You can get a simple, plain set or something very chic and elegant.

Picnic Time Verona Insulated Wine Basket

Gift #5: Wine and cheese gift baskets are great – and you can even order the wine of the month deliveries or around the world wine picks for your special gift recipient.

Use a 2021 Christmas Gift Guide to assist you in choosing the right presents for your loved ones, friends, and co-workers. That way, you can’t go wrong!