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History of Christmas Lights

Thomas Edison may be famous for the light bulb, but it was his partner and friend, Edward Hibberd Johnson, who had the bright idea of stringing bulbs around a Christmas tree in New York in 1882. By 1914, the lights were being mass produced and now some 150 million sets of lights are sold in the U.S. each year.

Christmas is an amazing time of year. There are so many things to do, to plan for and to see. One of those things is Christmas lights. Every year people dig them out or by the latest trend and decorate their trees, and their homes with these colorful and cheerful reminders of the holiday season. Christmas lights actually started out just as candles. These candles were attached to the tree using wax or pins. The practice began in Germany during the 17th century and over the next 200 or so years; it became an established practice in Germany and began to spread out into other countries of Eastern Europe.

The practice was originally started in order to bring illumination to the ornaments that were placed on the tree. This practice continued until around 1900 when candleholders became popular and people started to use them instead of wax or pins to hold the candles to the trees. The purpose however, stayed the same. It was to illuminate and make those beautiful works of art that decorated the tree become even more visible.

It was not until around 1915 that glass balls and lanterns were also used replacing the candles on trees as the main form of illuminating and providing glittering beauty to these wonderful symbols of Christmas with the masses. The world of Christmas lights really became something amazing with the invention of the light bulb and electricity. In 1882, the first Christmas tree to be lit by electric lights was seen in New York. It was lit by Edward Johnson who happened to be a friend of Thomas Edison. The Christmas tree was lit with beautiful red, white, and blue lights, which still favorites of many today. It also led to the creation of the first string of Christmas lights, were easily massed produced and were available for sale around 1890. This of course was the start of the wonderful traditions we have today of placing strings of Christmas lights around our trees and homes to liven the holiday.

The first White House Christmas tree to have electric lights was seen in 1895 and lit by President Cleveland.

The first sets of sting lights were too expensive for the majority of people to afford but by 1900, many department stores were using Christmas lights to liven up their holiday displays and attract customers. The American Eveready company produced the first Christmas light set however in 1903.

The first sets were expensive $12 for 24 lights which in today?s money would be about $80.00, too expensive for the masses however, a wonderful idea was struck and Christmas lights became available for rent at a much cheaper price allowing them to be used by everyone to liven up the holiday displays in homes and businesses. These lights were created by GE. They came in seven colors, clear, frosted, green, blue, purple, ruby, and opal.

In 1917, a fire caused by the Christmas lights led to some reworking and Albert Sadacca came up with safe lights, which helped to reduce the risk of fire from Christmas light strings.

Outdoor light displays, the ones that see us driving around every year to see the variety of Christmas lighting at homes or even see us visiting specially designed light shows and displays with 1000s of Christmas light bulbs was started in North America. The idea however, was catching and these beautiful displays quickly became a worldwide phenomenon for everyone to enjoy. These lighting displays were started after the first safe outdoor Christmas light bulbs and Christmas light strings were seen in 1927.

Novelty lights, started to make an appearance during the 1930?s as a way to continue spreading the holiday spirit and increase light sales during the depression. This, of course, lead to the wonderful world of snowman lights, icicle lights, and other holiday themed lighting representations.

The Bubble Christmas light became big after World War II. The bubble light was a light that contained a liquid that was boiled inside the light. They were produced by the NOMA electric company initially and then spread. They were incredibly popular lights in the late 1940’s in fact, because of the materials they used not only did they bubble happily but also gave a slight tinkling noise as parts of the plug used for holding the chemicals came loose to rattle around as the lights bubbled. These lights were produced until around the 1970’s. However, many of them are still in use today, working as wonderfully as they did between the 1940’s when they were first introduced, and the 1970’s.

Aluminum trees became popular after the 1950’s, which lead Christmas light producers to come up with a form of multi colored rotating flood light in order to compensate for the use of such trees. This of course, helped to lead to the use of such lighting in outdoor displays and increased both the attractiveness and versatility of them.

Recent years have seen no drop in the love neither of Christmas lights nor in their ever-expanding uses and the creativity of displays created with them. In fact, some people keep them use them all year round as lighting for various purposes.

Recent years have seen an increase in things like tube and track lighting. These are small mini lights in solid plastic tubing. They come in a variety of wonderful colors and provide wonderful additions for outlining. LED Christmas lights have also come up in recent years. These lights take up less power, and really show the advancement of Christmas lights. They are not easily viewed during the day but create amazing displays at night.

Christmas lights are one of the symbols of the holiday season. They are versatile ways to create beautiful displays. Many people have created a tradition out of decorating the tree, the home both inside and out and the yard with Christmas lights. It is a fun way to bring family and even friends together in a creative and fun way.

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‘Twas the Night Before Christmas: An American Christmas Tradition

A Visit from St. Nicholas, more commonly known as The Night Before Christmas and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas from its first line, is a poem first published anonymously in 1823 and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, who claimed authorship in 1837.

The poem has been called “arguably the best-known verses ever written by an American” and is largely responsible for some of the conceptions of Santa Claus from the mid-nineteenth century to today. It has had a massive effect on the history of Christmas gift-giving. Before the poem gained wide popularity, American ideas had varied considerably about Saint Nicholas and other Christmastide visitors. A Visit from St. Nicholas eventually was set to music and has been recorded by many artists.

It’s a pretty simple story: on Christmas Eve, a father is awakened by the sound of St. Nick plopping down the chimney to distribute gifts before riding away. Other holiday favorites, such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas, “Charlie Brown Christmas,” and the Rankin/Bass Christmas Specials, quickly spring to mind while attempting to comprehend how readers can appreciate such a simple tale. All of these programs include the holiday, which may explain why we keep watching them at this time of year.

The poem lends itself to various variants thanks to its simple plot. It does not attempt to explain the meaning of Christmas; rather, it allows readers to enjoy the thrilling idea that there is a Santa Claus and the excitement felt on Christmas Eve. The poem’s charm lies in the details: According to Nancy Marshall, The Night Before Christmas is a “a masterpiece of genre word-painting,” that is visually creative.

Original Handwritten Manuscript, credit: NY Historical Soc.

The poem helps popularize and cement a distinct Christmas iconography in our contemporary culture, from stockings hung by the chimney to visions of sugarplums, from fresh fallen snow to Santa on a sleigh pulled by eight familiar reindeers, from Santa’s rosy cheeks to his belly that shook like a bowl full of jelly.

Nonetheless, it leaves plenty to the reader’s imagination, allowing the narrative to be imagined in a variety of creative approaches. Illustrations by self-taught American folk artist “Grandma Moses” (1860-1961) might provide a nostalgic undertone to the Christmas season. Roger Duvoisin (1900-1980), a Swiss-born illustrator and writer, illustrates the poem with a splash of brilliant colors and quirky comedy. Howard Finster, an American folk artist and pastor, has created imagery that is more bizarre and outsider in nature (1916-2001).

Every reworking of Moore’s classic poem allows the artists and authors to inject themselves into the story, making each scene both familiar and unfamiliar. Each subsequent adaptation of The Night Before Christmas contributes to the domestication and, without a doubt, Americanization of the gift-bearing saint, changing him from Moore’s pipe-smoking, elf-like St. Nick to a more commercialized red-suited, life-size Santa Claus.

But who says Santa’s outfit can’t be buckskin, green, plaid, or giraffe-print, as in the Native American Night Before Christmas? Moore never stated which color should be used for the outfit. In reality, another prominent New Yorker, Thomas Nast, did not develop a fully standardized picture of Santa Claus in his distinctive red coat and white beard until the late nineteenth century.

While Clement C. Moore may not have expected his poem to be more than a source of pleasure for his family and friends, his legacy has left us with something little but impressive, simple yet inventive, lasting but always open to fresh interpretation.

As early as 1932, a modern version of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” was available. Everyone who likes and looks forward to the poem over the holidays has a favorite rendition.  You can pick up a copy here for $1800!

In the meanwhile, till the next recounting…

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”

Read and print the full poem here

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The Complete History of Christmas Lights, from Edison to LED

Every December, if you were like me, you grew up surrounded by Christmas lights– and you loved it.

When December arrives, we are quickly overwhelmed with a sense of warmth and pleasure because we know it is Christmas time. From the scent of evergreen trees to the nip of the chilly winter air, we are instantly filled with a feeling of warmth and joy because we know it is Christmas time.

But, let’s face it, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Christmas lights.

But do you know where the custom of Christmas lights began? It goes back a lot further than you may believe. Let’s take a trip down memory lane with Christmas lights…

 

1184: The light of Christmas takes shape

 

Hauling a Yule log at Christmas, 1832

For centuries, light has been used to represent wintertime festivities. Beginning with the medieval pagan celebration of Yule which marked the Winter solstice, the earliest recorded date of which is 1184 (although it may have been much earlier), the light of a burning Yule log was used to represent the light which warded off the evil spirits of the world during the long winter nights

Later, Christianity would incorporate Yule traditions into Christian festivities, lighting up Yule logs on Christmas Eve until as recently as the 19th century. A similar tradition of light as an important part of Wintertime traditions can be seen echoed in various Christian Christmastime traditions including Candlemas, Christingle, and Luminaria.

1660: Candle-lit Christmas trees are born

Steel engraving of Martin Luther’s Christmas Tree, from Sartain’s Magazine, circa 1860.

The first recorded reference to the practice of placing candles on trees was said to come from Germany in 1660. But it was nearly 100 years later, in 1747, that the Pennsylvania Dutch brought us perhaps the first official advent of the Christmas tree in the “lichstock” (or light stick), which was a large wooden pyramid lit by candles.

Later, in 1832, Harvard professor Charles Follen would borrow inspiration from the Dutch and go on to decorate an evergreen with candles in what is believed to be the first rendition of the traditional lighted Christmas tree in the U.S. Frederick Artz would then go on to invent the clip-on candle holder in 1878, a device that securely fastened each candle to the branch which was used. The invention was used by families in the U.S. for the next several decades.

1846: Queen Victoria and Prince Albert make candle-lit Christmas trees popular

Victoria and Albert gathered around the Christmas tree with their children.

 

Victoria and Albert gathered around the Christmas tree with their children.

Between the time Follen decorated the first Christmas tree with candles in the U.S. and Arts created the clip-on candle holder, across the pond the royal family consisting of then Queen Victoria and husband Prince Albert were illustrated as gathering around a candle-lit Christmas tree in the London news.

As expected, this created quite a craze and made candle-lit Christmas trees wildly popular in the U.K. An edited version of this illustration eventually made its way to the U.S. and further influenced the states to adopt the practice.

1879: Edison invents first string lights

Thomas Edison’s first public demonstration of incandescent lighting in 1879.

In 1879, Edison finalized the world’s first long-lasting carbon filament lamps, which he used to light up his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey on New Year’s Eve of that year.

But Edison wasn’t just trying to fill others with the holiday spirit, his light show was actually a bid to win a contract to power all of Manhattan with electricity. In the same way, commercial businesses have continued to use Christmas lights to drive customers during the holiday season to the present day.

1882: Edward H. Johnson decorates the first electric-lit Christmas tree

The first electric light Christmas tree, 1882.

Edison wasn’t just the inventor of the modern Christmas light, he inadvertently played an important role in the invention of the modern electric-lit Christmas tree as well.

During the Christmas of 1882, then vice president of Edison’s Electric Light Company Edward H. Johnson decided to hang Edison’s lights up on a Christmas tree. The event was largely ignored by the press, but word took off when a small Detroit newspaper featured the story.

From that day on, Johnson earned the title, “Father of the Electric Christmas Tree”.

1895: Christmas lights enter the White House

 

The White House Christmas tree in 1899, just before Roosevelt took office.

A decade later, after Johnson’s electric-lit Christmas tree, President Grover Cleveland requested an elaborate Christmas light display to please his three young daughters. Similar to the illustration of Queen Victoria that made waves in the U.K. half a century earlier, this photograph helped spread the practice of lighting evergreen trees during Christmas time.

This was an important moment in the history of Christmas lights, especially in the U.S., because electric lights still weren’t trusted by the public (despite the fact that candle-lit Christmas trees posed a much greater fire risk).

1903: General Electric sells the first Christmas light kits

 

Early 1900s ad featuring General Electric Christmas lights.

More than two decades after Edison’s first Christmas lights lit up Menlo Park, Edison’s General Electric began selling Decorative and Miniature Lamp kits that would light up Christmas trees all around the country.

 

Original G.E. ad for their ‘then’ new Electric Lighting Outfit. The lights cost $12.00 to rent. That would be more than $300 in today’s dollars.

All electric appliances like toasters, irons, and extras like Christmas lights had to be connected to an existing wall or ceiling light socket.

That is…if you could afford it. The only problem with Edison’s first Christmas light kits is they were expensive and therefore ended up being reserved for the wealthy. To give you a better idea, back then a single set of lights cost $12.00 to rent for the holiday season. In contrast, that would run you more than $300 in today’s dollars.

1919: GE introduces the flame-shaped MAZDA lamp

 

A 1920s ad from G.E for their MAZDA Lamps.

Now that the Christmas light industry had officially kicked off with Edison’s Christmas light kit, it was time for the U.S. to do what it does best: innovate.

Over the next two decades (and beyond), string lights became more powerful, longer-lasting, and perhaps most importantly at the time: less expensive. By 1919, G.E. made its first major innovation by debuting its flame-shaped bulbs using MAZDA tungsten filament. G.E.’s original round bulbs were then discontinued by 1922.

1920: The First Outdoor Christmas Light Show

Christmas Tree Lane and the colorful lights of the Balian Mansion.

Christmas Tree Lane and the colorful lights of the Balian Mansion have become beloved parts of area tradition

Around the same time as G.E. was debuting their flame-shaped bulbs and the innovation of Christmas lights was taking off in general with new light displays such as light snowmen, saints, and Santa Claus, the first outdoor Christmas light shows were taking off throughout the country as well.

One of the several signs indicating Christmas Tree Lane as a California State Landmark.

Most notably was the Santa Rosa Avenue Christmas Tree Lane show started by Frederick Nash in Altadena, California. Since 1920, Christmas Tree Lane has been lit every single year (with the exception of the period during World War II) for resident’s enjoyment.

1925: First widespread commercial sales of Christmas lights

Original NOMA Christmas Lites shown above.

NOMA was the largest Christmas lighting company in the world for all of the years of its operation prior to 1965.

With the steep price tag of Christmas lights still in place (although somewhat more accessible than before), candles were still a go-to option for most lower-income families. That is, until Albert Sadacca, a teen at the time out of New York City, decided to repurpose the white novelty lights his family had sold for years by turning them into colored bulbs. As a result, a cheaper and more accessible Christmas light was born.

Over the next several years, Sadacca’s National Outfit Manufacturer’s Association Electric Company (or NOMA for short) would take over the industry once cornered by G.E. and become the largest Christmas light manufacturer in the world for roughly 40 years. In addition, the company would go on to make several significant light innovations.

1946: NOMA debuts new bubble lights

 

Yes, before you ask those are bubbles inside of a Christmas light. In 1946, NOMA brought what was called the “bubble light” from the U.K. to the U.S. with an American patent. Within the plastic light casing, methylene chloride was heated to a very low boiling point, just enough to where it would visibly bubble through the plastic casing, hence the “bubble” light.

Despite the odd and somewhat gimmicky nature of the bubble light it swept the country and was incredibly popular for its time. We’re mesmerized!

1950s: The aluminum Christmas tree phase

 

With the 1950s Space Age came the advent, and resulting popularity, of the aluminum Christmas tree. A tree that was fireproof (finally!), never died nor needed water, and offered a space-age feel was too good to pass up.

Why was this significant? Because aluminum acts as a conductor, meaning Christmas lights couldn’t be placed on them. Instead of lights on the tree itself, people would use an illuminated color wheel like the one below. The wheel would spin around, illuminating the tree’s surface and making it appear as if it were lit:

 

Harmony House Roto-Wheels were used to illuminate aluminum Christmas trees.

Unfortunately for Christmas light companies at the time, the popularity of the aluminum Christmas tree lasted over a decade. As a result, the industry saw a significant drop in sales, and in 1966 NOMA, then the largest Christmas light manufacturer in the world officially filed for bankruptcy.

It’s not known exactly when the last U.S. manufacturer stopped making lights, but by 1978 nearly all U.S. light manufacturers had gone out of business or switched to foreign-made sets.

1966: GE takes Christmas lights foreign-made with Merry Midget lights (and the house-lighting tradition is born)

 

With NOMA out of the picture and the U.S. Christmas light industry still reeling, G.E. (who was still in the game) decided to bring manufacturing overseas. However, in good news, the result was that Christmas lights one again underwent a drop in price.

G.E.’s new Merry Midget mini lights (which are still available today) were smaller, cheaper, and more outdoor-friendly, so people began lighting their houses all over the country with greater intensity. Although houses had been lit before this, the practice wasn’t very common until the creation of G.E.’s Merry Midget lights, hence the birth of the widespread tradition of lighting your home with Christmas lights during the holiday season.

1970s-1990s: Accelerated innovation and the massive expansion of the Christmas light tradition

 

With the invention of the mini light offering a bright but low-cost and low-wattage lighting source, the U.S. went crazy. In true American fashion, people began decorating houses with huge amounts of lights in a bid to outdo their neighbors and design a bigger and better spectacle than the next person.

This tradition continued over the next two decades until the present day, where shows like ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight brought such competitions to major television.

1998 to today: LED Christmas lights take over

From 1998 until the present day, a new kind of light quickly took over and has dominated ever since.

The LED Christmas light, LED standing for “light-emitting diode”, lasted longer and was more efficient than the mini light. The LED light uses 95% less energy and lasts up to 100,000 hours, making it more efficient than the traditional mini light by a longshot. In addition, LED lights didn’t have the same problem as older Christmas light models where if one light went out the entire strand was done. With LEDs, if one light went out the rest of the strand continued to stay lit (and you could then buy a replacement bulb to fill in the strand).

However, in addition to the already game-changing benefits of LED Christmas lights, as opposed to previous light models LEDs are also shock resistant, vibration resistant, and some models are even moisture-resistant to protect from the Winter rain to top it off.

To fit with the times, LEDs are also environmentally friendly, with the strand being recyclable once it reaches its end.

The history of Christmas lights has been long and eventful and no one knows what will happen next. But one thing is for sure– the future looks bright (really, really bright).

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A Brief History of Christmas Cookies

Why do we eat cookies for Christmas? For lots of people, it’s not Christmas without cookies. Our kids leave cookies out for Santa, we spend weeks baking and decorating our cookies, and there’s always a cookie plate at any party.

The gingerbread man has become synonymous with Christmas. But how did cookies come to be such an important symbol of Christmas?

Gingerbread

Cookies have been around for a long time (possibly as droplets of grain paste poured on hot pebbles surrounding a fire), but they were linked with Christmas in Europe in the 1500s.

Gingerbread was a similar delicacy, but rules confined its baking to guildsmen. During the holidays, however, these limits were eased, and individuals were permitted to create their own at home, creating a particularly special once-a-year treat.

Gingerbread developed during the Crusades and was initially prepared using breadcrumbs that were cooked with honey and strongly spiced. It was dried after being pounded into cookie boards (carved slabs of wood with religious motifs).

Gingerbread has developed to become more secular and to incorporate more contemporary components. When speculaas (gingerbread cookies) were molded into animal and human figures and used as holiday decorations, it became linked with Christmas.

Cookie Trees

Germans are partly to blame for the association between Christmas trees and Christmas sweets. Alsatians hung oblaten (decorated communion wafers) on their tannenbaums as early as 1597.

In the 1800s, Americans hanged Barnum’s Animal Cracker boxes from trees (the boxes were designed for this purpose). Today, some individuals continue the practice by hanging fake gingerbread men on their Christmas trees.

Cut-Out Cookies

In recent Christmas cookie history, cut-out cookies have become almost universally linked with the holidays in the United States. These biscuits may be traced back to mumming, a Christmas ritual in colonial territories when the Church of England was powerful.

Christmas tales were played out in mumming, and food was utilized to assist represent the story. Yule dows were cut-outs created in this custom, which were frequently in the likeness of the infant Jesus.

As window decorations in the 1800s, Pennsylvania Dutch children made enormous cut-out cookies. Around the same period, Yule dows resurfaced and were dubbed Yule dollies. They were created with tin cutters in the shape of people and beautifully adorned with icing (much like today’s gingerbread men).

The face was usually constructed from a scrap of paper cut from magazines, which had to be removed before the cookie could be eaten. They were divisive because some people believed the cookies were not pious enough (i.e., not depicting Jesus).

Santa became linked with Christmas in the 1840s, and dollies depicting him with a scrap face were created. Some of these cookies were so intricately adorned that they weren’t meant to be eaten (such as today’s gingerbread homes).

Another connection to Santa comes from the Dutch, who thought that on Christmas, Black Peter, Saint Nicholas’ assistant, threw pepernoten sweets about.

Moravian Cookies

Moravians were a Protestant group that emerged in the 1740s and were famous for making cookie pyramids as Christmas decorations for their Christmas Eve ceremonies. Many people today associate spicy Moravian sweets with Christmas.

Cookies for Santa

Have you ever wondered why Santa is given cookies to fuel his one-night journey? Historians say the custom started during the Great Depression as a means for parents to promote their children’s generosity. The custom endured, and Santa is unlikely to require a smaller outfit any time soon.

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The History of Christmas Cards – The First Christmas Card

For hundreds of years, people have exchanged Christmas greetings. The phrase “Merry Christmas” was first recorded in a Christmas letter delivered in 1534.

In 1611, King James I of England (who was also King James VI of Scotland) received the first known object that resembled a Christmas card. This was more akin to a big decorative text than a card as we know them now. It was folded into panels and measured 84cm x 60cm (33″ x 24″). (it might have been folded so it could be carried around). It included a rose in the center, with a Christmas and New Year greeting to the King and his son inscribed within and around the rose. There were four poems and a song on the manuscript as well – many more than are on the cards now!

Sir Henry Cole pioneered the practice of sending Christmas cards in the United Kingdom in 1843. He was a senior civil servant (government employee) who had assisted with the establishment of the new ‘Public Record Office’ (now known as the Post Office), where he was an Assistant Keeper, and pondered how it could be used more often by regular people.

Sir Henry came up with the concept for Christmas cards with his artist friend John Horsley. They created the first card and sold it for one shilling. (That is only 5p or 8 cents now, but it was worth a lot more back then.) The card was divided into three sections. The outside two panels depicted individuals assisting the needy, while the middle panel depicted a family enjoying a huge Christmas meal! Some people were offended by the card since it depicted a youngster receiving a glass of alcohol! A total of 1000 (or maybe less!) copies were printed and sold. They are now extremely uncommon and may be purchased for hundreds of pounds or dollars! The tagline used to promote the initial cards was: “Just published, a Christmas Congratulations Card; or picture emblematical of old English festivity to perpetuate kind recollections between dear friends”!

The first Christmas Card

 

The first postal service for regular people began in 1840, with the inaugural ‘Penny Post’ public postal delivery (Sir Henry Cole helped to introduce the Penny Post). Prior to it, only the very wealthy could afford to send anything through the mail. Because new trains were being built, the new Post Office was able to sell a penny stamp. These could transport far more mail than the horse and carriage that had previously been utilized. Trains may also go much quicker. Cards were even more popular in the United Kingdom when they could be sent in an unopened envelope for one halfpenny – half the price of a regular letter.

As printing processes developed, Christmas cards became considerably more popular and were mass-produced beginning around 1860. In 1870, the cost of mailing a post card, as well as Christmas cards, was half a cent. This meant that even more individuals could send cards.

The British Museum has an engraved card by the artist William Egley, who illustrated some of Charles Dickens’ novels. By the early 1900s, the practice had expanded throughout Europe, becoming notably popular in Germany.

Christmas cards grew significantly more popular as printing methods improved, and they were mass-produced beginning from 1860. The cost of shipping a post card, as well as Christmas cards, was half a penny in 1870. This meant that even more people could send greeting cards.

The early cards often featured images of the Nativity scene. Robins (a British bird) and snow landscapes were fashionable in the late 1800s. Because of the red uniforms they wore, the postmen were dubbed “Robin Postmen” at the time. Snow images were popular because they reminded people of the extremely harsh winter that occurred in the United Kingdom in 1836.

Christmas cards first emerged in the United States of America in the late 1840s, but they were prohibitively expensive for most individuals. In 1875, Louis Prang, a printer from Germany who had previously worked on early cards in the UK, began mass manufacturing cards so that more people could afford to buy them. Mr. Prang’s initial greeting cards depicted flowers, plants, and children. John C. Hall and two of his brothers founded Hallmark Cards in 1915, and they are still one of the largest card manufacturers today!

Annie Oakley, the famed sniper and star of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, sent the first recorded ‘personalised’ Christmas card in 1891. She was in Glasgow, Scotland, for Christmas 1891, and she sent cards back to her friends and relatives in the United States, each with a photograph of herself on it. She’s wearing tartan in the shot since she was in Scotland! Annie allegedly created the cards herself, which were then produced by a local printer.

Homemade cards were fashionable in the 1910s and 1920s. They were frequently odd forms with embellishments like as foil and ribbon. These were generally too fragile to transmit through the mail and had to be delivered by hand.

Nowadays, greeting cards feature a variety of images, including humor, winter sceneries, Santa Claus, and love memories from the past. Charities frequently sell their own Christmas cards to raise funds over the holiday season.

Charities can also profit from the seals or stickers used to seal card envelopes. This tradition began in Denmark in the early 1900s by a postal worker who felt it would be a wonderful way for charities to earn funds while also making the cards more beautiful. It was a huge hit, with over four million sold in the first year! Soon after, Sweden and Norway followed the practice, and it spread throughout Europe and to America.

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Christmas Wreaths are a traditional holiday decoration with an incredibly long and rich history.

The first indication of Christmas is a Christmas wreath hung on the front door of the house. A wreath is a ring-shaped arrangement of flowers, leaves, fruits, and other attractive things. Wreaths, which come in a variety of forms, are an important element of Christmas decorations. Wreaths are commonly hung on doorways, walls, and over fireplaces. Wreaths are traditionally made using evergreen branches. Wreaths are now available in synthetic materials, which have a significantly longer shelf life.

Northern and eastern Europeans began carrying evergreens home throughout the winter in the 16th century, with Germans being credited with originating the Christmas tree tradition. Pruning the tree was part of the preparatory procedure during this time. Collins states in his book, “Limbs were often cut off in an attempt to make the tree more uniform in shape or to fit into a room,” Instead of discarding the leftover foliage, Europeans braided it into wreaths.

“These people were living in a time when everything in their lives was used until it was gone,” Collins remarks.

Apart from the aesthetic and functional reasons for bending the tree, there was also a spiritual importance for Christians to exercise. “It was crucial to form the trees into a triangle to reflect the Trinity,” Collins explains. According to Catholic tradition, in the seventh century, Saint Boniface, an English monk, used the three points of an evergreen tree to illustrate the notion of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Before the wreath became associated with Christmas, it was a prominent emblem of victory and power in ancient Greece and Rome. In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, after the nymph Daphne rejected the God Apollo and escaped from him by turning into a laurel tree, Apollo says, “Since you cannot be my wife, you shall surely be my tree. O laurel, I shall for ever have you in my hair, on my lyre and quiver.” The passage inspired art such as the marble statue “Apollo Crowning Himself,” reinforcing the imagery of Roman and Grecian gods donning the green crown.

The evergreen tree, which was used to make the wreaths, was also essential. Evergreen trees were regarded with awe and reverence because, unlike other living things, they withstood the rigors of winter. People took the trees into their homes once they emerged in abundance in northern and eastern Europe.

Among non-deities, the wreath had a similar meaning. “Athletes who were successful in the Panhellenic games were crowned with wreaths of olives (Olympia), laurel (Delphi), wild celery (Nemea), and pine (Isthmia),” says Mireille M. Lee in Body, Dress, and Identity in Ancient Greece. A crown of leaves or flowers signified honor and delight outside of competitions. The wreath was characterized as “the adornment of the priest performing sacrifice, of the hero returning from triumph, of the bride at her wedding, and of the guests at a feast.”

However, Christmas wreaths added a fresh layer of significance to an ancient concept. Such wreaths were initially used as Christmas tree ornaments, rather than as stand-alone decorations as we know them now. They were fashioned into a wheel-like shape for practical reasons — it was easy to hang a circle onto the branches of a tree — but the design was also significant as a symbol of heavenly perfection. Because the form has no beginning and no finish, it signified eternity. “That was a symbol to them of power, of resilience, and in a way, of hope,” Collins says.

The wreath represents perpetual life because of its circular form and evergreen substance. It is also a sign of faith, since Christians in Europe used to set a candle on the wreath during Advent to symbolise the light that Jesus brought into the world. Johann Hinrich Wichern, a German Lutheran priest, is widely credited for popularizing the Advent wreath and burning candles of various sizes and colors in a circle as Christmas neared.

There are four candles in all in that tradition, one for each week of Advent. Collins writes in his book that three of the candles, which were typically purple, signified the Christian ideals of hope, peace, and love. “The last candle, most commonly crimson in color,” he adds, “represented the pleasure of new life obtained through the gift of Christ’s suffering on the cross.” On Christmas Eve, a white candle was lit to commemorate Jesus’ birth.

The Advent wreath, like many other Christmas customs from Northern and Eastern Europe, was popularized by the masses in the nineteenth century. Collins claims that the marriage of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom to Prince Albert of Germany allowed Christmas customs from other parts of Europe to become popular in England. In turn, American culture was affected by British culture. Literature such as Clement Clarke Moore’s A Visit From St. Nicholas aided in the spread of Christmas traditions such as wreath decoration.

Despite its widespread popularity today, the wreath started with humble beginnings.

We live in a throwaway culture, the wreath was born out of not throwing things away.

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History of Candy Canes: From the Iconic Shape to Flavor

The very first candy cane was nothing like what we know today. They were white, straight, and the only flavor was the pure sweet sugar that was used to make them.

When Christmas trees became a prominent feature of the holiday season, they were adorned with food items such as strung popcorn and white sugar sticks.

The first documented use of the term “candy canes” for these sweet candy sticks was in 1866, and they became a yearly Christmas tradition less than ten years later.

Timeline of Candy Canes

The candy cane has been around for almost 350 years. Although certain details are obscure, like as who invented the candy cane, you can see how this delicious delicacy grew into a Christmas classic.

While there are several stories regarding the origins of the candy cane, no one knows for certain who created this classic confection. According to the History Channel, one plausible version is that the peppermint candy was developed in 1670 by a choirmaster at Germany’s Cologne Cathedral to assist keep fidgety choirboys quiet and attentive during a creche ceremony. If this narrative is accurate, the hook form may be a shepherd’s crook, although this is not definite.

1670- The Candy Cane Could May Have Been Invented

While there are several stories regarding the origins of the candy cane, no one knows for certain who created this classic confection. According to the History Channel, one plausible version is that the peppermint candy was developed in 1670 by a choirmaster at Germany’s Cologne Cathedral to assist keep fidgety choirboys quiet and attentive during a creche ceremony. If this narrative is accurate, the hook form may be a shepherd’s crook, although this is not definite.

1700 – Pulled Sugar Candies are a popular confection in Germany.

According to Susan Benjamin of True Treats Candy, pulled sugar sweets were popular in 17th century Germany. These drawn sugar sweets were entirely white during the 1700s, and the hook may have evolved later as a way of hanging the candy cane on a Christmas tree. The hook design made it simpler to hang cookies, candies, and other treats on the Christmas tree, which was a German Christmas custom.

1844 – Recipe for Striped Peppermint Stick Candy has been published.

Eleanor Parkinson’s 1844 book The Complete Confectioner, Pastry-Cook, and Baker featured a recipe for color-striped peppermint sticks. The book includes extensive directions for leaving the majority of the candy white and dyeing a tiny bit another color, then rolling the two colors together to make a twisted, striped design.

 

1847 – The Very First Modern White Candy Cane

According to Benjamin, the candy cane in its present form was invented by August Imgard, a Swedish and German immigrant who resided in Ohio. Although the delicious treat did not have the familiar red-striped pattern, it did feature the iconic candy cane form. It was also used to decorate a Christmas tree with paper ornaments.

1900 – Candy Canes Change Colors to Red and White

Red and white candy canes became popular about 1900, according to the Smithsonian, by merging the original red-striped peppermint stick with the hook form. Because these candy canes were handcrafted, they were fairly expensive and prone to breakage.

1920 – McCormack begins manufacturing candy canes

Bob McCormack of Georgia, USA, began manufacturing candy canes to present to his family, friends, and neighborhood youngsters. The fame rose by leaps and bounds.Bob McCormack established his own company, which was initially called as “Famous Candy Company” and was subsequently renamed “Bob’s Candies.” The production quantity was restricted due to the labor-intensive process of hand-forming each candy cane, and the breakage rate was more than 20%.

1957 – Automated Candy Cane Machine Invented

Bob McCormack’s brother-in-law, Gregory Harding Keller, was studying to be a priest in Rome, Italy. During the summers, he returned home and worked in the candy factory. Gregory created a contraption to automate the candy cane producing process. This equipment, known as the “Keller Machine,” mechanically rotated and curved the candies while also cutting them at the same lengths, saving time and waste.

Gregory is believed to have given these hooked candy sticks to youngsters in church to keep them calm during long services. Bob’s Candies was the first company to mass-produce and sell candy canes. Bob’s Candies has been in business for almost eighty years.

2005 – Farley and Sather’s purchased Bob’s Candies

Farley and Sather’s purchased Bob’s Candies in 2005, and candy canes are still part of their product range.

It’s more than simply a piece of candy.

Christians like the simple sugar cane because they feel it represents a variety of symbols:

  • When the hook is turned upside down, it forms the letter “J” for Jesus.
  • The white reflects Jesus’ purity.
  • The three (3) red stripes signify the Holy Trinity and Christ’s blood.
  • According to legend, the hardness of the candy represents Jesus as a solid rock.
  • The typical peppermint taste is a nod to Hyssop, a herb used for cleansing in the Old Testament.

Interesting Candy Cane Facts

Many people nowadays utilize candy canes to construct holiday wreaths, candy cane desserts, or just to adorn a Christmas tree. The following candy cane statistics, according to the National Confectioners Association, demonstrate that the modern candy cane is a classic Christmas delicacy that is more popular than ever:

  • The world’s biggest candy cane measured 51 feet in length.
  • Every year, around 1.75 billion candy canes are produced.
  • The majority of candy canes (more than 90%) are purchased between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • The biggest sales occur during the second week of December.
  • Candy canes outsell all other non-chocolate confections when it comes to candies sold in December.
  • The flavor variety has grown beyond the traditional peppermint, with some unusual varieties such as “pickle,” “bacon,” and “bubble gum” available.   Try a “sriracha” or “wasabi” flavored sugar cane for those who prefer it spicy.
  • People chew candy canes from the straight end 58 percent of the time and the curved end 30 percent of the time. To consume the candy, the remaining 12% split it up.

Christmas Candy Canes: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do reindeers really like candy canes?

Candy canes have a highly sweet flavor, and reindeers enjoy anything with a sweet flavor. Aside from the sweetness of the Candy Canes, they also have a mint flavor to them, which might cause stomach aches in the reindeer after eating.

Are candy canes only for Christmas?

Candy canes aren’t just for the holiday season. They may also be used to commemorate children’s birthdays and other pleasant and joyful occasions. Candy canes in red and white colors are the most often used on Christmas Eve.

Why is Peppermint a Christmas flavor?

In the year 1670, a choirmaster presented numerous candies to the people and children who were performing in the nativity play. This is how the peppermint mint flavor is thought to have been introduced to the occasion of Christmas Eve.

What do the colors on the candy cane mean?

The sugar cane has a form that represents Jesus. Candy canes are often red and white in hue. The white hue represents Jesus Christ’s purity, while the crimson color represents Jesus Christ’s blood.

Are candy canes’ religious symbols?

The candy cane is designed in the shape of the letter J. The letter J represents Jesus Christ’s name. Furthermore, the colors red and white represent the peace and purity of Jesus Christ, as well as the blood of Jesus Christ.

What is the symbol of the candy cane?

The candy cane is shaped like the letter J. This J represents the initial letter of Jesus’ name. As a result, the shape of the letter J has been chosen for the specific candy cane in order to make it popular during Christmas Eve.

Is there a candy cane Emoji?

Yes, the candy cane emoji can be seen in the most recent version of WhatsApp. Aside from the candy cane emoji, numerous more emojis connected to toffee and chocolate can be found in many chat applications.


A Significant Christmas Tradition

The rich history of candy canes adds to their allure. These traditional sweets are just a necessary part of the holiday season. Candy canes can be used to decorate in a variety of ways, including attaching them to gifts or taping them to Christmas cards. You may even use a candy cane motif to adorn your Christmas tree. Whatever you select, you’ll be aware that you’re consuming a delicacy with a 350-year history and a particular place in the Christmas ritual.

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Advent Calendars – A Brief History

You don’t need an Advent calendar to know that Christmas is approaching, but opening a small numbered door to reveal a gift is a concept that everyone, religious or not, can get behind. Here’s a look at the history of Advent calendars as well as several non-traditional designs for this beloved holiday ritual.

WHAT EXACTLY IS ADVENT?

Advent is a four-week season that begins on the Sunday closest to St. Andrew the Apostle’s feast day (November 30) and continues through the next three Sundays. Advent, which originates from the Latin word for “coming,” has been celebrated since the fourth century, according to historians. Originally, the period was used to prepare Christian converts for baptism, but it is now more often linked with the celebration of Christ’s birth date on December 25.


THE HISTORY OF THE ADVENT CALENDAR

Advent calendars are not usually based on the above-mentioned Advent period. Instead, they begin on December 1 and count down the 24 days till Christmas. Most Advent calendars nowadays have paper doors that open to show an image, Bible text, or piece of chocolate. The custom dates back to the mid-nineteenth century, when German Protestants used chalk markings on doors or lighted candles to count down the days before Christmas.

THE ORIGINAL PRINTED ADVENT CALENDAR

In the early 1900s, Gerhard Lang is largely regarded as the creator of the first printed Advent calendar.

A German newspaper issued an Advent calendar supplement as a present to its readers around the same period. Lang’s calendar was inspired by one created for him by his mother and contained 24 colorful images glued to a piece of cardboard. Lang adapted his calendars to incorporate the little doors that are now a standard feature of most Advent calendars, and they were a commercial success in Germany. Production ceased during World War II owing to a cardboard scarcity, but restarted shortly after, with Richard Sellmer emerging as the major maker of commercial Advent calendars.

I LIKE IKE, AND IKE LIKES ADVENT CALENDAR

Dwight D. Eisenhower is frequently credited with popularizing the Advent calendar custom in the United States. During his administration, Eisenhower was pictured with his grandkids opening an Advent calendar, and the photograph was published in numerous national newspapers.

 

THE ADVENT CALENDAR FOR $50,000

In 2007, Harrods sold a 4-foot Christmas tree-shaped structure carved from burr elm and walnut wood, which was one of the most costly Advent calendars ever sold. Each of the $50,000 calendar’s 24 sections held a piece of organic chocolate from Green & Black, with revenues benefiting Belizean cocoa producers.

 

THE LARGEST ADVENT CALENDAR IN THE WORLD

The world’s largest advent calendar, according to Guinness World Records, was constructed in 2007 at London’s St. Pancras railway station. The huge calendar, which stood 232 feet and 11 inches tall and 75 feet and 5 inches wide, commemorated the station’s reopening after a refurbishment.

 

THE CALENDAR OF THE LEGO ADVENTURES

For numerous years, LEGO has released an Advent calendar set with figurines or buildable accessories behind each numbered door. This year, the business is selling a City edition as well as a Star Wars Advent calendar.

 

 

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Why Is the Day After Christmas Called Boxing Day?

December 26th is also known as Second Christmas Day, Saint Stephen’s (Feast) Day, Boxing Day, and Offering Day. While “Second Christmas Day” makes sense as a name and is observed in Scandinavia, Germany, and several Eastern European countries, and St. Stephen’s Day is a religious feast day for Christians, Boxing Day is a secular holiday observed in the United Kingdom and its commonwealth nations whose name is a little more perplexing. Given the nature of the event, Offering Day is only a synonym for Boxing Day, excluding the slightly distinct cultural meaning of the first two titles on this list.

To put it simply, it is unknown why Boxing Day was given its name. Rather than claiming one reason as the one correct solution, this article will outline the major hypotheses behind the naming of this seasonal observance so that the reader can reach his or her own decision. Notably, Boxing Day is also the second day of Christmastide, the liturgical celebration for which “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was composed.

Explanation #1: A Conflation of British Traditions

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first mention of this holiday dates back to the 1830s. It defined Boxing Day as the first workday following Christmas and a vacation for public employees and servants who would be given a Christmas box. Furthermore, the word “Christmas box” dates back to the 17th century.

A Christmas box, according to the old meaning, is any “gift or gratuity presented on Christmas Day.” Within the United Kingdom, this was typically confined to those who were supposedly owed money for services provided as members of the general public. This British perspective holds that because public officials worked for everyone, everyone owed them something. However, because the payment was not paid directly by members of the general public, some form of acknowledgment should be provided on Christmas.

As a side note, this interpretation has been declared illegal in some parts of modern South Africa because sellers would harass individuals at home. These sellers would virtually panhandle by knocking on houses and asking for a “Christmas box.” Notably, this conduct did not appear to be restricted to December 26th, but rather began to appear in the weeks leading up to or after Christmas Day.

Another British tradition, going back to a journal entry by Samuel Pepys on December 19, 1663, acknowledges that it was traditional for tradesmen to collect Christmas parcels on the first workday after Christmas. Throughout the year, these boxes would be filled with donations of presents or money, thus serving as the tradesmen’s Christmas bonus.

The tradesman’s habit of collecting money throughout the year in a box and then opening it on Christmas Day has its origins in an even earlier British tradition. Because slaves of the affluent aristocracy were required to work on Christmas Day, December 26th provided an opportunity for the workers to request family leave from their bosses. The slaves were allowed to visit their families and were generally given a package containing gifts, bonuses, and maybe even leftovers from the Christmas feast.

Notably, the events surrounding Good King Wenceslas, a Bohemian Duke of the 10th Century, and his unending kindness to a freezing peasant occurred on The Feast of Saint Stephen; this particular date may very well have been the reason for Wenceslas’ altruism as the overall reminder of St. Stephen is to make sacrifices to better those less fortunate.

This custom evolved into a custom in the United Kingdom that encouraged sellers to provide something, generally in the form of real cash, as a Christmas present. Most shops would likewise be closed on Boxing Day, paying tribute to the day off that the nobility’s slaves had.

Explanation #2: Alms Boxes and the Feast of Saint Stephens


Giving money and other presents to slaves and the destitute has been practiced in Europe since the Middle Ages, which lasted from the 5th through the 15th century. Despite this long tradition of goodwill and charity, it is unknown when Boxing Day originated.

Some believe that the festival gets its name from the alms box that may be seen in the unconsecrated vestibule of Christian churches, often known as the “narthex.” These boxes were used to collect money that would subsequently be donated to the poor, hungry, and oppressed.

It is also conceivable that the apparent alms box connection is related to the late Roman empire and the early days of Christianity. During this historical period, the alms box was intended to be a collecting vessel. Donations placed in the box would be used to support offerings associated with Saint Stephen, traditionally regarded as the Christian Church’s first martyr. While some Christian groups observe the Feast of Saint Stephen on December 27th, numerous others observe it on December 26th. Regardless of the day on which the feast day is commemorated, it is still customary for churches to open their alms boxes and distribute gifts to the poor, either directly or through different organizations with which the church may be affiliated.

The Nautical Interpretation is Explanation #3.

Britain is a country steeped in maritime traditions, thanks in large part to its historically impressive fleet. Given this knowledge, it should come as no surprise that there is a unique observance that may have contributed to the name Boxing Day. This maritime practice entailed sending ships out with a package containing prizes such as money, wine, and other desired things. This box, which would always arrive at the ship unopened, was meant to be a good luck symbol. If the mission of the ship is successful, the box will be turned over to a priest who will be in charge of ensuring that the contents of the box are delivered to the poor and needy around Christmastime.

These are the three most popular explanations for why December 26th is observed as Boxing Day by individuals residing in the United Kingdom or British Commonwealth states.

Here are some of the major reasons why this festival does not have a distinct name.

Christmas fitness boxer wearing santa hat and red gloves boxing on black background

It has nothing to do with the sport of Boxing.

While fox hunting was a favourite Boxing Day sport among the nobles, this holiday has nothing to do with the “sweet science” of boxing. In reality, the name “boxer” is derived from the Greek word “pyx,” which means “with clinched fist”; pyx and box sound close enough that it makes sense. While it may appear that boxing fights take place in a square arena with ropes, boxes are cubic, and matches did not always take place in a square-shaped venue.

It is not devoted to the settling of grievances.
While you may participate in some prizefighting with someone over a specific coveted item over the holidays, or you may be the sort to celebrate a fictitious holiday like the “Festivus” of the TV sitcom “Seinfeld,” boxing day has nothing to do with the expression “box his ears.” Boxing someone’s ears means striking them on the side of the head or on the ear.

The name “boxing” may have originated from the same etymological roots as boxing since it explicitly utilizes “box” as a phrase for striking someone about the head. The closest this phrase may get to genuine Boxing Day events is harsh revenge by servants if their owners treat them terribly over the holidays. Some see masters giving their workers the day off on December 26th as a method to keep the serving workforce just loyal enough to tolerate whatever harsh life such service involves.

While determining the etymology of Boxing Day remains mostly an academic pursuit about determining whether it is due to the British navy, several converging religious observances, or ways for the nobility to keep their servants loyal and happy, the positive feelings associated with this holiday among those who celebrate it cannot be disputed. Even if you don’t reside in the Commonwealth, consider contributing some of your time or money to someone less fortunate than yourself on December 26th, a day that many Americans refer to unofficially as “Annual Returns Day.”

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Christmas Bells – The History and Tradition of Bell Ringing

Christmas bells are a long-standing and much-loved ritual. The sounds of bells with Christmas are a cherished memory and tradition, from church bells ringing at midnight on Christmas Eve to the sound of sleigh bells in the snow. Many people believe that Christmas isn’t complete until the snow falls and the strains of Christmas music fill the air.

What’s the story behind the Christmas bells ringing? Whether its bells in a handbell choir commemorating a beloved hymn, bronze church bells summoning the faithful to worship, or sleigh bells just celebrating a joyous time, the use of bells is a lengthy history that is cherished and appreciated. While new songs and music are released each year, there are a few tunes and melodies that define Christmas in a significant manner.

Many of these songs and carols reflect the people who sing them and their cultural emphasis on Christmas. There is one custom that stands the test of time and culture. That’s the sound of the bells. Since ancient times, the ringing of bells has been an integral part of the Christmas celebration. The use of bells in music is not new. Bells have historically been used to not only give music and a sense of celebration, but also to ward off demons and evil spirits. Much of the origins of bell ringing may be traced back to pagan winter rituals and celebrations designed to ward off bad spirits.

Bells have been rung for a number of purposes throughout history. During the Middle Ages, the ringing of bells became increasingly important. The usage of bells was a reliable and primary mode of communication. The sound of bells was used to herald the presence of important people as well as the beginning and finish of activities. Special festivities have been announced by the Bells.

Later, when Saint Patrick was teaching and preaching in Ireland, he used bells to signal the start of instruction for his students as well as the start of Mass. The ringing of bells to signal the commencement of church services is still practiced today. Bells have come to represent something holy, sacred, and significant. Bell ringing was coupled with the use of other instruments such as gongs, trumpets, and drums.

Anglican and Catholic churches employed bells as a summons to worship in the Victorian era. The Christian day began at sunset in many cultures. The first Christmas service after sundown on Christmas Eve is significant and is still observed. The bells grew ubiquitous and were used to notify a variety of major occasions. Carolers accompanied their singing with handbells because they were portable and offered musical assistance. Handbells were frequently utilized as a precursor to the traditional proclamation of Jesus’ birth in Christmas ceremonies. The Eastern Orthodox church has a long history of using bells in its worship rituals.

Churches and religious groups have frequently faced financial restrictions throughout history. Bells were popular because they were available in a wide range of sizes, from little handbells to huge bells suited for placement in a tower or steeple. Festivals and holy days were announced with bells. The smaller bells may be used in processions as well as within the church. Bells continued to ring to herald arrivals, festivities, and special occasions. Bells had come to represent and serve as a reminder of the Lord’s work. The more important the event or celebration, the more bells were rung.

Bells are now employed in a number of applications. They have secular applications in addition to being used in worship. Bells, for example, are used in wreaths and garlands. They put the finishing touches on Santa and elf outfits. It’s no surprise that the Salvation Army now utilizes Christmas bells to bring attention to its fund-raising efforts. Bells are also utilized in secular applications such as adorning homes and businesses, as well as on Santa hats and elves’ shoes.

The sounds of Christmas bells and carols are typically linked with excitement, pleasure, and joy. Surprisingly, this hasn’t always been the case. Many Christmas celebrations were toned down during the American Civil War to reflect the mood of the period. For example, after one of his sons was gravely wounded in war, American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow felt extremely despondent. He wrote the poem “Christmas Bells,” which inspired the hymn “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” While its poem lacks the boundless delight and enthusiasm that many songs about bells offer, it does express gratitude for the long-standing custom ringing bells at Christmas.

Other secular tunes and carols include “Carol of the Bells,” “Silver Bells,” and “Jingle Bells.” These are songs about the Christmas ritual of utilizing bells. They retell traditional Christmas stories from the past and today. These customs are significant. They have been passed down from generation to generation in families, religious and cultural organizations, to recount and celebrate the Christmas narrative.

 

After all, Christmas is one of the most important feasts and festivities in the Christian faith. There is pleasure and delight in repeating the lyrics and melody of Christmas carols and songs for the persons who do so.

Many additional songs and carols express the customs, such as “Carol of the Bells,” “Silver Bells,” and even “Jingle Bells.” The song “Carol of the Bells” adds enthusiasm to Christmas celebrations. “Silver Bells” marks the start of the Christmas season, while “Jingle Bells” transports singers and listeners alike on an exciting and joyful carriage trip.

When bells sound, it is a warning. Something is going to occur. Religious people ring the bells to commemorate Christ’s birth, while traditionalists ring the bells to signal the start of the winter festival season.

For hundreds of years, bells have been rung in joy and grief. They represent the passage of time and the change of seasons. Bell and Christmas customs may vary as cultural patterns change, but using bells to commemorate and recall past traditions and patterns will remain a part of the ongoing celebration of life.