Christmas Traditions

By: Teagan Vogel

Cookies For Santa


ORIGIN: Many people say that kids set out cookies and milk for Santa as fuel for the long night ahead of him. The real reason is actually from a real event in the past. Praising of Saint Nicholas was important to the religion of Orthodox Christians. On December 6th to worship him for his kindness, they have a traditional feast. Then on St. Nicholas Eve, kids would put out food for him and his helpers as offerings in trade for presents in the morning. When the Protestant reformation was happening, they thought having a celebration for Saints Day was too flashy and was frowned upon. People still wanted to celebrate the feast of Saint Nicholas though, so they began relating that to Christmas. In the end, they kept the tradition of the big feast and setting out food for St. Nicholas (Santa) in the evening, in exchange for gifts to wake up to.

Hanging Stockings

ORIGIN: Hanging your stocking over the fireplace originated from an old story. The story began with a father and his three girls who were of marrying age, but were not able to because they were so poor. When Saint Nicholas heard about their concerns he set out on a mission to help them. The girls had gone to bed and hung their stockings in the fireplace to dry overnight. St. Nicholas then dropped gold down and it fell into their stockings. In the morning when they awakened, they found the gold and now were eligible for marriage. Ever since this story has risen, kids have been setting out their stockings waiting for presents from St. Nicholas.
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Star/Angel at the Top of the Tree

ORIGIN: People started placing angels on a Christmas tree as a topper because it symbolised the angel Gabriel from the nativity of Jesus. The star was started as a tree topper to represent the Star of Bethlehem. The angel tree topper was being used all the way back to the Victorian era, correlating with the boom of Christmas trees in England.


WIKIPEDIA says:

The Illustrated London News published a picture of Queen

Victoria, Prince Albert, and their family around a Christmas

tree topped with an angel, and by its influence the Christmas

angel became the most common tree-topper.[2]

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Citations

"Christmas Stockings." ZChocolatcom Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2014.

-this source gave me a good amount of information on the origin of how hanging stockings came to be and had good ways to describe the story of how.


"Why Santa Drinks Milk with Cookies on Christmas Eve." Santa Update Why Santa Drinks Milk with Cookies on Christmas Eve Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.

-this source helped with opinionated and kid-friendly information of why kids put out cookies for Santa. In the way of kid-friendly it has a section talking about how this author has asked Santa why he likes these treats and things like that.


"Tree-topper." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Nov. 2014. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.

-this source helped a ton with information on the origins of tree toppers and also on the origins of the other two categories.