Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Carols are Mellifluous and Euphonious Accolades of Christ in Twilight

 The term, “Christmas carol”, originates from England. According to this English story, a young girl named Carol got lost in the streets of London on a cold winter night. In an attempt to find her, her friends went from house to house similar to the way we do during Christmas. After this episode, the term “Christmas carol” became widespread.

The more pragmatic explanation is that the word, “carol”, comes from the Greek dance, “Choraulein”, which is accompanied by flutes. Later, the Frenchmen replaced the flutes with singing and named it, “caroller”, which means, “to dance around in a circle”.

The tradition of singing carols can be traced back to the monk, St. Francis of Assisi. He introduced the singing of carols in church ceremonies. Today, each country has its own traditions in connection with Christmas carols. In many places, people walk from house to house and sing at Christmas time; in other places, Christmas carols are sung in church.

Many people probably also think about modern songs like “White Christmas”, when they think of Christmas carols. However, there is a distinction between a Christmas carol and a Christmas song. A Christmas Carol has a fairly rapid, regular beat, which would, therefore, exclude a meandering, crooning song such as “White Christmas”. Christmas carols can often be sung by a choir and usually have simple and straightforward rhythms. This is rarely the case for pop and rock songs, which often have more complex compositions.

The world’s most famous Christmas carol is "Silent night". “Jingle Bells” was originally named, “One-Horse Open Sleigh”, and was written for Thanksgiving, not for Christmas.

Charles Dickens’s story, "A Christmas Carol", is the world’s most read Christmas story.

Endow to vent and render your love

Gift giving was common during the Roman Saturnalia. In the 13th century, nuns in France started giving gifts to the poor on the eve of St. Nicholas' Day. Gift giving was soon repressed by the medieval church. In the beginning, people did not buy expensive Christmas gifts for each other. Gifts could be pieces of fruit or simple toys. The gifts were not wrapped and were just given to each other or hung on the tree since the Christmas tree tradition also became popular.

Gift giving in colonial America was based on class differences, the poor accosting the rich and demanding food, drink, and money. In the 1820's, borrowing from the New York Dutch, the idea of gift giving was transformed to that of parents giving Christmas gifts to their children. Gift giving also recalls an ancient Roman custom of exchanging gifts, to bring good fortune for the New Year.

In Brazil, Christmas presents are hidden outdoors (it is warm and they do not have to worry about snow) and children have to search for them.

In Scandinavia, It’s very popular to buy watches for Christmas.

Christmas, the great present giving season of the year. Tradition says that we must treat each other kindly during Christmas. Maybe that is the reason why the tradition of giving Christmas gifts has spread far and wide. By giving holiday gifts, we show that we care about each other.

Gift giving is a pleasure for both the giver and receiver. It is a symbol of love, care or mutual respect and simplest method to win anyone’s heart or goodwill. It is an easy way to make anybody happy with less effort and money. And the unique feature of this wonderful phenomenon of GIFT is that it softens hearts and overcome mutual deadlocks.Festival days give the best opportunity for gifting. Since Christmas and New Year days are only one week apart, both can be combined and make grand gifting proposals. Getting to know what children and your loved ones want, and surprising them with it onChristmas Day is sometimes considered the highlight of Christmas celebrations. Gifts or presents are usually bought long before Christmas and are hidden till Christmas Day, when they are wrapped decoratively and placed under the Christmas tree for family members to find. Finding and opening these presents is usually the first thing done on Christmas Day.

Everyone carries innate desire to be understood, nourished and cared. Sending gift is one of the most common ways to express love towards your close ones. It is one special occasion, which people celebrate with much enthusiasm and exchange gifts within their family members and friends group. During Christmas, people make lot of arrangements, plan and shop out for a variety of fabulous gift items for their loved ones.

The countdown has begun for this beautiful festival. There is much excitement in air as people have already started deciding upon the various gift items they would like to gift their loved ones. To cater the need of the festival, a variety of charming Christmas gift options are available in the market.

Be it kids or youngsters or senior citizens, there is something in store for everyone in market. In case, you find it difficult to get time for hunting these beautiful Christmas gifts, you can buy your perfect Christmas gift item through online shopping too. A large number of portals are present online where you can select right Christmas gift item at reasonable prices for your loved ones. One can browse through the endless categories of gift items on these online shopping portals and can choose the best gift amongst all.

These charming Christmas gifts not only echo message of love, respect and affection, but also good luck and prosperity for the receivers.

So, what are you waiting for Send Christmas Gifts and strike the right chord in their hearts with your love and affection on this Christmas.

When you’re shopping for a gift for a woman, your top priority is to make her happy. Sentimental gifts are very special and in most cases something beautiful and personal will melt her heart. Many men love giving more than one gift. One is not enough. She might enjoy something useful; something she might love to have, but just can’t bring herself to buy it. This is where you step in. The idea is to remember her and let her
know you care. With any gift, make sure you know her taste; her likes and her dislikes. Knowing her dislikes can sometimes be more important than knowing her likes. Think of something she doesn’t already have. It might be something to make her life easier or more enjoyable. Consider something you may already have experience with. If you like it, maybe she will too. With every box she opens, she becomes more excited and feels very special and in return, she’ll make you feel special, too. That’s what it’s all about. One more thing—she’ll think you’re a very smart and clever shopper.

Though Christmas is a festival for people of all ages, the actual enthusiasm lies among the children. In addition to eating cakes, pastries, cookies, candy and so on, they eagerly wait for the gifts that Santa Claus will give them on Christmas.

Love , Though this is not a tangible gift, it is probably the best Christmas gift idea. For all those unable to afford the gifts, do not worry. A simple handwritten 'Merry Christmas', presented with love will be far better than all the expensive gifts above. The true spirit of Christmas is to spread love and joy around, and with this gift, you will be doing exactly that. Take time out from your daily routine and make a special effort to infuse some love and cheer in everything you do on Christmas Day. Chances are people around you will notice, and it will indeed be the best Christmas gift you could have given them.

Exchanging gifts at Christmas is a fairly new tradition. The most important thing that you have to keep in mind while exchanging gifts is the spirit of giving. You should not expect gifts in return, and should never plan your gift in such a manner too. When it comes to Christmas gifts, it is the thought that counts and a simple Christmas card given with a warm hug may mean more than a thousand dollar gift.

Enticing Christmas food is Luscious and full of Piquant.

The children always look forward to receiving gifts, while grown-ups probably look forward to preparing and eating Christmas food the most. As it is, we all exert much effort to plan and prepare good food during Christmas. All recipes must be tasty and there must be enough of everything.

During Christmas, a whole nation eats the same food. People cook according to the same Christmas recipes and end up with the same table decorations. It is, after all, a time for observing traditions. In the USA, they serve turkey and/or ham. It is placed in the middle of table; thus, it also functions as an amazing table decor. Many people in England do the same.

America’s first recipe for Christmas cakes dates back to 1796. In the old times, sugar was very expensive;
therefore, Christmas cakes were a luxury.

In Australia, the turkey is eaten cold. In Denmark, they put hot porridge outside for the pixies on Christmas Eve.

The first gingerbread man is credited to the court of Queen Elizabeth I, who favored important visitors with charming gingerbread of their taste.

However, even though traditions with regards to Christmas recipes are great, they are not the same across States.

• Hawaii blesses us with Turkey Teriyaki marinated and cooked in an outdoor pit.
• New England has Lumberjack Pie (a mashed potato crust filled with meat, onion, and cinnamon)
• Pennsylvania Dutch serves Sand Tarts (thin, crisp sugar cookies)
• Louisiana's treat is Creole Gumbo. It can include ham, veal, chicken, shrimp, oysters, and crabmeat.
• North Carolina features Moravian Love-Feast Buns (faintly sweet bread of flour and mashed potatoes)
• Baltimore serves Sauerkraut with their Turkey (which includes apples, onions, and carrots)
• Southern states have Hominy Grits SoufflĂ© and Whiskey Cake (with one cup of 100-proof whiskey.)
• New Mexico has Empanaditas -- little beef pies with applesauce, pine nuts, and raisins
• Virginia gives us oyster and ham pie

At the same time, each family often has its own personal Christmas recipe which all members prefer. Sometimes, the turkey is stuffed with something very special or the potatoes need to be prepared in a special way on this particular day.

You will see the big differences if you examine what the different nations eat for Christmas. In Mexico, the menu mostly consists of fruits, nuts, and salad. In the Czech Republic, they eat carp, and in France, the Christmas recipes consist of both foie gras and lobster.

Christmas food is about more than just the hot main dish. Besides the savory dish, Christmas recipes include lots of cakes, pies, sugar, and candy are also important.


Santa’s Cordial Benevolence

The legend of ‘Santa Claus’ dates all the way back to the 4th century, when a child named ‘Nicholas’ was born in Turkey. At that time, nobody knew that he was to become world renowned as Santa Claus, but Nicholas soon showed signs of special abilities. As a grown-up he became catholic bishop of Myra (a city now in Turkey), in Lycia, a province of the Byzantine Anatolia, where according to legend, he only did good deeds. He was very pious from an early age, devoting his life to Christianity. He became widely known for his generosity for the poor. But the Romans held him in contempt. He was imprisoned and tortured. But when Constantine became emperor of Rome, he allowed Nicholas to go free. Constantine became a Christian and convened the Council of Nicaea in 325. Nicholas was a delegate to the council. He is especially noted for his love of children and for his generosity. He is the patron saint of sailors, Sicily, Greece, and Russia. He is also, of course, the patron saint of children. The Dutch kept the legend of St. Nicholas alive. In 16th century Holland, Dutch children would place their wooden shoes by the hearth in hopes that they would be filled with a treat. The Dutch spelled St. Nicholas as Sint Nikolaas, which became corrupted to Sinterklaas, and finally, in Anglican, to Santa Claus.

One of the deeds later associated with Nicholas as Santa Claus or gift donor took place when he saved a family from poverty one night by throwing money through their window. But Nicholas was capable of much more than that. He could, by the power of God, bring the dead back to life and save sailors from storms. Therefore, Nicholas (later known as Santa Claus) was beatified and initially, was mostly honored by the sailors.

At first, Nicholas became a Catholic saint, but during the Reformation hagiolatry was abandoned by the Protestants. However, it was difficult to just drop St. Nicholas due to his popularity; thus, he was portrayed without a bishop’s miter and was named Santa Claus. People from all over the world send letters to Santa Claus in Finland. Santa Claus gave treats to children and he was regarded as a special friend and protector of children. In Poland, Santa Claus gives gifts on the 6th of  December. Santa has 31 hoursof Christmas to work  with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth. Coincidentally, Nicolas had died in December, thus, it was now easy to associate him asSanta Claus with Christmas and gift-giving.That’s how St. Nicholas became known under the name Santa Claus in Europe and later on, also in the USA. His story was spread by the Dutch sailors berthing in New York. He is also known as Saint Nick, Father Christmas, Kriss Kringle, Santy or simply Santa.

In 1822, Clement C. Moore composed his famous poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas," which was later published as "The Night Before Christmas."

The popular image of Santa Claus was created by the German-American cartoonist Thomas Nast in (1840–1902) i.e.; 1866. The image was standardized by advertisers in the 1920s. He made a montage entitled, "Santa Claus and His Works" and for the first time established Santa as a maker of toys.

Santa Claus has been widely used as a commercial eye catcher, in particular after 1930, when Coca Cola used him in their advertisements for the first time. Here he had a big, white beard, black boots, a big red coat, and an infectious laughter - exactly like we know and love him today. It was Coca-Cola's magazine advertisements, billboards, and point-of-sale store displays that exposed nearly everyone in America to the modern Santa Claus image.

No Christmas event is complete without the presence of Santa Claus. Children believe that 'Santa Claus' brings them presents the night before Christmas. In most countries children believe that Father Christmas (Santa Claus) lives in the north part of Finland called Korvatunturi, north of the Arctic Circle and he arrives
through the sky on a sledge pulled by reindeer. He enters into houses down the chimney at midnight and places presents for the children in socks or bags by their beds or under the Christmas tree. It is an eagerly awaited occasion as kids look for their gifts with great anxiety.

Scintillating Christmas Tree

Christmas tree is originated in Germany around 700 AD and Germans are responsible for bringing the Christmas tree to the New World. There are numerous conflicting myths and legends associated with the Christmas tree.

As per one legend, at the time of Pagan Yule celebration, the Pagan families used to believe in the wood sprits. They would bring a real tree inside their home in winter season, in order to provide a place to the spirits to remain warm during the cold months. Pagans hung bells from the branches of the tree so that they would know when a spirit  came inside their home.

Another legend is connected with St. Boniface, the Apostle of the Germans, who propagated Christianity in the Frankish Empire during the 7th century. St. Boniface was furious when he saw pagans revering an oak tree. He hacked it down, but when a fir tree sprang up on the spot, he decided to use the tree's triangular shape to describe the Trinity.

By the 12th Century, Central Europeans were hanging fir trees - upside down - from ceilings at Christmas.

Another legend is credited to “the German theologian and reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546), who in 1530 was moved by the sight of stars shining though the forest of firs near his home, that he apparently cut a small one and brought it indoors. He then placed, lit candles in its boughs as a salute to the star of Bethlehem. By the 1800s, the Christmas tree custom was widespread throughout many parts of Europe, and was brought to America by the Pennsylvania German immigrants in the 1820's. In 1880, Woolworth sold the first manufactured Christmas tree ornaments, and the first electrically lighted Christmas tree appeared in 1882.”

“Another version of the legends about the Christmas tree goes back to the 1300's. During that time, artists used to roam around in the streets carrying huge pine boughs, loaded with apples. This act was a kind of advertisement for the miracle plays they used to stage on the steps of the church, the plays about Adam and Eve, with the boughs representing the Garden of Eden. Slowly and gradually, this 'paradise tree' came to be associated with life and was named as the 'Christ Child's Tree' and after words Christmas tree”.

“Among many legends most common stories tells the tale of an old woodcutter that stumbled across a young hungry child in the woods. He stopped chopping trees for a bit to befriend and feed the child. Once their meal was finished the two went on their separate ways. Early during the next morning the child appeared in front of the woodcutter and his wife in the form of a spirit. He identified himself as Christkind and thanked the surprised woodcutter for his act of kindness on the previous day. To repay the woodcutter's good will, Christkind gave him the sprig of an evergreen tree and told him the tree from which the sprig came would bear fruit year round. In response to this miraculous incident, each year Germans started felling evergreen trees each winter”. The most widespread, and to children the most delightful, of all festal institutions is the Christmas tree. Its picturesqueness and gaudy charm have made it spread rapidly all over Europe without roots in national tradition. the tree is purely splendor for splendor's sake. However tawdry it may look by day, at night it is a true thing of wonder, shining with countless lights and glittering ornaments, with fruit of gold and shimmering festoons of silver.

Christmas trees have a long and exciting history. During the pre-Christian era, people and tribes often had holy groves and trees where they sacrificed to the gods. The trees were most often oak or ash, and they symbolized a connection between heaven and earth. Similar ideas are found in the Old Testament – trees symbolized wisdom and life.

American Christmas trees

Fraser Fir

The tree lives in acidic, sandy, moist soil at high elevations of 1,200-2,000 meters. The crown is pyramidal and it has horizontal branches. The tree is widely used as a Xmas tree in the USA.

Red Fir

The tree grows in the northern parts of California and Oregon. It typically grows between the range of 40-60 meters. It has a narrow conic crown. It is often used as an outdoor holiday tree.

European Christmas Trees

Silver Fir

Silver Fir grows in mineral-rich soil in the Central European mountain forests. The crown is conic-shaped and slim. It is highly suitable as a Christmas tree.

Nordmann Fir

Nordmann Fir is native to the mountains on the eastside of the Black Sea. It is a large, evergreen tree with a wide and conic-shaped growth.

Christmas Tree Decor Sets

Christmas tree decor sets come in all shapes and sizes. There are flowers, wreaths, wax candles, miniature Santa Claus figures, and ceramic miniature figures of angels and other symbols that represent an important aspect of the Christmas season. Live Christmas decor sets usually go well with real Christmas trees, while artificial Christmas tree decor sets go well with trees made out of synthetic materials.

Today, many different kinds of Christmas decorations are known. Here are a few:

Christmas lights

When people back in the old days talked about Christmas lights, they meant the small, white candles on their trees. But today, most popular Christmas lights are either the old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs or the modern LED. Bubble lights are sealed glass tubes with a bubbling liquid inside were first created by Benjamin Franklin. The idea was adopted for use in Christmas Lights. Moreover, these Christmas Tree Bulbs symbolize
happiness as it sparkles.


As early as the mid-1880’s, using angels as Christmas decorations became widespread. Angles are associated with the Christian culture, but are also known in Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and Judaism, where angels are used as messengers.

Christmas balls

 As far back as three hundred years ago, glass balls were already used as Christmas decorations. Today, the big, shiny balls of thin plastic or glass are used. They were originally invented in Germany.

Christmas candles

To decorate the Christmas tree with Christmas candles is a tradition that dates back to the 16th century – the time when the Christmas tree was first brought into a living room. The candle symbolizes life and joy in a dark time, and is perfect for Christmas.

Christmas tree candles represent two things for most people around the world. First, Christmas tree candles symbolize the Bethlehem Star which guided the Three Wise Men to the manger as stated by the Holy Bible. Christmas candle, particularly for the Irish, symbolizes the Holy Family in search for a place where they could rest and where Mary could give birth to the infant Jesus, so a Christmas candle is an important addition to the holiday decor sets of Christian families.But a Christmas candle can also be found on the window sills of most Irish homes during the holiday season since it symbolizes their welcoming gestures for the Holy Family that was in search for shelter before the Nativity.


In 1610, tinsel was invented in Germany and was made from genuine silver. Machines that shredded silver into thin tinsel-sized strips were invented. However, since silver tinsel tarnishes and loses its shine over time, people eventually created artificial replacements. It must be noted that the original inventor of tinsel remains unknown.

In many families, Christmas decorating traditions and decorations are passed on from generation to generation.

Cardinal Beautifying Materials


Wreaths that are displayed at Christmas time are in the form of a circle made up of  the Evergreen tree cuttings, signifying eternity. Mostly made of evergreen tree twigs, sometimes with pinecones, flowers, leaves, fruits, and a bow made of red ribbon is a common Christmas decoration. Christmas wreaths are placed in homes on the front doors or the balcony. This is a sign that you welcome the advent season into your house.

They also serve to wish people happiness in the New Year. Christmas Wreaths are decorated with candles symbolizing the sun at winter solstice, and with holly, evergreens,red berries, and pinecones, symbolizing the harvest, which might have come down since the time of ancient Rome.

There are four candles placed upon the Christmas wreaths. Presently many churches light the candles during the services held in preparation for advent in succession during the four weeks before Christmas. Three of the candles are violet in color traditionally and the fourth has the color of a rose. In some churches blue candles are used on Christmas wreaths while some use white candles. Some of the Christmas wreaths also have a fifth candle in addition to the four candles. This is lit on the Christmas Eve or on the Christmas Day symbolizing the birth of Jesus Christ.

The Christmas wreath is a symbol of god’s eternal love for us. The violet candle symbolizes faith and the rose colored candle the joy of the advent season. The first candle placed on the Christmas wreath is known as the Prophets candle signifying the hope of the arrival of Jesus’ arrival. The second candle is the Bethlehem candle, reminding people that God was born in a humble manner in a manger.

The third candle to be lit on the Xmas wreath is the Shepherds candle and the last is the angel’s candle. This is the symbol of the peace and joy that the advent season offers us. The Christmas wreaths are also used in the protestant churches and in all the parts of the world.

You can select from a wide range of Christmas wreaths according to the other home decorations. The Christmas wreathe can also be decorated by the use of ribbons and bells. The wreaths can be given a personal touch by adding some natural cones and berries to the wreath. The Christmas wreathe can easily be detached as you take down the decorations of your house and keep it for the next advent season.

Mistletoe, Holly and Ivy

Mistletoe comes from the Celtic tradition. Two hundred years before the birth of Christ, the Druids used mistletoe to celebrate the coming of winter. They revered the plant since it had no roots yet remained green during the cold months of winter. The ancient Celtics believed mistletoe to have magical healing powers and used it as an antidote for poison, infertility, and to ward of evil spirits. The plant was also seen as a symbol of peace, and it is said that among Romans, enemies who met under mistletoe would lay down their weapons and embrace. Scandinavians associated the plant with Frigga, their goddess of
love, and it may be from this that we derive the custom of kissing under the mistletoe. Those who kissed under the mistletoe had the promise of happiness and good luck in the following year. The early church banned the use of mistletoe in Christmas celebrations because of its pagan origins. Instead, church fathers suggested the use of holly as an appropriate substitute for Christmas greenery.

In Northern Europe Christmas occurred during the middle of winter, when ghosts and demons could be heard howling in the winter winds. Boughs of holly, believed to have magical powers since they remained green through the harsh winter, were often placed over the doors of homes to drive evil away. Greenery was also brought indoors to freshen the air and brighten the mood during the long, dreary winter.

Legend also has it that holly sprang from the footsteps of Christ as he walked the earth. The pointed leaves were said to represent the crown of thorns Christ wore while on the cross and the red berries symbolized the blood he shed.

Ivy is a plant that needs to climb and cling to another plant or wall as it grows, so it is said to represent the support that we receive from God and how we can cling to him for shelter in times of need.

Ivy also used to be a popular plant to be used in wedding bouquets, as it was said to represent fidelity and also brought good luck and fertility.  Ivy was said to be a fertility symbol because it was a plant that could grow rapidly and reproduce in even the most adverse of conditions.  In modern times, ivy is popular as a Christmas plant because it stands for joy and good luck.

Ivy is a plant that was closely associated with the Roman god of wine, Bacchus. He wore a crown of ivy on his head to symbolize his immortality. It had been a symbol of eternal life in many pagan religions, including Druidism. The Christians who converted these Pagans embraced it as a symbol for the new promise of eternal life and Jesus’ everlasting one.

That ivy is ‘female’ is also implied by the custom of the Holly Boy and Ivy Girl. Victorians saw it as an emblem of the ever-faithful, but dependent, love of wife for the husband to whom she clings as the ivy to the oak.


Poinsettia was a Mexican flower named after Joel R. Poinsett. Usually for Christmas deep vibrant red poinsettia is chosen. However, there is a wide range of other colors, including pink, white marbled, speckled and yellow.

The legend of the poinsettia comes from Mexico. It tells of a girl named Maria and her little brother Pablo. They were very poor but always looked forward to the Christmas festival. Each year a large manger scene was set up in the village church, and the days before Christmas were filled with parades and parties. The two children loved Christmas but were always saddened because they had no money to buy presents. They especially wished that they could give something to the church for the Baby Jesus. But they had nothing.

One Christmas Eve, Maria and Pablo set out for church to attend the service. On their way they picked some weeds growing along the roadside and decided to take them as their gift to the Baby Jesus in the manger scene. Of course other children teased them when they arrived with their gift, but they said nothing for they knew they had given what they could. Maria and Pablo began placing the green plants around the manger and
miraculously, the green top leaves turned into bright red petals, and soon the manger was surrounded by beautiful star-like flowers and so we see them today.

Christmas rose

Christmas rose is a European evergreen plant with white or purplish rose like winter-blooming flowers. It can be found on table clothes, napkins, wrapping paper and Christmas cards.

The Legend of the Christmas rose speaks of a young girl named Madelon who wanted to come and worship the Christ Child. Seeing the gold, frankincense and myrrh brought by others who were drawn to the humble birthplace, she despaired that she had no gift to bring, for Madelon was poor indeed.

In vain she searched the countryside for a flower that she might bring, but the winter had been cold and harsh and there were no flowers to be found. Saddened, the girl began to weep. An angel passing over her stopped to provide comfort and smote the ground that was wet from her tears. There did spring a beautiful bush that bloomed of white roses.

"Nor myrrh, nor frankincense, nor gold," said the angel, "is offering more good for the Christ Child than these pure Christmas Roses." And thus young Madelon went her way and worshipped the Prince of Peace, bearing the gift of her heart and tears.

Bethlehem Star

The Star of Bethlehem, also called the Christmas Star, is a star in Christian tradition that revealed the birth of Jesus to the magi, or "wise men", and later led them to Bethlehem. Many Christians see the star as a miraculous sign to mark the birth of the Christ (or messiah).

Yule Log

Yule Log is a significant part of Christmas traditions. Yule log is a large log burned in the hearth of the house. Yule log symbolizes the victory of light over the darkness of winter and a symbol of prosperity and luck. The tradition of lighting the Yule log is still observed, especially by Europeans. Families light the log on Christmas Eve and keep it burning until Epiphany. It is believed, if the tradition is followed with sincerity and devotion, it would bring good health, wealth and productivity in the year ahead.

The tradition is practiced in many countries and hence several legends are associated with its origin. The most popular story of the Yule Log dates back to the 12th century. During this period in most of the European countries, the winter festival was celebrated by burning wood and drinking wine. The Solstice festival was Jol (Yule) which was celebrated throughout Northern Europe and Scandinavia. It was a feast to honor the
Norse God, Odin who was the God of Intoxicating Drink. The custom of Yule Log emerged from the Europe's winter festival.

Candy Cane

 Legend has it that during the 17th century, craftsmen created the white sticks of candy in the shape of shephreds' crooks at the suggestion of the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany.

In 1847 German immigrant August Imgard used the candy cane to decorate a Christmas tree in Wooster, Ohio. More than 50 years later, Bob McCormack of Albany, Georgia supposedly made candy canes as treats for family, friends and local shopkeepers.

More recent explanations of the candy cane's symbolism hold that the color white represents Christ's purity, the red the blood he shed, and the presence of three red stripes the Holy Trinity.

Christmas stockings

Christmas stockings are hung near the chimney on Christmas Eve for Santa Claus to fill it with goodies for the children. It is an empty sock or a bag that is given the shape of a sock. The children in United States and some other countries have been following this tradition of hanging a Christmas stocking, believing that Father Christmas will fill it with sweets and gifts for them. The items that are believed to be stuffed in the Christmas
stocking by Santa Claus are known as stocking stuffers.

The tradition of the Christmas stockings began by a story told since ancient time about a kind noble man who had three daughters. The wife of the nobleman expired and the daughters and their father were left in a state of sorrow. The daughters had to do all the work in the house. When the daughters became young and eligible for
marriage, the poor father could not afford to give the huge dowries to their husbands.

One evening the daughters, after washing their stockings hung them near the fire place to be dried. Santa Claus being moved by the plight of the daughters came in and put in three bags of gold one in each of the stocking hanging by the chimney. The next morning the family noticed the gold bags and the nobleman had enough for his daughter’s marriage. The daughters got married and they lived happily ever after. Since then children have been hanging Christmas stockings.

Christmas stockings are supposed to have the gifts given by Santa Claus. The other gifts are wrapped in present papers and placed near the Christmas tree. It is believed that a child who misbehaves during the year will not get a gift in their Christmas stocking. The Christmas stockings are traditionally hung on the fireplace. But as most of the modern homes do not have a fireplace, any location is suitable for hanging the Christmas stockings. In many traditions the Christmas stocking is to be stuffed by a gift that will stimulate the five sensory organs.

The gift given by Santa Claus would be something to eat, a thing that makes a sound and gives a pleasant view to the eyes or gift which has a lovely fragrance.

In the present modern culture there are special Christmas stockings available in the market. Some families design unique stockings for each family member.