Across the world and here in the UK, there are many different Christmas traditions for the home. From wreaths to ancient customs and even pickles, there are many fun ways to decorate your home during the festive season. Our conveyancing team have shared the background behind ten popular customs.
1. Front door wreaths A beautiful Christmas wreath can make a home look welcoming and festive. This tradition dates from the Middle Ages, when it was adopted by Christians to represent the start of Christmas. At this time of year, there are various workshops where you can learn how to make a wreath. The added benefit of designing your own wreath is the fact that you can match different elements to your home’s exterior style.
2. Evergreen foliage décor Evergreen foliage has been used for decorations since ancient times, dating back to Roman and Pagan festivals. This tradition has long been associated with the winter solstice, which occurs just before Christmas. Evergreens symbolise victory of life over darkness. Greenery was thought to protect the home from evil spirits trying to gain entry during the wintertime.
3. Good luck mistletoe Why do people kiss under a sprig of mistletoe? This is a Scandinavian tradition that relates to their goddess of love. In Roman times, mistletoe was considered a symbol of peace. Both of these concepts could explain why it’s believed that a kiss under the mistletoe will result in either marriage or a year of good luck!
4. The Christmas tree Although this is one of the most popular ways to decorate your home at Christmas, this is a relatively recent custom. It was introduced to the UK in 1841 by Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, who brought a tree over from Germany. The Royal Family posed in front of the decorated tree for a newspaper article at Windsor Castle, and it became a permanent trend.
5. Symbolic colour schemes
Red, gold and green are always associated with Christmas because of their symbolic meaning. Red symbolises the blood of Christ, gold was one of the Three Kings’ gifts, and green relates to the idea of everlasting life. If your home is for sale, you can still adorn your property with Christmas decorations. Consider the visual appeal of rooms and choose simple yet stylish decorations that won’t make spaces feel cluttered.
6. Colourful plant displays
There are certain plants that are associated with Christmas and can add a pop of colour to a room. Poinsettias have large, vibrant red flowers, but keep this plant out of the reach of pets as it can be poisonous if ingested. Flowering Christmas cactuses also have long, intricate blooms, adding an elegant touch to festive décor schemes.
7. Fireplace stockings
The tradition of hanging stockings by the chimney relates to St. Nicholas, a 4th-century Christian saint. According to legend, a poor man didn’t have enough money for his three daughters’ dowries. One Christmas Eve, the daughters hung up their newly washed stockings to dry by the fire. Apparently, St. Nicholas took pity on the family and dropped gold coins down the chimney and into the stockings. A 19th-century poem about the saint led to him morphing into our modern Father Christmas.
8. Advent calendars
Advent is the religious name for the festive season, preparing people for the celebration of the birth of Christ. The Christmas countdown is thought to have originated from the Lutherans in Germany during the 19th century. When advent started, they would count down the days by placing a chalk mark on their front doors.
9. Find the pickle!
This strange and unusual tradition is popular in the Midwest region of the USA. Despite occasionally being referred to as Weihnachtsgurke, a German word, no-one knows it’s true roots. A pickle-shaped hanging ornament is purposefully hidden amongst the branches of a Christmas tree. The first child to find it will receive an extra gift and good luck for the coming year!
Elf on a shelf
Last but not least, we couldn’t leave out this popular modern-day custom! Much to parents’ dismay worldwide, a mischievous toy elf is positioned around the home each night. This new Christmas tradition relies on a bit of creativity and effort but will amuse small children.
We would like to wish all our clients, suppliers and business friends a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
Thinking of moving house in the new year? Salusbury Harding & Barlow has an experienced residential conveyancing team. We can help you buy or sell your property, carrying out all the necessary searches. You will be kept informed at every stage of the process.
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