Christmas Eve on December 24th kicks off a series of Christmas traditions. Some are ancient practices with a modern twist, while others date back hundreds of years. It's filled with both religious and nonreligious traditions. Lutherans celebrate with candlelight services and Christmas carols. Many evangelical churches hold evening services where families celebrate Holy Communion. The legend of Santa has evolved over the years, including the North Pole/sleigh, nice/naughty list. One of the most popular Christmas customs is gift-giving. It's a common tradition for people to celebrate Jesus's birthday with a poinsettia. It all started in Mexico where legend has it that a girl wanted badly to give Jesus something but her family was too poor. An angel tells the young girl to give any gift with love. After collecting some weeds from alongside the road and placing them in soil, they bloom into beautiful flowers.
As Christianity spread into northern and western Europe, Christmas took some of their customs from solstice festivals that had already been held in the area for hundreds of years. Evergreen trees and their leaves and berries became decorating staples and the tradition of kissing under mistletoe was transferred to Christmas time. 100 years after its founding, Christmas became a federal holiday in the USA. This had more to do with changes in communication and transportation than anything else. Before these advances, a celebration in Georgia was a completely different experience to that of the same event in New York. But all of this began to change almost overnight thanks to advancements such as the telegraph and railroads.
Longing for the past, Christmas is the time of year that brings those nostalgic feelings back into life. The occasion can be seen as a celebration of family and friends, with many different traditions and customs. 1875 saw the rise of Christmas cards that gradually replaced personal visits or written letters. Originally, society was less used to receiving gifts, so charitable and personal gifts were not very common. But as the population grew, commerce raised and more people gave both charitable and personal gifts to others. At STOP Restoration, we take pride in our charitable ventures and urge those who are able to give back to do so when possible. Reach out on our social media pages for more information on some of the specific groups that we're proud to work with and raise awareness for.