Is Christmas Different Now Or Is It Just Me?

Home / Christmas / Is Christmas Different Now Or Is It Just Me?

I hear people banging on about the real meaning of Christmas all of the time. Especially around Christmas time. When older people hear that a youngster has received an iPhone for Christmas they seem to blame the downfall of our whole society on it. They seem to think Christmas has changed and I can’t decide whether I agree with them or not. My feelings about Christmas have changed over the years but is that more to do with me than what’s happening in the rest of society?

Being a child of the 80’s, my early Christmas memories are of Band Aid, Wham, Peaches and Cream (a Barbie doll), Operation and a Spectrum and do not include any romanticized scenes of caroling and church. A fizz of excitement would appear in my stomach just after Halloween and this would grow as each of the following events passed.

Growing up in Newcastle, one of the events was a trip to see ‘Fenwicks window’. Every year, this relatively smart department store on Northumberland Avenue in the centre of Newcastle city centre, would unveil a new Christmas themed moving animatronics display and it was up there in my favourite of the seasons events.

My school Christmas play was the next indication that the best day of the year was on its way. We would start preparing for it in late October and over the years I had varying amounts of involvement in it. Soon after the auditions for the school play were over we would begin singing Christmas hymns in our school assemblies. These two events alone kept me going right up until the highlight of my year – the school Christmas party. This event required a completely new outfit and shoes (which would also be worn on Christmas day) as well time set aside in the school week to practice organised group dancing – which I loved even more!

After what seemed like years, I finally made it to Christmas eve! You may be thinking that the hard work was over but Christmas eve felt even longer than the 2 month stretch I had just completed! It was boring and slow. It was spent picking up last bits and pieces with my mum and then picking my dad up from the pub. Once I had gotten over the pain of the day, we would go home and I would be sent off upstairs to bathe. I would then be allowed to open one present, which my mum selected for me and would always be my special ‘Christmas eve’ pyjamas. Then I would spend some time getting together cookies, brandy and carrots for father Christmas and Rudolph before heading off to bed where I would lie, listening to all of the activity happening below me downstairs and smelling the festive smells wafting up the stairs.

Awake all night, I would be looking at the clock constantly, waiting for it to be time to get up. The wait was agonising, I would lie there wide awake, waiting and waiting until i couldn’t wait anymore. I would then run into my parents bedroom, begging them to get up now!. They would persuade me to go back to bed a couple of times but eventually, the only way to stay in bed was to invite me into theirs where I would lie, whining every 5 minutes.

Once 5:00am had arrived, I would persuade them to get up and off we would trot, downstairs to find out what father Christmas had left me. Although I spent many Christmas’ with just my Mum and Dad, there were also times when my grandparents, aunty and cousins would join us. These were my favourite Christmas’. Being an only child meant that the house was always empty and I loved it when there was a person in every room.

This was the thing that made me happy as a young adult. Having got over the huge excitement of a child at Christmas and moved away to London, the excitement I felt about the season changed. I became more excited about the party scene leading up to Christmas – the fact that you would have drinks planned every night and everyone seemed to be up for having a laugh. I would also look forward to the train journey home and then arriving home and getting straight to the pub to meet up with old school friends. Christmas eve became the highlight of the festive season. My best friends birthday is on Christmas eve, and we would spend the day getting very drunk with a big group of friends. At this time of my life Christmas day was the day that dragged. Hungover, and bored with having to spend the day with family, my favourite part of the day was when we got to sit down and eat a huge meal and then fall asleep.

I have my own daughter now and as you can imagine things have changed once again. I look forward to the Christmas season for a combination of all the reasons I used to know because I have her. She has brought back the excitement of Christmas and I try very hard to make it as magical as possible. I can see that she, like me as a youngster, likes to have lots of family around her at Christmas time and has started to enjoy the small things on the lead-up to Christmas that make this time of year very special.

When I was young these things spelled the arrival of Christmas; the school nativity play, writing my Christmas cards to send, writing my list for Father Christmas and then visiting him to tell him what I wanted, the advent calendar, ‘toy day’ at school and the school Christmas party. I get in the mood for the festive season now by; organising my Christmas e cards, buying presents, planning our Christmas meal and putting up the Christmas tree.

I try to replicate these things for her but some things for me have changed. I send each of my loved ones a Christmas ecard in stead of paper cards, but the essence of the season is still the same for me. I still make my famillies traditional Christmas eve glazed ham. We still gather together every Christmas eve to eat the ham and other treats together as a family. These are the things that are incredibly important to me.

Racheal Ellis is the web marketing manager of Katies Cards, an ecard company who have been creating fun, entertaining and beautiful e cards for over 4 years.

Racheal has 7 years experience in marketing and has worked within publishing, not-for-profit, business to business and consumer sectors

 

Facts About the Origin of Christmas

Home / Christmas / Facts About the Origin of Christmas

Facts About the Origin of Christmas and History of Some Christmas Traditions

In the early years of Christianity the main holiday was Easter. In the 4th Century church officials decided to have the birth of Jesus celebrated as a holiday and Pope Julius I chose the date of December 25 for Christmas. The holiday, initially called the Feast of the Nativity, spread to England by the end of the 6th Century and to Scandinavia by the end of the 8th Century.

Church leaders instituted Christmas during winter because that time of year was popular for the celebrations of many pagan festivals. The hope was that Christmas would also become a holiday that would gain much popularity. The church leaders achieved the goal of having Christmas celebrations, become popular during the winter solstice, but they were unable to control other pagan-like celebrations during Christmas. Believers would attend church on Christmas and then participate later in raucous and drunken celebrations.

The celebration of Christmas in Europe changed in the early 17th Century when Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans gained power in England in 1645. To remove decadent behavior from the society, Cromwell cancelled Christmas. The Puritans noted that the Bible doesn’t mention any birth date for Jesus. Christmas celebrations returned in England around 1649 when Charles II was restored to the throne.

Christmas was not a holiday in early America because the Pilgrims who came to America had even stricter beliefs than Cromwell and the Puritans. Christmas celebrations were even barred in Boston from 1659 to 1681. Anyone caught participating in any event or activity related to Christmas had to pay a fine.

After the American Revolution it became unpopular to take part in English customs and Christmas again lost popularity. Consequently, Legislators in Congress did business on Christmas Day in 1789. It wasn’t until June 26, 1870 that Christmas was declared a federal holiday.

Christmas in the United States gained popularity as a holiday period during the 19th Century. It also changed at that time to become more family-centered rather than being carnival-like.

Many activities related to celebrating Christmas as we know it now evolved from cultures in Europe, before Christianity started. They would hang evergreen branches over their doors and windows because evergreens were believed to ward off witches, ghosts, evil spirits and illness.

Among common items used in Christmas decorations are the holly and the mistletoe. Both are used primarily in wreaths and garlands. The Druids started the tradition of using the mistletoe as decorative items to celebrate the winter season. They believed the mistletoe would bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. They also believed that it had a healing quality and could be used for everything from healing wounds to increasing fertility.

In Scandinavia, the mistletoe was seen as a plant of peace and harmony and was associated with the goddess of love. This association is probably what led to the custom of kissing under the mistletoe.

In the Victorian period, the English also would hang mistletoe from ceilings and in doorways during holidays. The habit developed that if someone was standing under the mistletoe, someone else in the room would kiss that person. Such behavior was not generally seen in Victorian society.

The use of the mistletoe in Christmas celebrations was once banned by the church because of its associations with pagan traditions, and the use of holly was suggested as a substitute.

Poinsettias are another traditional decorative flower used at Christmas. It is native to Mexico and is named after Joel Poinsett, who was the first U.S ambassador to Mexico and who brought the plants to America in 1828. Mexicans believe the plants were a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem and that’s one reason they are associated with Christmas.

Sending greeting cards during Christmas and the holidays is as prevalent today as the custom of giving gifts. Religious pictures of Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, the angels, shepherds and Wise Men are traditionally placed on Christmas cards. Some cards today also include pictures of Santa Claus, winter scenery, Christmas trees and gift packages.

The idea of Christmas greeting cards started in Britain in the late 1830s when John Calcott Horsley started to produce small cards that had festive scenes and a holiday greeting written inside. Similar cards were also being made in the United States at about the same time by R.H. Pease, in Albany, New York, and Louis Prang, who was a German immigrant. The tradition of sending the greeting cards during Christmas gained popularity in both countries about 10 years later when new postal delivery services started.

One final tidbit; the shortened form Xmas for Christmas has been popular in Europe since the 1500s. It is believed to be derived from the Greek word ‘Xristos’ which means Christ.

Kindle the Spirit of Christmas and bring your holiday season to life this year by presenting an authentic Christmas play for your family, school, church or any group.

Germany Travel Tip – Best Christmas Markets In Northern Germany

Home / Christmas / Germany Travel Tip – Best Christmas Markets In Northern Germany

Unthinkable for Germans would be Christmas without Christmas Markets starting in the Advent season. Over 130 towns host such a festive market, each one emphasizing regional specialties and flair. Mark those dates in your calendar and join in the most romantic, not to be missed festivities.

Be it in the old Hanseatic Cities of Rostock, Lübeck, Hamburg, Lüneburg or Bremen or further inland, all Christmas Markets hold their own charm and characteristics, staged in the most beautiful historical setting of each city. Ever growing in popularity, national and international guests are amongst their many visitors, each and everyone enjoying the smells, tastes, sights and sounds to remember.

Rostock

26.11. – 22.12.2009, Mon-Thu 10am-8pm, Fri-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 11am-8pm

Rostock, the almost 800 year old Hanseatic Town, has retained much of its original charm and is home to a diverse cultural scene. This cosmopolitan university- and port-town has a Historical Center with typical northern-style German brick architecture and a maritime atmosphere. Once a year, the twinkling glitter of the Christmas lights glow along the River Warnow and the Baltic Sea and transform the Historic City Center of Rostock into the largest, and one of the most gorgeous Christmas Markets in the North of Germany. Here, Father Christmas traditionally arrives in the town harbor by boat to open the Christmas Market. Northern specialties include candied apples, deep-fried bananas, candy floss, baby doughnuts, burnt almonds, Glögg, a sort of Swedish mulled wine and biscuits from Sweden; smoked sausages from Rostock, smoked fish from Warnemünde and north German fried fish in batter.

Lübeck

23.11. – 30.12.2009, Mon-Thu 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11.30am-9pm

The entire oval old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lübeck is nowadays a modern trading port and, via the coastal resort of Travemünde, a terminal for ferries to and from Scandinavia and the Baltic. A stroll around the Christmas-Fair area, which was first mentioned in 1648, is an absolute Must-Do for all Lübeck visitors. The market and its some 400 merchants offer toys and Christmas decoration, gingerbread, hot spiced wine and plenty of other things.

For 30 years Lübeck’s Fairy-tale Forest has been a festive attraction. 500 illuminated fir-trees and 21 stalls recreate beautifully the tales of the Brothers Grimm. (Open till 23rd Dec.)

The Historic Christmas Fair at the foot of St. Mary’s Church makes visitors travel through time; medieval flair unfolds amidst modern Lübeck. (Open 26.11-23.12). The Crafts Fair at St. Peter’s offers with over 50 craftsmen and -women from Northern Germany a wide variety of traditional and contemporary gift ideas. (Open 27.11-14.12). The arts and crafts market inside the festively decorated church-hall and in the small cabins of the long hall of the medieval Hospital of the Holy Spirit is unique! The exhibitors come from all over Germany and Northern Europe. (Open 28.11-08.12). Of course, Christmas in Lübeck would not be complete without a visit to the Christmas Bazaar at Niederegger’s, where you can taste famous marzipan cake, a delicious gateau with a rich nut brittle cream and a thin coat of marzipan.

Hamburg

23.11. – 23.12.2009, 10am-9pm daily

The Free Hanseatic City of Hamburg is Germany’s second largest metropolis and is home to one of Europe’s largest ports. There is a taste of far-away places throughout the city, even in the little canals and waterways of the old warehouse district. During Advent, Hamburg’s Town Hall provides the grand setting for the city’s most charming Christmas Market. One hundred merchants will set up their shops on Hamburg’s largest Urban Square. Roast apples, hand-crafted items and the quaint cottages designed by Bernhard Paul, director of the famed nostalgic Circus Roncalli, set this Christmas Market apart from seasonal activities elsewhere. Here you will find hand-crafted Christmas decorations from the Erzgebirge region, wood carvers from Tyrol, bakers from Aachen producing their famous Printen-Cookies on the scene, Gingerbread makers from Nuremberg and pottery from the Lausitz region. Silversmiths and many other artisans and craftsmen invite you to marvel, join in, taste and enjoy. New is the Nordic Lane, a tribute to Hamburg’s traditionally close ties to the countries of Scandinavia and the Baltic region. Santa Claus is riding up to the sky above the roofs of the market cottages in his reindeer sleigh.

Lüneburg

22.11 – 22.12.2009, 10am-7pm daily, Historic Christmas Market, 05.12 – 06.12.2009

Lüneburg is located on the edge of the Lüneburger Heath between Hamburg and Hannover. In the middle ages salt, the so called white gold, made Lüneburg a very prosperous town; this is still evident today as most of its magnificent and historic buildings are intact and in their former glory. This ancient salt-trading and Hanseatic Town has a romantic Christmas Market atmosphere, with Christmas lights showing its gabled houses and medieval churches in the most beautiful light. Booths decorated on Brothers Grimm Fairy-tale themes transform Lüneburg’s pedestrian streets into a magical fairy-tale world. A daily special and changing Christmas program starts from 4pm daily.

Bremen

26.11. – 23.12.2009, Mo-Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 11am-8pm

Bremen, 37 miles from the mouth of the River Weser and Germany’s oldest Maritime City, has held markets since 965, joined the Hanseatic League in 1358 and began to trade with America in 1783. Cotton and coffee gave its citizens a rich living. Bremen’s atmospheric Christmas Market is considered to be one of the most attractive in Germany. With the Town Hall and the Roland Statue as its backdrop and over 170 festively decorated stalls, it is perfect for browsing. Bremen also has another Christmas attraction, the Schlachte-Magic on the popular River Weser embankment. Each day on the maritime promenade another little door is opened to reveal a special surprise, like a walk-through Advent Calendar. There are many experiences to choose from, Christmas brunch on the Weser, a Christmas tree expedition, some seriously strong hot punch and a real Dutch Sinter Klaas on board a pirate ship. The aroma of steaming mulled wine, baked apples and cinnamon stars lies heavy in the air, while softly the most beautiful Christmas carols ring out in the background.

Hannover

27.11. – 22.12.2009, 11am-9pm daily

The lively City Center with its impressive shopping boulevard and the charming Old Town with its narrow streets and secluded corners on the banks of the River Leine invite you to shop and enjoy yourself. Hannover’s Christmas Market takes place in the historical Old Quarter around the Market Church and on the Ballhofplatz. Visitors looking for a souvenir are spoilt for choice, with no fewer than 150 attractive stalls selling Christmas tree decorations, carved items, wooden toys and craft work. The children’s program features a puppeteer and a storyteller.

Braunschweig

25.11. – 29.12.2009, Mo-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 11am-9pm, closed 24th and 25th Dec.

The city of Henry the Lion combines tradition and modernity. Alongside the former medieval market-place and Romanesque buildings, you will nowadays also find the glass-roofed pedestrianized passages of the shopping area. Braunschweig’s Christmas Market has a splendid backdrop, the cathedral of Henry the Lion, the Dankwarderode-Castle and the Vieweg-House. This Christmas Market’s history goes back 300 years and surrounded by fine half-timbered buildings, it is full of traditional charm and Christmas delights. There is a daily festive Christmas program with entertainment for children.

Hildesheim

25.11. – 27.12.2009, 11am-8pm daily, Christmas Day/Box Day 2pm-8pm, 24.12. closed

Only 30 kilometers south of Hannover, Hildesheim has been a cultural center between the Harz and Heath for over a 1,000 years. The historic Market Square is one of the most beautiful old market-places in Germany. Its special highlight is the reconstructed Knochenhauer-Amtshaus, former butchers’ guild hall, where city history and hospitality are combined under one roof. Hildesheim’s Christmas Market comes to life on the historical Market Square and around the town hall. The impressive facade of the Knochenhaueramtshaus is believed to be the most beautiful half-timbered house in the world! One of the highlights of the Christmas events program are the Hildesheim Cathedral Musicians.

Hamelin

25.11. – 23.12.2009, Mo-Wed 10am-8pm, Thu-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun11am-8pm

Hamelin is a beautiful and enchanting little town in the very heart of the Weser Mountains Nature Park, the mountains being called after the same river which flows through the town of Hamelin. Attractions worth a visit in the area are the Hämelschenburg-Castle, the Hamelin Glassworks or take a relaxing riverboat excursion along the Weser valley, one of the loveliest and best ways to see its fairy tale landscape. Due to the historic background, the Hamelin Christmas Market can truly be described as a genuine Fairy-Tale Market. The Hamelin Christmas Market features over 70 festively decorated wooden huts; all clustered around the Wedding House, the Market Church and around the picturesque Old Quarter with it’s lovingly restored timber-framed houses and grand Weser Renaissance buildings. Highlights of Hamelin’s Christmas Market are the Nativity Scene, which has real animals to stroke, and a Christmas Pyramid at only a mere 11 meters tall.

Osnabrück

25.11. – 22.12.2009, daily 12am-9pm

Surrounded by narrow medieval streets, the historical Town Hall with its Friedenssaal, Peace Hall, lies in Osnabrück’s old town. The marketplace in front of the Rathaus is one of the most beautiful records of urban medieval architecture. The only Tower Railway Station in Germany was build in Osnabrück more than 100 years ago, and the railway tracks still cross on two separate levels. The world’s biggest Christmas musical box turns to the sound of Christmas carols and the half-timbered buildings in the historical Old Quarter are adorned with festive illuminations. Osnabrück’s historical Christmas Market has twice been ranked as one of the prettiest in the region and a fully functional Nutcracker, six meters tall, adds to the local flair.

Münster

23.11. – 23.12.2009, Sun-Thu 11am-8pm, Fri-Sat 11am-9pm

Münster’s historic Old Quarter is packed with cultural history at the beautiful Prinzipalmarkt-Square, with the St. Paul’s Cathedral and its astronomical clock dating back to 1543, and the Salzstrasse, or salt-street, reminding of Hanseatic tradition and buildings by Baroque architect Johann Conrad Schlaun. Münster’s Christmas Market becomes more festive and more fairy-tale like every year. Set against the charming backdrop of the illuminated Old Quarter, its six Christmas Markets are within a stone’s throw of each other. There are 250 stalls in all, offering a huge range of toys, decorations and crafts, as well as sweet treats, snacks and hot drinks. Definitely a place to be!

This is an example of what you can do while traveling in Germany. If you want learn more about the cities in Northern Germany we compiled comprehensive travel guides in collaboration with local residents that provides unique travel insider tips which you can use during you Germany vacation.

Catholic Family Christmas Traditions and Advent Ideas

Home / Christmas / Catholic Family Christmas Traditions and Advent Ideas

There are so many beautiful ways to celebrate this Holy Season. Advent and Christmas traditions help to make this special season holier and less secular. Helping children to understand the true meaning of Christmas is a must for Catholic families in today’s society. Some of the traditions below you may be familiar with and practice. Perhaps you will find some new traditions or Christmas ideas that your family will enjoy for years to come!

The Christmas Crib, Crèche, or Nativity Tradition

Saint Francis of Assisi is credited for the manger scene as we know it today. The animals in the nativity scene, usually the ass and ox, are traditionally part of every Nativity Set. Saint Francis was following tradition when he had these animals placed near the manger at Bethlehem.

Waiting until Christmas Eve to place the Christ Child in the crèche, is a great tradition to start with your Catholic family. As a Catholic family you should help your children to learn that the Holy Season continues through Epiphany. You can do this by leaving your nativity scene set up through Epiphany. On the Feast of Epiphany add your wise men to the scene. Family members, especially children, will look forward to this tradition! It also stretches the fun out just a little longer.

If you don’t have nativity statues, you can use pictures. Set up a Christmas “bulletin board” and post the pictures on the board at the appropriate times. Play a game to determine who gets to put the Christ child into the crèche or on the board. This will add to the family celebration.

The Christ Candle

The Christ Candle tradition is wonderful and easy to implement. Light a large candle on Christmas Eve to symbolize the coming of baby Jesus. Let it burn throughout the night and everyone will realize what a special night Christmas Eve is when they see the candle.

Be sure to let your children help you pick out a “Special Candle” for your Christ Candle. It should be large in size so that it can burn for a long time and also decorative in a special way. In other words, it should stand out.

The Tradition of the Christmas Tree

The beginning of the Christmas Tree tradition goes back to medieval Germany. The “mystery play” was a very frequent and popular form of entertainment at that time. One of the most well-liked “mysteries” was the Paradise play. The creation of man, the sin of Eve and Adam, and their subsequent expulsion from the Garden of Eden was represented in the Paradise play that the Germans put on. A fir tree hung with fruit (usually apples) represented the Garden of Eden. This first Christmas Tree stood for both the “Tree of Life” and the “Tree of Discernment of Good and Evil”. When Germans stopped putting on the mystery plays in churches, the Paradise Tree (or Christmas Tree), then began to appear in the homes of the faithful.

Nowadays in Germany, Christmas Eve begins in late afternoon. Families get together to decorate the Christmas tree. Their beautiful decorations include using real candles on the tree. After all the other ornaments have been hung, the candles are lit. A Nativity play is preformed early in the evening in front of the tree. Seasonal music is played. After presents are opened and exchanged with one another, the family has Christmas Dinner. The kids are put to bed and are then awakened just before Midnight Mass.

Your children will get a great amount of pleasure from putting on a Christmas Program for your family in front of the Christmas tree. Allow the older children to help the younger ones; they can be the Directors of the play. The Christmas play can include caroling and the children can design special “programs” with words to the Christmas Carols for all of the adults to sing. If someone in your family can play the piano, ask him to accompany.

Attending Midnight Mass

Today Mass is said on Christmas at midnight because it is generally believed that Jesus was born at the midnight hour. The Catholic Church has never officially stated that Midnight is the time for the first Mass… it has only prescribed that the Mass be said “in nocte” (during the night).

Since Midnight Mass is in the middle of the night, your children might be too tired to attend. In order to take part in this wonderful celebration, give them a nap earlier in the day! They will be thrilled to get the chance to attend Midnight Mass with Mom and Dad! The Sacrament of Confession is offered in some Catholic churches right before Midnight Mass. This would be a wonderful time to make that last offering of yourself to Jesus before the Celebration of His Birth. Remember that your children will be watching and will see you give a gift to Jesus.

Exchanging Christmas Presents

Exchanging Christmas Gifts is a wonderful tradition that is very popular in the United States on Christmas Day. This custom is a combination of two old European customs. The first custom was that the children would wake up and Christmas presents would be placed under the Christmas tree. They believed that the Christ Child had come on Christmas Eve and left the gifts. The second custom of St Nicholas is the one which most Americans celebrate. Traditionally, children looked forward to St Nicholas coming in the night of his December 6th Feast Day. St Nicholas came in the night and put gifts in their stockings that were usually hung on the fireplace to dry.

Most Americans celebrate the tradition of St Nicholas with a few modifications. They usually call him Santa Claus and he comes on Christmas Eve (rather than December 6th). This year, try to find out about the life of the actual St Nicholas. Pray a nine-day novena to him as a family or have your children draw pictures of him. You can also buy Saint Nicholas Prayer Cards at a Catholic Store and put them in your children’s stockings.

Another great idea regarding the opening of Christmas gifts is to exchange one gift every Christmas Eve. Talk about how gifts of the Christmas Feast were given to the baby Jesus by the wise men. Bring Jesus into the holidays to make them holy every chance you get! Then on Christmas Day open the rest of your gifts.

The Poinsettia

The Poinsettia plant is also called the “flower of the holy night”. It is a native plant from Central America and is widely used in churches and homes at Christmastime. This plant was nicknamed the “flower of the holy night” because the flaming star of its red bracts resembles the star of Bethlehem. The Poinsettia was named after the United States Ambassador to Mexico, Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett. When Dr. Poinsett returned to the United States, he brought this flower with him to his home in South Carolina, where it thrived.

Happy Birthday Jesus

Another popular way to celebrate Christmas with young children is to have a Birthday Party for Jesus. This is usually done on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

You can plan the birthday party as you would a regular party. Bake a cake and decorate it with “Happy Birthday Jesus”. Sing happy birthday and then exchange gifts in his honor. If you have a wooden statue of Jesus that is small, bake it into the cake. Make sure that it is non-toxic. Your children will be overjoyed when they find the little Christ Child!

Christkind Letters

A lovely Austrian Custom is to write a letter to the Christkind, the Christ Child. These letters are written by kids and adults. They contain resolutions and requests for gifts.

Don’t forget to ask your guardian angel to bring your letter to the Christ Child! The Austrians believe they are delivered in this way!

Christmastime is a beautiful and holy time. It is important to remember why we really celebrate this holiday. It is up to Catholic parents to teach their children the true meaning of Christmas – the birth of the Savior of the World! These holiday traditions and Advent ideas will help to get this important message across. Additionally, if you build these traditions into their hearts, they will remember and pass on the Christmas message.

 

Rent a Christmas Tree for a Fabulous Christmas Celebration

Home / Christmas / Rent a Christmas Tree for a Fabulous Christmas Celebration

Today, it is more practical to rent a Christmas tree, especially a pre decorated one, than to purchase it and have the same tree installed year after year.

There are certain Christmas decoration hire companies or agencies that supply Christmas trees, whether live or replica, as well as decorations that include Christmas silk flowers, garlands, wreaths and other floral arrangements ideal at home or place of business.

Christmas at Home

It has been an age old tradition in the Christian world that Christmas becomes a festive one. Every home has one or several Christmas decorations, with a Christmas tree topping the list of favorites.

On Christmas Day, the whole family gathers around the Christmas tree to give and receive gifts. Kids love to open their presents, delightful to be part of the celebration.

It would be great to have a live Christmas tree and have it installed at home or on the front yard. Colorful and bright lights can be placed on it together with other awesome decorations.

However, cut trees are a hot issue with environmentalists who want to preserve nature. It would then be better to play the safe route by renting an artificial tree and its decors.

Replica trees are exact copies of their live counterparts that onlookers will never know the difference unless they are told. They represent an answer to the call of environmentalists to be responsible citizens and partakers of the kindness of Mother Nature.

Silk flowers and leaves make great floral arrangements in the form of Christmas garlands, wreaths, table tops and wall hangers. They will not wither throughout the season and require no maintenance.

Renting the decorations is preferable over buying them. Now there are rental companies that supply their products suited to the occasion. They are responsible for the installation of the decorations and they have the proper equipment for use whenever necessary. When the season ends, they take charge of removing the decorations without much hassle.

Christmas at the Workplace

Accustomed to the tradition at home every Christmas season, the child at heart who is now an adult subconsciously longs for the Christmas decorations he has grown up with. Since the workplace is the extension of home, every company undertakes to make it as homely as possible.

It makes great business sense to provide the company premises with a lavish Christmas display that closely reminds of home. A Christmas tree that is well decorated, glitters with colorful lights and is situated at the center of the room is in itself a splendid Christmas ornament. It can be accented with door and wall hangings as well as table florals.

Live and replica Christmas trees are available in various sizes, with some at 7 to 10 feet tall. They can be decorated while there are those that are already complete with awesome decorations.

The office staff, although some may be willing to do the decorating when asked, cannot be tasked to do such extra job. Their efficiency at work will be affected and the company cannot afford to compromise employee productivity with some interior design at Christmastime.

It may seem cost efficient to purchase the Christmas decorations for use every Christmas season. However, they are fashionable items that get upgrades in design almost every year. It is not wise to subject the employees to the same Christmas display season after season. They will make comparisons with more trendy companies and the feeling of inferiority will set in.

To spare the company from any unhealthy scenario, it is recommended to dispose of the monotonous decorations for good. Renting them instead entitles the company new and updated designs every season. What is even more pleasant is the fact that the installation, removal and storage concerns will eventually become the responsibilities of the rental company.

A boost in employee morale is a priority of every business. If it will do good to rent a Christmas tree and other decorations then by all means indulge the employees to increase their productivity levels.

Choose a well trusted Christmas decoration hire company to supply the Christmas display being desired and is able to faithfully accomplish the service contract being entered into. That rental company also has an abundance of Christmas silk flowers that can make the Christmas floral arrangements even grander.