'Tis the season to be jolly, but why is December the month of festive fun? Well let me break it down for you!
An overweight magical man in a red jump suit. A free kiss underneath the mistletoe. An evergreen tree covered in fairy lights leaving an iridescent glow in the cozy corner of your humble abode. Stockings filled with treats for all and perhaps coal for the naughty ones. December can be one of those months to remember with days filled with wacky traditions we've all grown up enjoying and happily being apart of them even though we really don't know why we even do them.
Why do we celebrate a thanksgiving feast, part two, on Christmas day? What does coal have to do with one's integrity? And when it comes to Christmas trees, what is the purpose of dragging in a tree, while most likely pulling a muscle, to embrace the beauty of Mother Nature in time for the New Year?
There are a lot of questions being asked, and don't worry readers, I am here as your "Christmas-er" Columbus to journey through these traditions and give you the lowdown.
Why Does Papa Claus Wear a Red Suit?
Many people assume Santa Clause only started rocking the red suit after the Coca Cola campaign hired him for advertisement purposes in the 1930s. Truth be told, Father Christmas was slaying the scarlet game way before the carbonated soft drink took the spotlight. The colors red and white are said to be the traditional bishop robe hue of Saint Nicholas that dates way back to the fourth century.
Okay, But Where Does This Guy Really Live?
This is where the controversy starts to stir up quite the concoction. The Danes claim he lives in Greenland, on the other hand the Finnish believe he's tucked away in Finland and the UK, U.S., and Canada are positive that Santa lives happily ever after in the North Pole. I mean who knew that a fictional residency could cause so much heat? Cool it people. All that really matters is where we live if you catch my drift, right?
Kissing Underneath the Mistletoe: What Even Is This?
So what is the cause of this annual pucker fest? Mistletoe is traditionally associated with fertility; some people even considered this as some form of an aphrodisiac. The tradition of kissing, however, dates back to Norse mythology when Baldur (god of truth and light) was killed by an arrow made of mistletoe. His mother was so heartbroken over this loss that she wet tears of white berries, which brought back Baldur back to life. The legends goes back to show that she was so euphoric that she blessed the plant and promised a kiss to anyone who passed underneath it. Now that is actually kind of beautiful don't you think? I thought so, too.
What's All This Christmas Tree Talk? Why Are They Indoors, Anyway?
Now this is a great question. It is widely believed that the Christmas tree was founded during the German Renaissance, however the use of evergreen goodness dates back to Pagan festivals when branches were used as ornate decorations in homes during the winter solstice.
What's a Cold Lump of Calcified Carbon Got to Do With Being Naughty?
Apparently the Sicilians took the fault for this one. It's frankly quite possibly the weirdest of all Christmas traditions, but why is it that we all love to joke about it? Its all down to La Befana, a little old lady who flies around town on a tiny broomstick and comes down your chimney leaving lumps of coal for anyone who has behaved poorly that year. Sound familiar yet?