The Yule tradition became official during the reign of Queen Victoria in 1860 (Today’s Farmer, 2011). However, back then, it was more of a culmination of long held traditions around the world and in celebration of the Nativity of Jesus Christ during Winter Solstice.
In Germany, Christmas tree decorations began in 1820 (Today’s Farmer, 2011), when German families displayed trees with tidings for merriment and memories. Note that this tradition was passed to English when the former’s Prince Albert married Queen Victoria.
A decade after, in 1830, an English man named John Calcott Horsley created Christmas cards (Today’s Farmer, 2011). At almost the same time, caroling likewise started in England, where talented vagabonds knocked on fancy doors of the affluent for minutes of heartfelt carols in exchange of hot meals.
Among the Norse, as early as the Seventeenth-century, Yule was celebrated as a comeback of the sun (Today’s Farmers, 2011). Then Norse families feast over burning logs, which were labored and cut—with love—by the men in the house.
In Rome, slaves have a month (although later reduced to a week) of role playing as masters in celebration of Saturnalia (the Romans god of agriculture). Which according to History.com, “Peasants were in command of the city; while businesses and schools were closed so everyone could join the fun,” (2009).
Here, in the United States, every Christmas season, there were approximately 30 to 35 million trees being sold (History, 2009). While busy, working American parents took advantage of the federal holiday (since 1870) to make up for the lost times with their precious tots.
Be as it may, the key figure of Christmas—other than Jesus, is Santa Claus, who according to folklore was a Turkish monk. He was born 280 A. D, and was known for his faith and kindness (Today’s Farmers, 2011). He became phenomenal when he saved three girls from being sold by their father by leaving them with bags of golds (Today’s Farmers, 2011).
Lastly, regardless of any traditions, what makes Christmas very special, are the hearts we put to celebrate the occasion. As it speaks of our inspiring ability (oh yes, we can) to set aside our innate selfish sides; as we immense ourselves to giving, to fellowship with our inner circles.
And so from the gifts, to trees and tidings, to dinners—everything we do in spirit of Yule, is truly extraordinary–and a blessing to cherish. That unknowingly, we achieve the seemingly elusive peace on individual level by simply thinking more of others than ourselves.
Without further ado, Merry Christmas all! And Happy New Year too.
Editors. (2009). History of Christmas. History Channel.
Moroz, Ded. (2011). Christmases. Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture. Sage.
Today’s Farmers. (2011). The Traditions of Christmas. History Channel.
YouTube/It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas/Pentatonix