– Rudolph the red nose reindeer, Santa Claus, Christmas trees. Did you ever wonder where these things started? No, I am not forgetting the birth of Jesus. This lens however, only deals with things we think of as being associated with the celebration of Christmas. (CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS)

-In the 1600’s when Christmas trees began, people used baked items to decorate them. The sugary sticks called candy canes were popular. They were only white and just straight sticks. In Germany, a choir master at the Cologne Cathedral put the hook on the end to look like a shepherd’s hook. Supposedly he passed them out the the children during the long services to keep them quiet. Later on, stripes were added. Nobody knows for sure when, but sometime around the turn of the century candy canes with green and red stripes began to appear. (CANDY CANE)

-As far back as the Romans, even perhaps before, people thought evergreen trees would help ward off evil spirits. During winter, these trees would remind them that green would eventually come back. Then it happened. Boom! Almost overnight Christmas trees sprang to life and became a symbol of Christmas! What happened? In England, Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert (who was German), were seen in a drawing standing next to a Christmas Tree! The Victorians had to do it! It spread across the ocean, as America was enthralled with the Victorians as well. By the time 1900 came, Christmas Trees were well-entrenched and decorations became a big business. (CHRISTMAS TREE)

-In the third century, a monk named St. Nicholas lived near what is now Turkey. He is said to have devoted his life to giving away money, food, and other items so others could live and survive. He was the saint of children and sailors. A feast in St. Nicholas’ honor was held on December 6th, the day he died. Apparently his legend and honor traveled all over the known world. Holland, for some reason, embraced him the most. (SANTA CLAUS)