An Old Christmas Tradition: Yule Logs

An Old Christmas Tradition: Yule Logs

Did you know … by Sandra Merville Hart The Vikings brought the practice of burning Yule Logs to England during the Dark Ages. Although it didn’t begin as a Christian tradition, it later took on a special meaning for Christians as part of a Christmas celebration for centuries. The family selects a huge log. Each family would cut down a tree early in the year to save for Christmas. They wanted a log large enough to burn for the twelve days of Christmas, which began on December 25th. The fireplaces were the main source of heat in those days and were large enough to hold the Yule Log. During the year, spices were often rubbed on the log so that the aroma would fill the home as it burned. As they applied the spices, it reminded them of the gifts of incense and...

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A Christmas Tradition: Christmas Trees

A Christmas Tradition: Christmas Trees

Did you know …?   A small fir tree, set on a table in a home in Latvia, a country in northern Europe, was called a Christmas tree in 1510. According to legend, Martin Luther (1483 – 1546) saw starlight peeking through the branches of fir trees on a cold December evening as he walked home through the woods. The first lighted Christmas tree After he went home, Martin wanted to capture the look of the starlight through the branches. He tied a candle holder onto a branch of the evergreen Christmas tree in his house. He liked how the flame of the candle looked and tied more candleholders onto the tree. It impressed his family and friends, who did the same to the trees in their homes. The meaning of the Christmas tree Martin saw meaning in the Christmas...

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A Christmas Tradition: Nativity Scenes

A Christmas Tradition: Nativity Scenes

Did you know …? Nativity scenes show Joseph, Mary, and the shepherds gathered around baby Jesus as He lies in a manger. This wonderful Christmas tradition we love began almost 800 years ago. In the country of Italy, in 1223, St. Francis of Assisi built a nativity scene outside his church. Children inside the first nativity scene The children at the church stared at the manger scene in wonder. They went inside to take a closer look. They sang songs and thought about the gift of God’s Son, Jesus. Nativity scenes grow more popular These nativity scenes became more popular. Outdoor nativity plays were acted out in parks. In some cities in Europe, the plays would take place on the streets. The Christmas plays were performed in schools and theaters. Nativity...

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A Christmas Tradition: Candy Canes

A Christmas Tradition: Candy Canes

Did you know … According to church history, a choirmaster came up with a sweet idea in 1670, to keep the children in the choir from fidgeting during the church services. He went to see the candy maker, who had some white stick candy. He asked the candy maker to bend the sticks to look like a shepherd’s staff, which he did. The candy canes had a special meaning. The choirmaster gave the children the candy, explaining that the pure white color represented that Jesus never sinned. The shape of the candy reminded the children that shepherds visited the baby Jesus. Candy canes decorated the Christmas trees. A hundred years later, white candy canes decorated family Christmas trees in Germany. The hook on the candy cane made them easy to hang. Children ate the...

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Independence Day

    The United States celebrates Independence Day on July 4th. Declaration of Independence The Fourth of July is a very important date for citizens of the United States. The Declaration of Independence which called for freedom from England. Our Continental Congress decided to follow the words of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Written by Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson, the man who became our nation’s third president, wrote the Declaration of Independence. He was one of five people given the task to write the important document. The others were Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, and the man who became our second president, John Adams. The committee gave the document to the Continental Congress, who made some...

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A Christmas Tradition: Birthday Cake for Jesus

A Christmas Tradition: Birthday Cake for Jesus

Did you know … Celebrating Christmas by baking a birthday cake for Jesus is a tradition that dates back more than five hundred years. Some special treats were only served at the holidays. Excited children looked forward to Christmas every year. They received gifts, sang songs, and ate special treats. They didn’t eat cake often, so they loved to make a birthday cake for Jesus. The cakes often contained little gifts inside, such as marbles, coins, or small metal animals. After hearing the story of Jesus’ birth, the children ate their piece of cake and carefully searched for little treasures. The birthday cake had special meaning. The white cake represented Jesus’ sinless life. The icing was usually red as a reminder that Jesus died on the cross...

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