Christmas traditions – families decorating the Christmas tree together.

Celebrating Christmas: Old and new Christmas traditions

For many, Christmas is the best time of the year. The pre-Christmas season starts at the beginning of December: We start to decorate the house and garden with colourful lights and cute Christmas figures, a new candle burns on the Advent wreath every Sunday, the house smells of freshly baked cookies and every day we enjoy a new surprise from the Advent calendar. All this leads to the Christmas holidays, which we celebrate with friends and family. But where do these Christmas traditions come from? And are there different ways to celebrate Christmas this year?

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Old Christmas traditions – Where do our Christmas traditions come from?

Advent wreaths and Christmas trees are an integral part of the Christmas traditions in many families. Strolling through the local Christmas market together with the family is also a part of these traditions. However, in many places, the origin of these Christmas customs has been forgotten. That is why we will briefly explain how these beautiful traditions were brought into being.

The festively decorated Christmas tree

The glowing Christmas tree takes the centre stage of Christmas festivities. The Christmas tree is the ultimate symbol of Christmas, whether in the living room or on the market place. This Christmas tradition probably originated from church services. When the biblical story of Adam and Eve was first re-enacted, a tree represented the “tree of paradise” with the apples. Over time, a green tree with red balls has become a tradition.

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The Christmas tree keeps its beautiful, green needles all year round. This reflects the hope that nature will awaken in spring and the cold winter will pass.

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The glowing Advent wreath

The four candles of the Advent wreath are lit on the respective Advent days acting as a kind of countdown to Christmas. When all four candles are burning, Christmas is not far away. This is also the original idea of ​​the Advent wreath, which has not been forgotten to this day. In 1839 a pastor from Hamburg invented the first Advent wreath to give the orphans an orientation when Christmas would finally be celebrated. At the time they still used 24 candles – today we have reduced to four for the Advent Sundays.

The leisurely stroll through the Christmas market

Warm mulled wine, the scent of roasted almonds and regional Christmas decorations – we love all of this and much more at the Christmas market. One of the oldest Christmas markets is probably the Dresdner Striezelmarkt, which has references to as early as 1434. This means that we have been enjoying this beautiful Christmas custom for around 600 years. Back then, the people of Dresden were able to stock up before Christmas and buy meat for the festive roast. Even today we can buy regional products at the Christmas market, and enjoy the social gathering in the Christmas atmosphere.

New Christmas traditions – alternative ways to celebrate Christmas

While the old Christmas customs are inseparable from our Christmas festivities, some new Christmas ideas can bring some extra fun to the normal routines. If you want to celebrate Christmas a little differently this year or if you want to loosen up the customs a little, here are a few ideas on how you can celebrate Christmas this year.

Christmas traditions - a family celebrates Christmas together.

Funny Christmas – the “Ugly Christmas Sweater”

Why not start Christmas with a big grin on your face? The Ugly Christmas Sweater will bring some fresh air into the Christmas celebration. The funny sweaters with Christmas patterns will spread a good mood and are always good for a laugh. If you combine your outfit with a Christmas headband or funny Christmas glasses, you will get plenty of unique photos and forget the Christmas stress in no time.

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Don't forget...

Just so you don’t get bored, shortly before Christmas, think of some fun games to play or write down unusual, interesting conversation topics on little cards. This will give your Christmas a completely different feel.

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Environmental awareness at Christmas

You could use sustainable packaging, have a garbage-free Christmas, or use regional ingredients for cooking. If feels good to enjoy a sustainable Christmas while actively protecting the environment. Many people are slowly stepping back from the stress of consumerism and giving only a few more meaningful gifts. Perhaps you could try a vegetarian feast? You can find more tips on this topic in our article “Sustainability at Christmas”.

Harmony instead of stress at Christmas

It is becoming more and more trendy to focus on harmony and peace at Christmas. While some go on vacation with their families, others spend a relaxed Christmas at home with the immediate family. Christmas does not have to be perfect, but should make all guests feel good and comfortable. For example, it is OK to have everyone contribute something to the Christmas dinner or all cook together. The main thing is that you take time for each other and enjoy the party together.

Christmas presents - two girls are excited about their new teddy bear.

A new approach to Christmas presents

Christmas presents are increasingly changing. In the interests of sustainability, more and more families are reducing the number of gifts and prefer to give just a few high-quality presents. Here are a few ideas for how to give your gifts for a different and fun experience:

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To avoid stress during the lead up to Christmas, make notes of possible gift ideas all year. By the time Christmas comes, you will know exactly what to buy.

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  • Secret Santa: This beautiful Christmas tradition works best for larger families. The names of the family members are written on individual pieces of paper. Everyone draws out a name and gives a present for that person. This makes for a stress-free Christmas as each person only gives one present.

  • Focused gift-giving: Simply unwrap your presents one after the other. Everyone watches each person unwrap presents one after another. This slows down the unwrapping and allows everyone to enjoy the moment more.

  • Group gifts: Although slightly unusual, it is more sustainable. Get together as a group and give a much more useful larger gift. This reduces the amount of gifts and everyone gets nicer gifts.

Christmas crafts for kids

Christmas crafts for kids

Christmas is a great time for crafts, decorating, and baking cookies with your children. You can create small decorative works of art together that you will enjoy for many years to come. You can decorate your living room or give them as gifts and bring great joy to friends and relatives. In our article you will find many cute craft ideas, such as our Christmas winter landscape or cute elves made from pinecones. We also provide a step-by-step PDF that you can use to create a cute snowman out of old flower pots in no time.

Christmas crafts for kids
How to craft christmas cards.

Use homemade cards to send Christmas greetings

If you are not able to visit friends and relatives this Christmas, it is a great idea to send them a Christmas card to show that you are thinking of them. Homemade Christmas cards are more special than bought ones. We give you various DIY ideas for homemade Christmas cards with step-by-step instructions such as our lovingly designed “Winter Wonderland” card. We also give tips on how to safely send Christmas presents by post.

How to craft christmas cards
Upcycling-DIYs for christmas.

Upcycling for Christmas

When up packing your winter clothes, you often find a sweater that is worn out, no longer fits, or you don’t like. If you want to make space in the closet with a clear conscience, then just turn old knitted sweaters into great Christmas decorations! You can enjoy your old clothes for a long time and act sustainably at the same time. Here are some ideas for upcycling knitted sweaters and woollen scarves. You can easily turn an old knitted sweater into modern, little Christmas trees. Our step-by-step instructions will show you how.

Upcycling for christmas
How to wrap presents nicely.

How to wrap presents nicely

To make your present a real eye-catcher under the Christmas tree, you need the right gift wrapping. In this article, we give you tips on how to wrap gifts nicely. It doesn’t matter whether you have a round or even shapeless gift or want to wrap clothes – here you will find instructions for every gift. We also show ideas on how you can creatively decorate your gifts. If you want to wrap gifts in an environmentally friendly way, you will find information on sustainable materials and alternatives such as Furoshiki packaging.

How to wrap presents nicely
How to celebrate a sustainable christmas.

How to celebrate a sustainable Christmas

Even at Christmas time, it is possible to be more sustainable and environmentally conscious. With a few tips and tricks, you can avoid unnecessary waste or prepare your Christmas meal with regional and organically grown products. The topic of “sustainable gifts” is particularly important at Christmas because it helps reduce unnecessary packaging waste and reminds you to buy gifts that the recipient really needs. In this article, you will find useful tips and ideas for all of these aspects on how you can make Christmas time more sustainable.

How to celebrate a sustainable christmas

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