Why we have Christmas Traditions and Personalised Gifts for all the Family

Why on earth do we have traditions and customs at Christmas? In fact, the reason behind giving gifts – although more widely known – is often forgotten in the rush and excitement of the Christmas period.

We've taken a look at where all these traditions and habits come from and why we love them!

Hanging a Stocking

The tradition of hanging a stocking stems from several places.

According to one popular story Saint Nicholas heard of the poor state one family was living in. He discovered a row of socks hanging to dry over the poor family's fireplace and placed gold coins inside each one before disappearing.

Because of this, putting stockings above the fireplace, and later at the end of the bed, has become a strong tradition (perhaps in the hope that more gold will be left behind!).

Christmas Tree

What about the Christmas tree? Thousands of years ago people celebrating winter festivals used evergreen boughs around their doors to keep evil spirits away.

But the Christmas tree tradition as we know it is believed to have started in Germany in the 16th century, when Christians brought trees into their homes.

Trees were decorated with gingerbread and wax ornaments available from Christmas markets that remain popular today.

Christmas Pudding

Preparing Christmas pudding is another tradition that has stemmed from Medieval Times, but its origins go back as far as the early 1400s.

It was traditionally said to be prepared on the 25th Sunday after Trinity and to contain 13 ingredients, representing Christ and the 10 disciples.

Turkey

Meanwhile the tradition of turkey on Christmas Day has not come from so far back in the history books.

In fact, up until the last six decades turkey was considered a very expensive meat and was eaten on Christmas Day by very few.

Mistletoe

The Druids thought that mistletoe was a representation of heaven and earth coming together and a reconciliation from God with mankind.

This belief came from the idea that mistletoe fell from heaven and grew on trees that were on earth. Kissing under the mistletoe was, and still is, a symbol of acceptance and reconciliation.

Christmas Cards

Sending Christmas cards is a tradition that began in Victorian England.

It is thought the idea to send cards was brought about as an alternative to writing letters – people wishing to send Christmas wishes in the form of a letter had to spend a lot of time writing, and the Christmas card would reduce this time by a considerable amount.

In 1843, 1,000 Christmas cards were printed and coloured in by hand in the UK. It wasn't until 1851 that Christmas cards were printed in the US and it took until 1862 that London printers Charles Goodall & Sons mass-produced Christmas cards of different designs.

Royal Christmas Message

George V started this tradition in 1932 when he sent out a message to the general public on Christmas Day.

Since then, a Royal message has been given in some form every year. The Queen made her first Christmas speech in 1952 and has done one every year since, apart from 1969 when she wrote a message instead.

The idea came about from the founding father of the BBC Sir John Reith in 1932, who thought a speech from the sovereign would help introduce the Empire Service (now known as the BBC World Service).

Now you've read about the different traditions we have, why not take a look at our traditional gifts with a personal twist...

Traditional gifts with a personal twist

You can add a name to the Luxury Personalised Christmas Stocking and create a unique decoration that can be used again and again.

Decorations have come a long way since the gingerbread decorations of the 16th century. We have a selection of personalised Christmas decorations for your tree including the Photo Christmas Bauble, a wonderful and unique way to add a favourite family photo or a baby son, daughter or grandchild's picture to the tree.

If you or a friend or relative will be preparing the puddings or basting the turkey this Christmas, then why not do it in style in a Personalised Apron. Add a name or a unique message to make a special apron that makes a fantastic and fun gift or treat.

With the Your Letter to Santa Personalised Book, your little one will be able to enjoy the story of how their very own letter gets to Santa, written by the man himself and featuring your child's name on every page.

Don't forget to browse our website, we have hundreds of Personalised Christmas Gifts all at great prices!