Christmas time is here, and that means it is time for Christmas traditions. There are wonderful Christmas traditions that have appeared throughout time, such as hanging stockings on the mantle, attending a midnight candle-light church service, and baking cookies. All of these are great, but over time some not-so average traditions have arisen. In addition to these, there are also great tradition differences across different countries.
When most people think of Christmas time they think of cold snow on the ground outside while bundling up next to a nice warm fire. This, however, cannot be said for Australians. Because of Australia’s location on the earth, they essentially experience the summer season during Christmas. This, in turn, causes some fun traditions to arise, such as Santa surfing. One of the biggest Santa surfs was back in 2015 when 320 locals gathered to raise money and donate to a mental health charity. This tradition creates fun and is for a good cause.
One of the more well-known “crazy” Christmas traditions brought about by Germans is their tradition of putting a pickle in their trees. Along the lines of this cultural difference, Ukrainians put spider webs on their Christmas trees from a long told tale. In this tale, Christmas is approaching for a widow and her children. This family is very poor, however, and cannot afford to get ornaments for the tree they planted for themselves. The spiders among the house heard this, and when the family awoke the next morning, their tree was decked in glittering and shining spider webs that decorated the tree. The tale represents a message of always being grateful for what you already have in life.
The Poop Log
Another crazy tradition comes from Catalonia. On December 8th, families will bring out their happy logs known as Tió de Nadal, which consists of logs with stick legs and a happy face. Every night until Christmas Eve the logs are fed with everything from nuts to dried fruit. The logs are also covered with blankets to ensure their comfort. On the night of Christmas Eve the families will hit the logs while singing their traditional Tió de Nadal song. Once done, underneath the blanket they will find that the log “pooped” some candies and other goodies. The families then burn the log among their fires for warmth.
I got the chance to talk to Eve York, an Art and Digital Media student at Greenville University, about her weird Christmas tradition with her family. Since as long as she could remember, York and her family always gifted her dad with the ever-so gracious gift of a gnome. Yes, you heard that right. Every year for Christmas York’s dad wants, and receives, a garden gnome.
I have also had my fair-share of Christmas traditions. Growing up, my family had a tradition of having two Christmas mornings. One on Christmas Eve, and then of course on Christmas day. Christmas Eve morning is spent with my whole family, which includes my parents and two brothers. Then on Christmas morning it is just my parents, my younger brother, and I as my older brother spends the day with his mom. Although not extremely weird, it is still a very special Christmas tradition, which is what all traditions are about no matter how crazy they seem.