Old-Fashioned Christmas Traditions That Deserve a Comeback
Figgy pudding, need not apply.
This season, think beyond holiday movie marathons and reintroduce Christmas traditions from years gone by that are bound to make this season extra merry and bright. These old-fashioned Christmas traditions are just begging for a holly jolly comeback.
While we love a fragrant Douglas fir, opt for a festive and retro aluminum Christmas tree. Introduced in the late 1950s as the first manufactured artificial Christmas tree, this midcentury must-have soared into popularity through the 1960s. Rumor has it that the 1965 airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas sparked the trend for real trees. But decades later, aluminum trees are making a return thanks to their modern flair and minimum upkeep. Psst: No watering required!
Dating back to the Great Depression, when special treats were few and far between, citrus—a special and scarce fruit—was placed in stockings for a sweet surprise on Christmas morning. (Fans of the Civil War-based novel Little Women might recall the youngest sister Amy's obsession with highly-coveted limes.) Carry on this sweet tradition with your family by slipping some citrus into their stockings. Fresh orange juice, anyone?
Make meals and memories around the table this year with a fun and festive tradition: Christmas crackers. Dating back to England in the 1800s, this old Christmas tradition consists of placing brightly colored tubes on every place setting. When opened with a festive-sounding "crack!" you'll discover a small toy, paper crown, or cheerful token inside. These are sure to be a crowd pleaser, both for the young and young at heart.
This year, deck your tree with artificial snow, better known as flocking. In the 1800s, people would douse their trees with flour, but the trend as we know it today really took flight in the 50s and 60s, especially in snow-deprived Southern states who could only dream of a white Christmas. Flocking means dusting your tree with a white synthetic powder to create a snowy scene. You can purchase a tree flocked or do it yourself. Regardless, get ready for a winter wonderland.
While we all love milk and cookies and, for a few discerning palates, fruit cake, try another Christmas favorite: a Yule Log. Yule Logs are heavily steeped in centuries of Christmas lore. Originating as the crackling log you burn in the hearth of the home, this folklore favorite has trickled into the best room of the house: the kitchen. The Yule Log cake is originally a French custom that emerged in the 1800s. Made of sponge cake to resemble an actual Yule log, this delectable dessert is similar to a Swiss roll on the inside to resemble the rings of a tree. Bake one this year for your merrymakers, but warning: There will be no leftovers.
While we'll always have a soft spot for all of the old-fashioned Christmas traditions we grew up with, sometimes making new memories and experiences can be just as special. Don't be afraid to branch out and try something new this go-around—who knows, maybe it will stick around for years to come.