How We Got 10 Bizarre Christmas Traditions

There wasn't always a Rudolph
By Dan Evon,  Newser User
Posted Dec 15, 2010 10:30 AM CST
Promoted on Newser Dec 15, 2010 2:20 PM CST

(User Submitted) – Why do we kiss under the mistletoe? Hang stockings? Christmas is a time of tradition, but where did it all start? Here is a list of 10 strange beginnings to common Christmas traditions.

  1. Decorating Christmas trees—Most people credit Martin Luther with starting the tradition. Inspired by the sight of stars through a fir tree, Luther decided to decorate a tree with candles.

  1. Christmas cards—Sir Henry Cole was too busy to write individual cards in 1843, so he hired an artist to print out some cards for him. The message on the first Christmas card was "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You."
  2. Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer—Rudolph wasn't the original leader of Santa's sleigh; rather he was created in 1939 to sell Christmas coloring books.
  3. Caroling—Christmas caroling started as a night of drunken hooliganism. Drunks roamed the streets singing songs to celebrate the winter solstice, demanding food and drink under the threat of violence.

Click to read more about the origins of Christmas.

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