5 Christmas Traditions and Where They Came From

1. Christmas Trees

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Decorated trees date back to Germany in the Middle Ages, with German and other European settlers popularizing Christmas trees in America by the early 19th century. A New York woodsman named Mark Carr is credited with opening the first U.S. Christmas tree lot in 1851.

2. Christmas Pickles

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The origins of hiding a Christmas pickle ornament are a bit murky but it’s likely it grew from a Woolworths marketing gimmick from the late 1800s, when the retailer received imported German ornaments shaped like a pickle and needed a sales pitch.

3. Ugly Christmas Sweaters

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According to the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Book, the sweaters became a party trend in Vancouver, Canada in 2001. And according to Fox Business, the ugly sweater industry is a multi-million business.

4. Cookies and milk for Santa

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While leaving treats for Santa and his reindeer dates back to ancient Norse mythology, Americans began to sweeten up to the tradition during the Great Depression in the 1930s, as a sign of showing gratitude during a time of struggle.

5. Boozy eggnog

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Although the yuletide cocktail stems from posset, a drink made with hot curdled milk and ale or wine from medieval England, American colonists get credit for making it popular and adding rum. Even George Washington had a special recipe.

Source: history.com

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