5 Christmas Traditions and Where They Came From
1. Christmas Trees
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
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
4. Cookies and milk for Santa
5. Boozy eggnog
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.