Decorating With Christmas Trees

Decorating With Christmas Trees
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As we celebrate the holiday season, most families gather around a Christmas tree that's twinkling with lights and topped by a star. A number of legends have evolved about the origin of this custom.
Most families decorate at least one tree. However, some set up trees throughout the house. You may even have a small one in the kitchen which you decorate with cookies and cookie cutters. Old-fashioned decorations often consisted of edible decorations including strings of cranberries and popcorn, cookies shaped like canes and stars, then hung from the branches.

The Legend of the Tree

One story handed down from the early days in England maintains that a monk, known as St. Wilfred, spread his Christian religion among the Druids. From his teachings evolved the belief that the fir tree would be the symbol of the Christmas season and the celebration of the Christ Child's birth. They were to gather round it in their homes, he told his converts, to give gifts and perform acts of kindness.

It's said by some that Martin Luther was the first to place lights on a Christmas tree. Supposedly he was very impressed with the stars shining through the branches of the evergreens one snowy Christmas Eve. To recreate the scene for his family, he cut a small green tree and decorated it with lighted candles.

Christmas Tree Custom Spreads

The custom of the Christmas tree was at first predominant in Protestant countries. Then it slowly spread throughout Europe until now the Christmas tree is part of the holiday decorations in many churches.

It's found in many homes in America and Europe, as well as other parts of the world. As we gather around the Christmas tree with family and friends during this season, we often share gifts and refreshments, creating an atmosphere of love and joy and giving.

One of the dishes my aunt and my mother made for the holidays came from their childhood. This was INDIAN PUDDING.

Mix together 1/3 cup corn meal, pinch of salt (1/4 teaspoon), 1/2 cup molasses. Then pour over this 3 cups scalded milk and let it stand for 5 minutes. Add one beaten egg, 1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.

Pour into a greased baking dish and bake at 275 degrees F. When it has baked for 10 minutes, pour 1 cup cold milk over the pudding and stir. Then bake for 2 more hours, or until inserted knife comes out clean.

You can add 1/2 cup raisins or currants to the pudding before baking, if desired.

Serve with whipped topping or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

My mother often added some sugar and dash of cinnamon and nutmeg to 2 cups whole milk. We poured this over the pudding in individual dishes.

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About The Author

Mary Emma Allen researches and writes from her multi-generational NH home. Check out her new site, Tea Time Notes
 
 

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