Please join me today in welcoming Tiffany A. Higgins, author of "We've Seen Santa." Tiffany is generously giving away (2) copies of her book. Details after the post.
Growing up, I always thought I knew where our Christmas traditions came from. My grandmother is Italian, and therefore our traditions must be Italian as well, right? I never asked, never questioned why we did the things that we did. Recently, I have started to post snippets of information to my Facebook page about Christmas traditions around the world. As I research, I discover that much like I have always called myself a mutt because I am a mixing pot of nationalities, so are the traditions my family passes down.
Another tradition in my family is that Santa comes early on Christmas eve and leaves a bag of small gifts on the porch. His sleigh bells can be heard jingling and we know to check for his bag. These small gifts are generally activities to keep the children entertained. I have been unable to find where this tradition comes from. I believe it was done in an effort to keep us from misbehaving while staying up late to go to midnight mass. Midnight mass was always a very strong tradition in my family. We went every year.
My husband’s family had what I always thought was a strange tradition. Shortly after they fell asleep, Santa came to visit. His parents would immediately wake him and his sister to open their presents. They then were sent, immediately, back to bed. As I was doing my research, I discovered that this is actually a German tradition, as well. In some houses, a room is locked up in the weeks before Christmas. On Christmas Eve, the children go to bed, but are awoken at midnight by their parents, and taken to the locked room. The door is unlocked and opened. Inside the children see the tree is all lit up, and there are piles of gifts.
I was amazed to discover that we don’t really have any truly Italian traditions. I am also fascinated with the traditions around the world. In some countries, Christmas starts at the beginning of December and runs through the beginning of February. Can you imagine? Do you know where your family’s traditions began?
Thank you, Tiffany! What an interesting post. I have never heard of the tradition of the locked room. There sure are some strange customs involving Christmas, that's for sure!
We've Seen Santa is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Visit Tiffany: Website | Blog | Facebook | Publisher On Twitter: @TiffanyAHiggins and @WeveSeenSanta
GIVEAWAY: (2) copies of "We've Seen Santa" are up for grabs. Please leave a comment telling me one of your family's Christmas customs or traditions and where they came from (if you know). Include your email address so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway is open to US and Canada and will end on August 1, 2011 at 11:59pm CST. Winners will be chosen by Random.org and will be announced here and via email. Winners must respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. Thanks for entering and good luck!