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Christmas Traditions Around the World

If you want to add a touch of elegance to your Christmas traditions, you're on the right site. Welcome to GiftTree, your premier source for personal and corporate Christmas gift ideas for all your Christmas traditions. Christmas traditions are as varied as the people who celebrate them, and our exquisite selection of gifts are sure to please even the most discriminating person on your list. Whether you're placing a Christmas present under the Christmas tree or bearing gifts in your Christmas holiday travels, GiftTree has many gift ideas to make your Christmas traditions special.

Historically, Christmas gift giving became part of many Christmas traditions all over the world to honor the three wise men that brought gifts to the baby Jesus. Over time-beginning around the 1800s Christmas traditions evolved into the elaborate gift-giving holiday we commemorate today. In the United States, our Christmas traditions and Christmas customs focus on spiritual celebrations, the love of family and friends, and, of course, the enchantment of Santa Claus. The spirit and joy of Christmas lights provides celebratory warmth to the winter chill of blustery December days. For other countries, Christmas traditions begin with Advent around November 26 and last until January 6, the feast of the Epiphany. Regardless of how Christmas traditions are celebrated, most countries equate an affectionate sentimentality to these holiday festivities.

Worldwide, Christmas traditions are celebrated as both a religious and secular holiday. Family celebrations, wrapping gifts, and baking homemade goodies form long-lasting Christmas memories. Christmas traditions are also rich with symbols. Lighted candles are set on windowsills to symbolize Joseph and Mary's search for shelter; boughs are placed on doors to ward off evil and illness; and all over the world, Christmas traditions are not complete without Christmas flowers. Poinsettias, white roses, and hyacinths are fundamental to holiday traditions in the United States, England, and Sweden, respectively.

Many Christmas traditions, including the Christmas trees and glass Christmas ornaments, originated in Germany. In fact, German settlers are credited with introducing Christmas trees to the United States. Originally, Americans thought these trees were pagan symbols and refused to incorporate them into their religious Christmas traditions. However, in 1846, when the popular Queen Victoria and her German Prince Albert were featured in the London News with their family gathered around a Christmas tree, the holiday tree gained instant popularity in both British and American societies. Although German Christmas traditions featured smaller trees-around four feet high-Americans incorporated much taller trees into their Christmas traditions, preferring trees that reached ceiling heights. Today, Christmas decorations are central to American Christmas traditions.

From religious celebrations to parties with loved ones, Christmas traditions add a touch of magic to the holiday season. To the delight of children all over the world, Santa Claus, Father Christmas, and St. Nick, to name a few, add to the excitement of their Christmas traditions. While many children in the United States anticipate the arrival of Santa, Iceland commemorates their Christmas traditions with 13 Santas, each bearing a gift for good boys and girls.

In Italy, children receive their gifts January 6, not December 25. They believe that an ugly but kind witch on a broomstick delivers their gifts. Prior to January 6, children may go door-to-door reciting poems and singing to their neighbors. In return, neighbors give the children money to purchase gifts. Swedish Christmas traditions incorporate some mischievous fun into their holiday festivities. Christmas gifts in Sweden are called "Christmas knocks" because years ago, one would quietly approach a home, knock loudly on the door, and anonymously toss a gift inside the home. Christmas traditions last one month in Sweden, beginning December 13 with a celebratory feast and lasting until January 13.

Christmas traditions have cross-cultural appeal, and GiftTree celebrates the abundance of giving in the holiday season by offering gifts and gift baskets such as Christmas fruit baskets and Christmas wine gift baskets that illustrate good taste and exquisite elegance to your personal and corporate Christmas traditions. Because Christmas traditions are rich in history, spiritual abundance, and family traditions, you'll want to find just the right gifts to celebrate the occasion in style. Some send Christmas cards when there loved ones are far away, but why put up with busy traffic and long lines when you can find memorable gifts from the convenience of your home at GiftTree? You won't find our exclusive inventory of specialty gift baskets anywhere else, and we guarantee that the gift you give from GiftTree will leave lasting impressions with family, friends, loved ones, and business associates.