Holiday traditions have changed over the years. However, many people have fond memories of their childhood, and that includes the way they celebrated Christmas. So, if you’ve ever found yourself nostalgic for Christmases past, here are 8 holiday traditions that you just may remember.
1. Making popcorn garland.
The tradition of making popcorn garland actually dates back to Victorian times. However, its popularity lasted well into the 20th century. Many older adults might have fond childhood memories of transforming popcorn and cranberries into beautiful Christmas decorations.
2. Watching Christmas specials on TV.
Remember the Christmas episodes of your favorite sitcoms? From The Andy Griffith Show to The Beverly Hillbillies, many shows offered a holiday episode or two for viewers’ enjoyment. Back then, it was a watch-or-you-miss-it situation. And while streaming is convenient, there was something particularly magical about watching holiday specials as they aired.
3. Assembling Christmas tree train sets.
Model trains come in all shapes and sizes, but many manufacturers designed trains to fit perfectly under Christmas trees. Around and around they’d go, circling the tree skirt and zipping under ornaments, a quaint version of their full-sized counterparts. Some people went even further and began assembling whole Christmas villages. Unfortunately, Christmas tree train sets fell out of fashion along with tinsel and bubble lights, but we happen to think this tradition deserves a revival!
4. Putting up aluminum trees.
Nowadays, most people put up fake trees that resemble members of the evergreen family. But back in the 60s, perhaps befitting of the Space Age, these shiny, vaguely futuristic trees were all the rage. They came in all sizes and colors, from silver to pink to gold. The aluminum tree was so popular that it even was mentioned in the 1965 classic A Charlie Brown Christmas.
5. Making (and receiving!) fruitcake.
Oh, fruitcake. The most misunderstood holiday dessert of all time. Fruitcake tends to evoke a very strong response in people, but more people dislike it than not. And despite its somewhat bad reputation, it’s impossible to reminisce over holidays past without thinking of fruitcake.
6. Stuffing stockings with oranges.
Nowadays, stockings are stuffed with the latest electronics, socks, or even beauty products. But in the past, it was tradition to stuff stockings with fruit, namely oranges! Of course, some parents included sweet treats, like chocolate and gumdrops, as well.
7. Making Christmas cookies from scratch.
Most stores and bakeries sell Christmas cookies by the dozen, but it used to be popular to make Christmas cookies from scratch. And while many people may still enjoy baking around the holidays, there’s another part of the tradition that may not be observed: having cookie swaps with loved ones and neighbors.
8. Going Christmas caroling.
Experts believe that Christmas caroling actually dates back to the 13th century. Today, only 16% of Americans say they still go caroling. We’d wager that percentage was much higher in holiday seasons past! Many older adults probably have memories of sharing the gift of music with friends and loved ones around the holidays. This is one tradition we hope has a resurgence.
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