Traditions abound at Christmas, with many of our present-day rituals inherited from the distant past. Here are some of the oldest ones.
1. Christmas Trees
Greenery has long been used to decorate homes and halls during the winter, but Queen Victoria’s husband, Albert, made Christmas trees into a tradition. He imported one from Germany and placed it in Windsor Castle. The family posed before the tree for a newspaper article that year and created a must-have new fashion.
2. Church Attendance
Christmas is a Christian holiday, and people go to church. Along with Easter, Christmas eve or day services are the most popular.
3. Christmas Stockings
It’s said that St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children, wanted to help a poor family. He tossed coins down the chimney, and several ended up inside the stockings left to dry by the fire.
4. The Colors Red, Green, and Gold.
These are common colors used during this time of year. The red represents Christ’s blood, the green symbolizes everlasting life, and the gold is for the gifts from the Three Kings.
New Zealand has many of the same traditions as the rest of the world. The small fictional town of Sloan and the setting for my story Festive, which is part of the Wanted: Mistletoe anthology, is no different. These are some of their traditions…
1. Town Christmas Parade
Most small towns have a parade in December. Businesses, groups, and individuals design floats or march in bands while locals line the street. Santa is always at the end of the parade. In the small towns where I grew up, he rode on a fire engine and tossed sweets or candy to the kids as he passed.
2. Carols in the Park
The townsfolk come together during a December summer evening with picnic dinners and drinks to listen to and sing Christmas carols.
3. Secret Santa
Gray, my hero in Festive, comes from a large family. Instead of purchasing gifts for every cousin, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, and parent, they place everyone’s name into a hat and buy a present for the person they draw.
Most of the ladies bake a fruitcake at this time of the year.
Whatever rituals you enjoy at this time of the year, I hope you’ll add a little Christmas reading to your days. Wanted: Mistletoe is full of festive romance and good cheer and spiced with a little naughty.
Before I explain, how much have the elves told you?
Who’s ready for a little naughty & nice? With some mistletoe and holiday cheer, anything can–and does–happen during Christmas.
Your favorite contemporary authors have gathered around the Wintery hearth to bring you scintillating holiday romances. These sexy stories will deck your halls with filthy balls. If you’re not on the naughty list yet, you will be after indulging in these steamy reads. Whether you’re naughty or nice or on Santa’s watchlist, these romances will put you in a celebratory mood and warm your heart.
Shelley Munro lives in New Zealand and writes contemporary and paranormal romances full of adventure and humor. Also, a dead body or two. Visit Shelley at www.shelleymunro.com