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feel the christmass spirit


Artwork: Nasko Metodiev

  • Joined Dec 2022
  • Published Books 1



2. Who Invented Santa Claus?

3. Is Christmas Really the Day Jesus Was Born?

4. Christmas Facts




How 25 Christmas Traditions Got Their Start













Best Gingerbread Men Cookies


Buche de Noel


How to Make the Easiest Chocolate Cake From Scratch

16.The Rockettes,A Charlie Brown Christmas,Elf on the Shelf ,Advent Calendars ,Gingerbread Houses 




Christmas is celebrated on December 25 and is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. December 25—Christmas Day—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870.


Is Christmas Really the Day Jesus Was Born?

In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday. Unfortunately, the Bible does not mention date for his birth (a fact Puritans later pointed out in order to deny the legitimacy of the celebration). Although some evidence suggests that his birth may have occurred in the spring (why would shepherds be herding in the middle of winter?), Pope Julius I chose December 25. It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival. First called the Feast of the Nativity, the custom spread to Egypt by 432 and to England by the end of the sixth century.


Who Invented Santa Claus?

The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back to a monk named St. Nicholas who was born in Turkey around 280 A.D.. St. Nicholas gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick, becoming known as the protector of children and sailors.

St. Nicholas first entered American popular culture in the late 18th century in New York, when Dutch families gathered to honor the anniversary of the death of “Sint Nikolaas” (Dutch for Saint Nicholas), or “Sinter Klaas” for short. “Santa Claus” draws his name from this abbreviation.

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Christmas Facts

  • Each year, 25-30 million real Christmas trees are sold in the United States alone. There are about 15,000 Christmas tree farms in the United States, and trees usually grow for between four and 15 years before they are sold.
  • In the Middle Ages, Christmas celebrations were rowdy and raucous—a lot like today’s Mardi Gras parties.
  • When Christmas was cancelled: From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was outlawed in Boston, and law-breakers were fined five shillings.
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Even before the birth of Christ, and Christmas as we know it Christmas wreath ideas have been used as a symbol of honor and victory. 

In the Middle Ages it was adopted by those of the Christian faith as a representation of the start of Christmas.


The nativity scenes we know now started back in Rome in the 10th Century. From around the 12th Century, reenactments became more popular and they started to spread across Europe. Static nativity scenes with wooden figures are most common, but in some countries, including Sicily in Italy, you can see living nativity scenes. 



The Romans celebrated midwinter with at least five days of feasting and partying called the Saturnalia, which began on 17 December. Honouring Saturn, chief of the Roman gods, it was a time when all the usual rules about rank and etiquette were overturned. Slaves were served at meals by their masters, and everyone wore a pileus, the conical ‘cap of liberty’ presented to slaves when they were freed. Gambling with dice, usually forbidden, was allowed, and instead of white togas or dresses everyone wore bright party clothes. Public feasts were followed by celebrations at home, and people exchanged small gifts, especially sigillaria (little figures made of wax or pottery), or jokily satirical presents, songs or poems.



Medieval people really let rip with twelve full days of Christmas festivities, reaching a crescendo on 6 January, ‘Twelfth Night’, when presents were exchanged. These celebrations commemorated Christ’s birth and the name Christmas (Christ’s Mass) is first recorded in England in 1038. Medieval celebrations also combined the servants-as-masters antics and gift-giving of  Roman Saturnalia with customs belonging to the midwinter feast of Yule. These included the Yule Log (kept burning throughout the season), decorating houses with evergreens and eating richly decorated boar’s heads, sometimes washed down with mulled ‘braggot’, extra-strong ale with honey and cinnamon, spiked with brandy.



The best Christmas traditions are the personal ones that are meaningful for you and your family.

But there are some widely known ones too, that can never fail to bring charm to the holidays. Here is a list of three of the most classic Christmas traditions…

1.  An afternoon decorating the tree. Gather as a family and let everyone get stuck in to decking the halls. Many families have a second tree that can be less perfectly decorated for this very occasion. 

2. Leaving Santa milk and cookies. Rudolph usually gets a carrot, too. This tradition differs around the world – in the UK and Australia, families leave out a mince pie and sherry.  

3.    Kissing under the mistletoe. There is no simple reason why this tradition has come about – but it is thought to have started in the 1700s. 



The Christmas we know today took shape in Victorian times, when the rowdier celebrations of earlier periods were toned down into a quieter family-focused festival. Queen Victoria and her beloved Albert, with their nine children, played a big part in these changes. The Christmas trees Albert popularised from his native Germany in 1840 rapidly caught on, as did decking them with lights and presents, by now given on Christmas Day itself. Victorian children’s presents were usually quite modest, such as sweets, nuts or oranges, although wealthier kids might hope for a gift echoing the latest technology, such as a toy train. ‘Christmas Box’ tips to servants and tradesmen were left until 26 December, hence called ‘Boxing Day’.



There are few things as joyful as celebrating Christmas with the kids, and there are plenty of neat ways to make memories as a family. Here are some of our favorites…

1. Create a handmade advent calendar, filled with activities or treats that relate to what your kid really loves doing. It’s time to ditch the chocolate!

2. Cozy up to a Christmas movie. We love classics Miracle on 34th StreetHome Alone and Elf

3. Write a letter to Santa – this is your a chance to great colorful and crafty. And what better way to establish some guidelines around what Santa can and can’t bring?


Best Gingerbread Men Cookies

overhead view of Gingerbread Men Cookies

No holiday celebration is complete without adorably decorated gingerbread men cookies. These gingerbread cookies scream “Christmastime,” from their spiced flavor down to their festive shape. So grab the kids, get the cookie cutters ready, and be prepared to enjoy the best gingerbread men cookies of your life.


How to Make Gingerbread Cookies

Making gingerbread from scratch may seem intimidating, but it’s actually quite easy. You’ll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here’s what you can expect from when making these cookies:

Make the Dough

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices together in a bowl. Set aside. Cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add molasses, eggs, and vanilla and beat until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture until well combined.

Cut Out the Cookies refrigerate the dough for at least four hours (or overnight is better). This will prevent the dough from sticking to the surface when cutting out the cookies.


Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface. Cut into gingerbread men shapes (or whatever cookie cutter shape you’re using).


Bake the gingerbread men cookies until the edges set and the cookies begin to brown. Allow to cool completely and decorate the cookies as desired.

How to Decorate Gingerbread Men Cookies

Let your imagination run wild when decorating these gingerbread men cookies. You can use a simple sugar cookie icing or royal icing to add gingerbread men features. Then top them with candies, nuts, sprinkles or anything else you like to give these cookies some character.


Buche de Noel

Buche de Noel is the French name for a Christmas cake shaped like a log. This one is a heavenly flourless chocolate cake rolled with chocolate whipped cream and decorated with confectioners’ sugar to resemble snow on a yule log. It doesn’t just look beautiful — it tastes wonderful, too!

a chocolate yule log cake decorated with meringue mushrooms, chocolate "bark", and sprinkled with confectioners' sugar snow


What Is a Bûche de Noël?

A bûche de Noël is a sponge cake that is typically served around Christmastime. It’s believed to have originated in France during the 19th century.

The cake is filled with frosting and rolled to look like a log. It can also be decorated with frosting to make it more log-like or a simple dusting of confectioners’ sugar to resemble snow on a log.

How to Make Bûche de Noël

This cake may seem intimidating, but it’s just like any other Swiss roll. You’ll find the full, step-by-step recipe and instructions below — but here’s what you can expect when you make this bûche de Noël:


Make the Chocolate Whipped Cream

Whip the cream, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, and vanilla until peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the Cake Batter

Beat the egg yolks and sugar until the yolks are pale. Add the cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. In a separate bowl, whip egg yolks until soft peaks form, then add the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the yolk mixture into the egg white mixture. Spread the batter onto a parchment-lined jelly roll pan.

Bake and Roll

Bake until the cake springs back when touched, then turn it out on a confectioners’ sugar-coated dish towel. Roll the cake up with the towel and let it cool for 30 minutes.


Fill the Cake

Unroll the cooled cake and fill it with chocolate whipped cream. Roll it back up and refrigerate. Dust with confectioners’ sugar or decorate the cake before serving.

How to Decorate Bûche de Noël

This recipe calls for a simple dusting of confectioners’ sugar over the yule log cake, but you can decorate your bûche de Noël more elaborately if you like. Try icing the cake with chocolate ganache for a more log-like appearance. You can also garnish the cake with chocolate curls, candied cranberries, rosemary, and marzipan shapes (like mushrooms).



  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ½ cup white sugar
  •  cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  •  teaspoon salt
  • 6 egg whites
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • confectioners’ sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a 10×15 inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whip cream, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until thick and stiff. Refrigerate.

  2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until pale in color, light and frothy. Blend in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, and salt. In large glass bowl, using clean beaters, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, and beat until whites form stiff peaks. Immediately fold the yolk mixture into the whites. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

  1. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Dust a clean dishtowel with confectioners’ sugar. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and turn the warm cake out onto the towel. Remove and discard parchment paper. Starting at the short edge of the cake, roll the cake up with the towel. Cool for 30 minutes.

  2. Unroll the cake, and spread the filling to within 1 inch of the edge. Roll the cake up with the filling inside. Place seam side down onto a serving plate, and refrigerate until serving. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.


How to Make the Easiest Chocolate Cake From Scratch

close up of a slice of One Bowl Chocolate Cake baked as a layered sheet cake with chocolate frosting

No need to reach for a box cake mix anymore when there’s a super-easy, no-fuss, no-baking-skills-required, rich, and chocolatey chocolate cake that anyone can bake from scratch.



  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two nine-inch round pans. OR line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray if you want to bake a sheet cake.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Stir in the boiling water last. The batter will be thin. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven until you can insert a toothpick into the cake, and remove it dry. OR if you’re baking a sheet cake, bake for only 15 minutes. Cool in the pan(s) for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

How 25 Christmas Traditions Got Their Start

Learn why we decorate trees, swap cookies and hide pickles and elves, among other traditions.
Christmas Trees – Decorated trees date back to Germany in the Middle Ages, with German and other European settlers popularizing Christmas trees in America by the early 19th century. A New York woodsman named Mark Carr is credited with opening the first U.S. Christmas tree lot in 1851. A 2019 survey by the American Christmas Tree Association, predicted that 77 percent of U.S. households displayed a Christmas tree in their home. Among the trees on display, an estimated 81 percent were artificial and 19 percent were real.
Christmas Traditions: Christmas Trees

Christmas Traditions: The Rockettes

The Rockettes – Since 1925, first known as the Missouri Rockets, this iconic dance troupe has been kicking up its heels, officially becoming the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes in 1934. From performing at movie openings to entertaining troops to making TV appearances, they’re perhaps best-known for their annual Christmas Spectacular.


Christmas Traditions: A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas – Decades later, it may be hard to imagine that this beloved TV special inspired by Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip was first rejected by CBS executives. But when it finally aired on December 9, 1965, almost half of all U.S. TV sets were tuned to the broadcast, and the show went on to win an Emmy, a Peabody, an enduring following and even a trend of “Charlie Brown” Christmas trees. “I never thought it was such a bad little tree,” Linus says in the special. “It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.”


Elf on the Shelf – Love it or loathe it, since 2005, moms and dads have either joyously or begrudgingly been hiding a toy elf each night from Thanksgiving to Christmas. More than 13 million elves have been “adopted” since 2005 when Carol Aebersold and her daughter, Chanda Bell, published the book Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition that comes with the toy. Social media has even inspired some parents to set up elaborate scenarios for their elves—as in: He TP’d the tree! She filled the sink with marshmallows!

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Christmas Traditions: Advent Calendar

Advent Calendars – Early versions of this tradition, started in Germany in 1903 by publisher Gerhard Land, offered a way for children to count down to Christmas by opening one “door” or “window” a day to reveal a Bible passage, poem or small gift. Since gaining mass popularity by 1920, the calendars have evolved to secular calendars that include daily gifts from mini bottles of wine to nail polish to chocolates to action figures.


Christmas Traditions: Gingerbread Houses

Gingerbread Houses – Although Queen Elizabeth I gets credit for the early decorating of gingerbread cookies, once again, it’s the Germans who lay claim to starting the gingerbread house tradition. And when the German Brothers Grimm wrote “Hansel and Gretel” a new holiday tradition was born. Today, the edible decorations are available in a slew of pre-packed kits.


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