While there are many holiday traditions, some of the most popular ones have strange and surprising origins. Get into the festive spirit with a smile by guessing the origins of these traditions:
The Christmas tree originated in 16th century Germany, but didn't become a popular tradition until it was decorated by a certain royal family. Who was the queen who made Christmas trees famous?
Queen Victoria, of the United Kingdom. In 1848, an illustration of Queen Victoria's decorated Christmas tree was published in a London newspaper. The tradition was quickly emulated throughout the United Kingdom and spread to the United States.
Which holiday tradition representing love and romance comes from the Anglo Saxon words meaning "poo on a stick?"
Mistletoe. This holiday plant is actually a parasite that relies on birds to eat the seeds and dispose of them on other trees. The plant then steals its nourishment from its host tree. To think it now creates the opportunity to steal a kiss from a loved one...
This traditional holiday game has its own league, abbreviated as the MLD. Can you name it?
Dreidel. This popular game played by spinning a wooden top is part of the Jewish tradition of Hanukkah. A Major League Dreidel (MLD) organization was founded in New York City in 2007.
According to folklore, what 250-year-old sweet has its humble beginnings as a way to keep children quiet during church services?
The candy cane. According to legend, a choirmaster in Germany purchased candy sticks to keep children quiet during holiday services. In the 1800's a curved stick with red stripes quickly made its lasting mark during the holidays representing a shepards staff and handy tree decoration.
This holiday tradition was created to promote use of a public service. Can you name it?
The holiday card. The Christmas card was created in England in 1843 as a way to increase public use of the country's new Penny Post mail service. With the increased use of the printing press, holiday cards soon became popular.