Christmas traditions unravelled By Wilko Life

Many of us have our own family traditions that get passed down through generations, such as being able to open one present early on Christmas Eve or wearing a festive jumper on the big day – but have you ever thought about why we give cards and presents? And what’s a decorated tree in the hallway all about?

Wilko has carried out some research into some common Christmas traditions and why we have them…

Advent calendars

One of the most popular is the traditional way to countdown to Christmas, whether it’s chocolate, make-up or personally filled ones. There is something about peeling back the windows to reveal a festive scene or message, and more importantly a chocolatey treat!   However, the advent calendar tradition began in Germany in the mid-19th century, where people made chalk marks on doors or lit candles to count the days leading up to Christmas.


Christmas cards

You might hang them up the tap or put them on the mantel place.  Sending and receiving Christmas cards started in the UK way back in 1843.  Christmas cards featured nativity or family scenes but today, of course, Christmas cards come in all colours, shapes and sizes!

Don’t forget to check the Royal Mail last posting dates found here



Mistletoe may not be the most popular tradition, but it is still filling many homes over Christmas with people sharing that Christmas kiss! There are a few myths and traditions surrounding mistletoe; in ancient times the Druids believed that mistletoe would bring good luck and health.  It was also thought that mistletoe represented love and friendship, which is where the tradition of kissing underneath the mistletoe comes from.


Christmas trees

This must be the most popular one, right?  The Christmas tree dates back to the 16th Century in Germany.  Today the Christmas trees is at the heart of people’s festivities, decorated with lights and baubles. Just decorating them symbols the start of the celebrations, not to mention being the back drop for those special moments such as unwrapping presents.



The gift giving tradition must be the most loved and high anticipated tradition of them all.  This is straight from the Wise Men that gave baby Jesus gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh.   Christmas morning, in the UK, usually starts with running to the tree to see what’s under the wrappers.  If you lived in Germany, Sweden and Portugal it’s actually more popular to open all the presents on Christmas Eve?

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And if that’s make you eager to think Christmas, check out the selection at Wilkos here