There is no place like home for the holidays

This is our neighbors house all decked out for Christmas.

Christmas is the time of year that we gather together with our families and participate in a variety of different family and cultural traditions. Without them, it just would not be Christmas for most of us. We put up holiday lights, sing carols, bake cookies, eat candy canes, give each other gifts, and decorate the Christmas tree with ornaments. We take these traditions and activities for granted, but where exactly do some of these holiday traditions come from in the first place?

Of course, Christmas is celebrated in order to honor the birth of Jesus, but did you know that Christmas was not always celebrated on December 25th? It was not until around 300 A.D. when Pope Julius I decided to celebrate the birth of Christ on the same day every year in order to replace the pagan Winter Solstice with a Christian holiday. It stuck and we have been celebrating Christmas on the same day ever since.

Why do we hang lights?

As to the lights – MANY cultures that were subject to deep darkness and cold lit candles, fires, bonfires, to lend strength to the waning power of light ….. to help light triumph over the darkness.

The tree – is the symbol of life in the dark, snowed life of the north. The evergreen is the only living plant, when all is dormant and dead.

After Martin Luther saw stars twinkling in the sky between boughs of the evergreens on Christmas, he is said to have placed the first candles on his tree. But electric lights, Koski said, came from Thomas Edison’s business partner Edward Johnson. “He took home light bulbs and had them wired to a tree and put it in his window and people drove by just to see them,” she said.

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About waynem

As a Minnesota based photographer and artist I have been greatly influenced by the Upper Midwest. I focus my skills and energies on portraits, landscapes, cityscapes, architectural and fine art work. My best work comes from images first painted in my mind. I mull over a prospective image for weeks or months, seeing it from different angles and perspectives, then finally deciding what to capture. The result is images that deeply touch people's emotions and powerfully evoke memories and dreams. My images are used commercially by companies and organizations ranging from Financial Services firms, mom and pop Ice Cream shops and The Basilica of St Mary to communicate their shared vision and values. Book and magazine publishers have featured my images on their covers. My photographs also grace and enhance the decor of many fine homes.
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