Christmas is only a matter of weeks away, which has got us thinking about all those Christmas traditions that help to make the festive period oh so special!

Many of us have our own family traditions that get passed down through generations, such as being able to open a present 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?!

Here are a few of the most common Christmas traditions, and the reasoning behind them…

Advent calendars

The countdown to Christmas really begins with the advent calendar, peeling back the windows to reveal a festive scene or message, and more importantly a chocolatey treat! But advent calendars aren’t just about the chocolate – the 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.

The advent calendar is one of our favourite traditions; every time you open a window you know Christmas is getting closer! Before December is upon us, check out our great range of advent calendars online.

Christmas cards

Sending and receiving Christmas cards is a tradition that dates back to 1843, when the first ever Christmas card was produced and sent in the UK. Traditionally, Christmas cards featured nativity or family scenes but today Christmas cards come in all colours, shapes and sizes!

Sending a Christmas card is one of the most simple and personal Christmas traditions. With such a great range of Christmas cards available at Wilko this year (all 3 for 2 mix and match!), be sure to send a card to friends and family to wish them a very merry Christmas.

Also, don’t forget to check the Royal Mail last posting dates, especially if you have friends and family that live abroad.

Christmas cards hung on fireplace

Mistletoe

Mistletoe will adorn many homes over Christmas and kisses will be shared standing underneath! There are several myths and traditions surrounding mistletoe; in ancient times the Druids believed that mistletoe would bring good luck and health, and it was also thought that mistletoe represented love and friendship – which is where the tradition of kissing underneath the mistletoe comes from.

So don’t forget to hang your mistletoe this year and share some festive kisses!

Christmas trees

The tradition of the Christmas tree dates back to Germany during the 16th Century, and even today the humble Christmas tree is at the heart of Christmas festivities in the home. Not only does a Christmas tree create a welcoming home for the festive season, many special moments such as unwrapping presents will be shared underneath.

So whether you’re having a real or artificial tree this year, we’ve got everything you need to make your tree look extra special – including a fantastic range of decorations in contemporary and traditional themes.

Outdoor Christmas tree with lights

Presents

Whether you’re an organised early Christmas shopper or prefer the last minute panic, we all love to give (and also receive!) gifts at Christmas.

The gift giving tradition has its roots in the Wise Men’s gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh… however frankincense and myrrh are less popular presents these days! Christmas morning is traditionally the time to empty our Christmas stockings and unwrap the presents from under the tree.

It won’t be long until children up and down the country are busy scribbling their lists for Santa and finding out whether they’ve been naughty or nice this year! Check out our fantastic Kid’s letter to Santa pack which comes with letter templates and pre-addressed envelopes, which is a great activity that the little ones will love.

So if you haven’t already, it’s time to start stocking up for the best Christmas ever, and our gift shop has something for everyone who’s made it on to your ‘nice’ list!

We’d love to hear about your Christmas traditions, tweet us at @LoveWilko or let us know via our Facebook page.

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