Keeping Christmas traditions alive
A survey of 1000 mums carried out by the website made for mums, found that as many as half of all children (52%) still believed in Father Christmas at the age of eight years.
The origins of the beloved Christmas character are believed to be in the person of Saint Nicholas. Saint Nick – a bishop who lived in Myra, Asia Minor (what is now known as Turkey) in the fourth century.
One legend about Saint Nicholas is that he dropped a bag of gold down the chimney of a poor man who could not afford his daughter’s dowry. The bag fell into a stocking that had been left by the fire to dry. He did this a second time also and when the father found out who had done this Saint Nicholas swore him to secrecy.
However, the secret got out and thereafter when anyone received a secret gift, it was thought that maybe it was from Nicholas.
In The UK
In the UK, particularly in England, he became ‘Father Christmas’ or ‘Old Man Christmas’, an old character from stories plays during the middle ages in the UK and parts of northern Europe. The Frence, know him as ‘Père Nöel’.
The tradition of the Christmas tree also evolved from ancient customs.
The Romans used fir trees to decorate their temples during Saturnalia. A feast in honour of Saturn, the god of agriculture, and the predecessor to Christmas.
In northern Europe, people planted cherry or hawthorn plants, or created pyramids of fruit or candles. Evergreen trees were thought to keep away evil spirits and illness, and were put up during the winter solstice – the shortest day of the year – to remind them that the summer would return and plants would grow again.
Gradually, probably during the Victorian period, both traditions became a firmly-rooted part of Christmas.
Preserving The Tradition of Secrecy
Today, we still preserve the tradition of secrecy about the origins of Christmas gifts and it clearly works for quite a few children.
But, for harassed parents, as we live in increasingly smaller homes with minimal storage space, keeping the magic and the secrecy alive is becoming more difficult. Preventing children from searching out hidden Christmas presents, as home storage becomes smaller.
There is a solution, however. You can rent a space with us for as little as one week. There is a choice of sizes and all have 24-hour access. So you really can collect your stored gifts at a time to suit yourself and when the children are in bed!