By Margaret Ekladious: Christmas Treasures (8)


Christmas Treasures (8):

 Written by Margaret Ekladious

To complete the last parts of the treasures of Christmas, we will move to a new piece of the treasures of Christmas today, which is the manifestations and customs of Christmas:


Christmas flowers, plants, and spices:

1+ Mistletoe or Mistletoe:

A mistletoe is a plant that needs to depend on other trees to grow.

Mistletoe plants primarily use birds to propagate their seeds.

The Mistletoe will bear some red or white berries that attract birds during the early winter.

People still love them during the Christmas period Mistletoe is a symbol of love and friendship, so it is considered a sign of good luck.

Its evergreen leaves symbolize the "life that does not die."

 This parasitic plant mainly grows on apple trees.

 It rarely grows on the oak tree, considered the king of trees in Celtic culture.

That is why the Celtic priests honored the oak because they believed in its magical powers against evil.

Therefore, they considered the parasitic plant the "spirit" of the sacred oak because it sent its roots into the oak trunk to feed on!!

And they believed that this plant possesses an extraordinary healing power that heals everything from female infertility to the removal of toxins and incurable diseases.

The Druids dedicated an entire ceremony dedicated to the sacred Mistletoe of the sacred oak.

They gather on the sixth night of the moon leading up to the winter solstice (and the summer solstice) to harvest the sacred Mistletoe with their golden scythe and then sacrifice two bulls.

The Scandinavians also believed that the mistletoe plant was a plant of peace and harmony, so they linked it with the goddess of love (Frigg).

The Romans also considered Mistletoe as a sacred plant.

They used it during Saturn's feast when celebrating Saturn, their God of harvest and fertility.

Their tradition was later adopted by the early Christians, who also adapted the myth of Frega..!!

 And they believed that a couple kissing under the Mistletoe would be united with eternal love.

This folk tradition has been passed down from generation to generation and is still being observed not so long ago!

It is mentioned that the church in early times banned the use of Mistletoe in Christmas celebrations due to its pagan origins.

2+ Holly or holly plant (Alix):

It is shrub-like and can reach 10-15 feet in height.

The female plants of the tree produce the red berries we are used to seeing everywhere at Christmas.

Although berries are toxic to humans and most household pets, they are a food source.

And life for some birds in the winter..

Birds also like to nest in sacred trees during the winter months when other trees do not have leaves to provide warmth and protection.

It bears many symbols associated with birth, such as life, protection, and warmth.

The holly tree or Holly is one of the most loved and respected trees in Celtic mythology and is its twin.

The oak is evergreen.

It is said that while the oak ruled the light half of the year, the Holly ruled the months.

Dark winter. ..

Before hanging Holly in homes to accompany Christmas trees, druids considered it a sacred plant and considered a symbol of fertility and eternal life and believed to have magical powers due to it..

It is distinguished by its glossy leaves that are spiky and pointed, and its small flower is whitish.

Its berries are red. Druids consider the holly plant a symbol of fertility and eternal life and are believed to have magical powers because of it..

Today, Christians have adopted the sacred tree as a symbol of Christmas, and the sharp leaves are said to symbolize

But Christmas has also kept the white Mistletoe in its decoration through time and has not been forgotten.

  Next to the Holly or holly plant..

3+ Poinsettias:

The poinsettia flower, the Christmas star, or the consul's daughter originated in Mexico.

The actual flower is small and yellow, but its circumference is significant, and it consists of red leaves.

Bright color..

It is also named after the first US ambassador and consul to Mexico, Joel Poinsett. Where he brought these plants to America in the year 1828..!!!

It is a sensitive plant that must remain in the dark for 12 hours, and if it happens to touch its juice, it may lead to poisoning.

It was accompanied by an ancient legend linking it to Christmas, which is:

There was a poor Mexican girl who wanted to give a gift to the child of the cave (Child Jesus) set up next to the church in the village as the rest of the children do. She found nothing but that she picked some herbs from the side of the road and made a small bouquet of them and went and knelt on her knees in front of the child in the manger and placed I gifted her below. Suddenly these herbs turned into bright red flowers that looked like the stars that accompanied the events of Christmas.

Therefore, some called them the flowers of the holy night, and it is sometimes believed that they symbolize the star that led the Magi to birth (the Star of David) and its leaves.

The red refers to the blood of Christ, and its white leaves represent purity and give a warm glow to Christmas..!!

4+ Rosemary:

Rosemary was associated with the Virgin Mary (because it was believed to be its favorite plant), or people thought it could protect against evil spirits.

It is also sometimes called the fountain of friendship and was one of the most common decorations placed on the pig's head that the wealthy ate the popular Christmas meal in the Middle Ages, which was used at Christmas. This is when we remember the birth of the baby Jesus..!!

5+ Fir and Barley Trees:

Evergreen symbolizes the meaning of eternal life with God.

Fir is also ubiquitous for use in Christmas trees.

6+ Laurel or Laurel Paper:

It symbolizes God's victory over Satan, and this is what we see behind the Christmas story..!!

7+ Cinnamon sticks:

Cinnamon is the primary aroma of Christmas and symbolizes victory and victory; as with the birth of Christ, this is considered a victory for the human race.

And the reason for its association with this is due to, and perhaps it goes back to, its roots in its use in the Middle Ages because it is has been used a lot for reasons, including being a preservative that prevents the growth of bacteria on many foods, especially meat, and because it contains about 80 aromatic compounds, and that makes cinnamon dominate with its pungent smell and overcome any other odors and conquers any different scents undisputed..!

During biblical times, Moses said that the oil of the holy anointing should consist of cinnamon.

Sweet and Alexia…

 Cinnamon has been a prized spice and has been a gift to dignitaries for centuries.

It is widely available today and is used in various dishes, especially during the festive season, in-home decoration, and perfume.

But it is essential to have enough cinnamon during big festive occasions, especially Christmas, whether alone or added with star anise and Nutmeg or even with Ginger.

8+ star anise:

It symbolizes the birth star that accompanies the journey and events of birth and is aromatic and evergreen, representing life.

It is an aromatic evergreen tree grown in many countries of the Asian continent and grows on bushes in the Mediterranean countries. It contains star-shaped fruits with the smell of anise that produces an essential oil, is permeably used for many medicinal purposes and is used in cooking and oil extraction. Anise guarantees ease Digestion of foods because it calms the stomach and intestines.

9+ dried orange slices

It is common to see dried orange slices hanging together to decorate a house or tree during holidays, especially Christmas, because they represent the sun and the returning light, and the light rises after dark as a symbol of the light of Christ.

Who came to light up the darkness.

Another symbolism associated with the Great Depression of the 1930s was that fresh oranges were rare and were seen as a luxury item to be proud of in the Christmas period. .!!

People would give them gifts and often put them in their children's socks as a sign of "golden sacks, which old Saint Nicholas was taking down the chimney on Christmas Eve.

And dried oranges became inherited and associated with Christmas, whether they were rings and slices or were crushed and crushed, and many people considered them a symbol of good luck.

10+ Ginger:

The main reason why so many people use Ginger at Christmas time has become a popular flavor was the belief that eating spicy foods increases body warmth.

But if we want to contemplate the spice of Ginger, we find it refers to the moment of the birth of the child Jesus when the weather was cold, and the Virgin Mary did not find anything to warm the child's body except for some simple swaddling clothes.

Those cold moments that a newborn baby went through.

It was made of Christmas bread and biscuits, and it was placed with cinnamon sticks and star anise flowers in warm cocoa drinks and Christmas drinks.

It adds the warmth and distinctive smell of Christmas to homes in that period of each year.

11+ Cardamom or Cardamom:

Cardamom is considered an exotic Christmas spice in eastern cultures due to its only salty meals.

But he used cardamom, whether cloves or ground, in Christmas bread in Germany.

Since the Middle Ages...

The people used the manufacture of Christmas cookies, and many European countries are baked.

Bread, biscuits, and pastries with cardamom in it, its unique and robust taste are distinguished with its strong aromatic scent...

And it began to circulate as a symbol of getting rid of old tops, sickness, old life, and wearing the top the new and recovery from all the bad habits given to us by the birth of the child Jesus.

It was one of the essential medicinal herbs used to help the stomach and was chewed on many occasions.

Sometimes to hide the smell of alcohol after drinking due to the cold weather in Europe and their resort to

Drinking alcohol to warm the body in that period of each year, but the smell of liquor kept

The smell dominates the mouth, so an aromatic plant had to be found.

 It erases that pungent smell and finds d mouth odor.

12+ Vanilla:

Vanilla is another expensive spice, but it has sweet notes and a mood-enhancing effect, thus contributing to more relaxation around the stress of Christmas.

And the Vanilla symbolizes the calm and serenity that came with the birth of the baby Jesus.

And that is what we see when the baby Jesus was born and knew the birth of many, and there was calm and tranquility in their hearts.

13+ Cocoa:

Cocoa is an essential ingredient that symbolizes religious customs and beliefs surrounding life, death, and fertility.

And wealth and power in many Latin countries and ancient civilizations such as the Aztecs and the Maya, and whether it later became a symbol associated with Christmas or other occasions.

And cocoa was associated with death and represented by it; the cocoa tree grows in the dark shadows of the low-lying tropical forests of Central America.

According to beliefs, by night and the underworld in Central American societies, it came to refer to fertility.

Latin America that cocoa originates in an atmosphere similar to death and then returns to cover fruits that contain a lot

And a lot of beans that refer to fertility and birth after all that cocoa, which symbolizes the next life after death, which is what happened in the story of labor and birth baby Jesus came to give life instead of death.

It was also found in the traces of those ancient civilizations that it is an important symbol of power and prestige. When its use was inherited and entered into the Christmas seasoning, it referred to the newborn baby Jesus.

Continuing our research, the famous cocoa record also contains an origin associated with the winter solstice, which dates back to the Middle Ages.

Harsh winter.

Therefore, every fireplace burns large strips of wood to heat homes, which leads to a fire that gathers the whole family around.

Since the twelfth century, the Catholic Church has also started this tradition again.

From using it for three days under the weight of evil vows..!

During the nineteenth century, heating appliances such as cast iron stoves replaced stoves.

And the pieces of wood became ornate before some pastry chefs thought of turning them into pastry trunks and resembling chocolate cream the natural tree trunk bark once used.

Note that cocoa and the made from chocolate or heating drinks are present in Christmas traditions worldwide.

14+ Mint:

Mint is a green leaf and is known to be one of the colors of Christmas, so anything green.

It will sell well at Christmas, which symbolizes eternal life, fertility, and rebirth, as in the Christmas story.

I also think that the mint flavor leaves a cold in your mouth when eaten in desserts or cold drinks. This is in line with how you associate Christmas with cold and snow. When you're in places, you won't see a single snowflake this year.

But if we want to discuss its connection with the Christmas story, the cold Mint reminds us of the harshness of the weather.

Baby Jesus was born with him.

And with time, Mint became involved in the manufacture of candy each year, as it happened in the past, and mint-flavored candy was made for the first time to be part of the Christmas experience, and it is believed that.

In 1670 the conductor of the choir at Cologne Cathedral handed out this candy to children at Christmas to keep the children occupied...!!

The candy was shaped with the mint flavor may not have been served for another 200 years.

Then they became popular to hang on Christmas trees in the United States after that, and the manufacture of Christmas kernels with Mint took off after that.

15+ Brown Sugar:

It symbolizes the protection and protection that God gives us.

Most fruit-rich Christmas cookies use brown sugar in some form.

It helps retain moisture in the cake and adds a little flavor.

Additional to keep liquids inside as long as possible. ..

So you can generally use the color of sugar you prefer, but browning reduces the risk of spoilage and mold in baked goods than regular sugar.

16 + cloves:

It is said that only cloves bring protection and financial luck to those who use them..!!

Clove is used more than any other spice in the winter, as it is considered a hot spice.

It also symbolizes protection and preservation.

It was found to be placed in fragrant pork studded with cloves on the Christmas table.

And nada permeates the attractive aroma of mulled wine boiling on the stove.

And you are focusing on the pomander balls hanging on the Christmas tree with a red velvet ribbon that you can trap and insert in it, giving a natural and fragrant scent.

It is included in gingerbread sweetened with cloves, fruit cake, mincemeat pies, and pumpkin pies..!!

And when storing some cloves in sugar to give the sugar a warm and spicy flavor..!!

17+ Ivy:

The Ivy must be clinging to something to support itself as it grows. This reminds us that we need to stick to God for support in our lives.

In Germany, it is traditional for Ivy to be used only outside, and a piece outside of the church was supposed to protect it from lightning!

And ivy leaves became an industrial Christmas decoration.

18+ Nutmeg:

Nutmeg's rich, inviting scent is an integral part of the Christmas season. Nutmeg is an essential ingredient and is the warm and solemn scent of Christmas now..!!

Although it is associated with cuddling and staying warm while it's snowing outside

It originates on the tropical island of Panda.

Like many birth symbols that indicate warmth And control the winter cold, it is considered symbolic, as in the birth story.


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