Untraditional Holiday Traditions
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It's no small wonder why holiday traditions bring so much joy and meaning into our lives. Rituals rooted in preparation and pageantry elicit feelings of excited anticipation, human connection, and heartwarming nostalgia. You can almost taste that homemade pie, smell the fresh cut pine, or hear your cousin's board game laughter.
While certain traditions have gone mainstream through the years, we want to take a closer look at some unique ways to celebrate the season. Who knows, this may be your year to welcome an untraditional tradition into the family!
1. Chile Ristras
Ristras are strings of chile peppers commonly hanging along fences and patios all over New Mexico as a festive (and useful) decoration! Ristras are said to bring good health and good luck. As an added benefit, the fresh chiles are hung to dry for future flavorful cooking. You can make your own chile ristra with fresh peppers, twine, wire, corn husks, and scissors to add some extra spice to the season.
FDBH Suggested Pairing: Fireside Glow
2. On Your Rosemary Way
During the Middle Ages, people would spread rosemary on the floor during the holiday season. As people walked around on it, the aroma of the freshly crushed leaves would fill the room, warding off evil spirits and inviting only good into the home. Rosemary is safe for pets, boosts your memory and immune system, and smells absolutely divine, so spread some around and be on your rosemary way!
FBDH Suggested Pairing: Evergreen Luster Bowl
3. Spider Web (Tinsel) Trees
An ancient legend tells of a poor but hardworking widow who lived in a small hut with her children. One day, a pine cone fell to the earthen floor of their hut and took root. The tree grew and the children spent months dreaming up ways to decorate it for the holiday. Sadly, when Christmas Eve arrived, they were penniless and could not afford the adornments. The children went to sleep that night and when they woke, they saw the tree was covered in cobwebs. They opened the windows and when the first rays of sunlight touched the spider webs, they turned to silver and gold, thrilling the widow and her children. From then on, they never lived in poverty again. It's said the tradition of tinsel on trees was spun from this story.
FDBH Suggested Pairing: Holiday Delight
4. Feast of Saint Lucia
In mid-December, people around the world celebrate St. Lucia, the patron saint of light. The holiday commemorates an early 4th-century virgin martyr - the young girl would secretly feed persecuted Christians in Rome while wearing a white dress and candles on her head so she had both hands free to carry food. In modern times, children dress as St. Lucia, and offer saffron bread and ginger biscuits to guests as traditional songs are sung by candlelight. In Norse times, her feast coincided with Winter Solstice, where they would celebrate around large bonfires meant to scare off evil spirits and alter the course of the sun on the shortest day of the year. It is said that to vividly celebrate St. Lucy's Day will help one live the long winter days with enough light.
FDBH Suggested Pairing: Winter's Glow Centerpiece
5. Pepita and the Poinsettia
Poinsettias are known for their extraordinary mid-winter blooms, but their connection to Christmas is even more beautiful. A tale is told of a young, poor Mexican girl named Pepita. She had no money to buy a present for baby Jesus at the Christmas Eve services, so she picked a small handful of weeds and walked to the altar. She was incredibly embarrassed at the seeming insignificance of her gift. However, as she knelt down, her weeds burst into the bright red petals of poinsettias. From that day on, poinsettias were known as the “Flores de Noche Buena,” or “Flowers of the Holy Night,” and are connected to a true Christmas miracle.
FDBH Suggested Pairing: Classic Poinsettia
As always, don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have something special in mind this season - we'd love to help light up your holidays with uplifting florals!
-Floral Design By Heidi