The Star Democrat

3 Christmas Traditions to know about

- Source:

1. Christmas Trees

Decorated trees date back to Germany in the Middle Ages, with German and other European settlers popularizi­ng Christmas trees in America by the early 19th century. A New York woodsman

named Mark Carr is credited with opening the first U.S. Christmas tree lot in 1851.

2. Christmas Pickles

The first child to find the pickle ornament hidden on the tree wins a gift, or gets to open the first present Christmas morning. The practice likely grew from a Woolworths marketing gimmick from the late 1800s, when the retailer received imported German ornaments shaped like a pickle and needed a sales pitch.

3. Yule Log

Yule logs were part of ancient winter solstice celebratio­ns, but it was Americans who turned the wood burning into must-see TV. Back in 1966, WPIX-TV in New York City aired a continuous 17-second loop of a fireplace for three hours along with holiday music.

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