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How old are our Christmas traditions?

Theatrical representation: "O Boi e o Burro"

The four traditions listed below have been with us for as long as we remember, how old are they? and why do we still keep them? 

1. The Nativity

The representation of the birth of Christ in Bethlehem, the humble yet sublime scene of Joseph and Mary with baby Jesus in the stable with the animals, the shepherds and the star was always a central ornament at the home of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.

Just after our wedding, we bought our own set of the nativity, that we still use until today. No other tradition has brought Christ to our Christmas more than this one!

2. Christmas Eve

Fish is the traditional meal of Christmas Eve. As far as I can tell this is a tradition that comes from the XVI century. The exact reasons for this tradition are unknown, in my perspective however it is connected to Jesus, He called his disciples fishers of men, and many of his teachings involved the sea, fish and fisherman. (Matthew 7:10, Matthew 17:27, Luke 11:11, Luke 24:42, John 21:10-13).

Reading the account of the nativity in the scriptures and theatrical representations of the nativity are also part of Christmas Eve.

3. Christmas Day

Lamb is the meal for Christmas day, for sure this selection has to do with the fact that lamb is a common culinary dish in the land of our ancestors, but so it was with other kinds of meat, therefore I am certain this was also a symbolic choice to remember Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God.

4. Gifts

On Christmas Eve every family member places one of their shoes next to the nativity and or the Christmas tree, the gifts that appear on the shoe on Sunday morning remind us that like those presents, the birth of Jesus Christ is a gift for us from a loving Heavenly Father.

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So, how old are these four traditions in our family? some of them very old, hundreds of years, and why we still keep them? because they are simple and help us remember Jesus Christ.

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