Christmas has a lexicon all its own, familiar words that often carry a much deeper meaning. Everyday names that we recognise as part of the Christmas story. The second part of our Christmas Glossary gives you more social history and the fun facts behind these words.
F is for Father Christmas
In Victorian times Christmas became a family festival and Father Christmas became the bringer of gifts just like these two Santas who carry presents and Christmas decorations.
American culture popularised the tradition and Father Christmas merged with the American styled Santa Claus. Now Father Christmas is beloved by adults and children all over the world as a jolly bearded fellow in a long gown who makes merry bringing gifts to children. Historically the character of the British Father Christmas developed over many years and his appearance in popular festivities ebbed and flowed with the politics of the day.
Back to the present day and Father Christmas is now recognised as the bringer of Christmas cheer not only on Christmas Day but throughout the holiday season. Katherine's Collection are renowned for their beautiful themed Santa's they're often dressed in a vintage style befitting Father Christmas's of yesteryear just like this Katherine's Santa piece, who wears a plush velvet burgundy coat and a long tasselled hat.
G is for Gingerbread
The first edible gingerbread figures were thought to have been made in the 16th Century and were popular at the court of Elizabeth 1 of England she had the gingerbread figures made and presented in the likeness of some of her important guests. In 17th Century Europe only professional gingerbread bakers were permitted to bake gingerbread except at Christmas time and Easter. Decorated gingerbread was only sold in special shops or at seasonal markets and the gingerbread was shaped into hearts, stars, soldiers or animals. The tradition of making decorated gingerbread houses started in Germany in the early 1800s.
At the time Grimm’s fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel was popular. This is the the story of two children abandoned in the forest where they find an edible house made of bread with sugar decorations. Shortly after German bakers started to make ornamented fairy tale houses of gingerbread and thus began a Christmas tradition. This year gingerbread and candy is a popular theme for Christmas Elves.
H is for Holly
We all know the Christmas carol ‘Deck the halls with boughs of holly’ it literally means to decorate for Christmas. Traditionally all manner of natural greenery including ivy and mistletoe was used to decorate inside the house. Many years ago holly was thought to have magical properties that would bring good luck to the household.
Holly is an evergreen plant that has glossy green spiky leaves and bright red berries it’s also said that Christians believed it to symbolise the crown of thorns placed on Jesus’ head with the red berries representing his blood. In Australia it’s hard to find holly in December but there are plenty of artificial varieties that work just as well. Artificial foliage is currently on trend for interior decorators and holly is particularly popular in wreaths, garlands and Christmas trees. From a realistic spray to a holly sprig edged in glitter there is really something for all tastes and budgets.
I is for Icicle
An icicle is a spike of ice that forms when dripping water freezes. With the popularity of the Disney film Frozen the wintry world of ice and snow has never been more popular. For most Australians it’s a fantasy but Christmas in July is when we do just that pretend! and decorate the house with icicles, snowflakes and snowmen.
Like in nature icicles come in all shapes and sizes and they are great to decorate with indoors and out. We have an amazing range of plastic and glass hanging decorations that look good hanging from a Christmas tree or a garland. White icicle lights are also a popular choice for outdoors, hang them around a balcony or veranda their twinkle will light up the neighbourhood. Connectable rope light icicles are beautiful for a Christmas garden scene the LED lighting is perfect because they are energy efficient which means they shine brighter and last longer. For event decorators a winter wonderland is very easy to create keep it all white and your icicles will add drama and style.
J is for Jim Shore
One of the most famous names in Christmas Collectables is Jim Shore. Known for his distinctive style, Jim blends the traditions of American folk art with a unique colour palette to create figurines that share his personal story. At Christmas Elves we carry a comprehensive range of Jim Shore products.
Jim Shore Christmas designs are both secular and sacred they create a connection between people and bringing these ornaments into the home at Christmas has become part of a holiday tradition. The White Wonderland Collection is a celebration of nature, and it features soft white handcrafted scenes with Woodland Friends.
Heartwood Creek are collectibles that express a sense of family, friendship and tradition. Jim Shore has a gift for everyone at Christmas time and a gift that will be cherished.