The Southern way of celebrating the holidays is rich in tradition and folklore dating back generations. You may be surprised to know that the South began observing Christmas, adopting many European-influenced traditions we now consider typical, long before folks up north caught on to the idea. In fact, Christmas was made a legal holiday in Louisiana, Alabama, and Arkansas; three of the first states to do so. It wasn’t until 1870 that President Grant proclaimed Christmas as a national holiday.
You’ll find that many of the ways most Americans celebrate Christmas are rooted in the South. But there are other holiday practices exclusive to the South.
We here at your hometown Honda new car dealership near Ocala, FL, Honda of Ocala, thought it would be fun to share some of these interesting Southern Christmas traditions. We hope that you’ll get a better appreciation of the special way Southerners celebrate Christmas.
Magnolia Wreaths – Because the magnolia tree is an evergreen, as is the pine tree usually associated with Christmas, many Southerners still decorate their homes with beautiful wreaths made from magnolia.
One Candle In Each Window – This charming tradition comes to us from Irish settlers who use the candle to remember loved ones far away.
Gifts Of Citrus – It’s easy for us here in the Sunshine State, one of the world’s most prolific producers of citrus products, to forget that there was a time when citrus was very hard to obtain in many interior parts of the South. To get a bag of oranges or tangerines on Christmas Day was a real treat for many Southerners. To this day, folks will place an orange or two in a stocking and will use citrus in holiday decorations. Clove-studded oranges lend a fragrant scent to Southern holidays. Continue reading