In December we will be talking at the school about traditions. This month is about family and meeting friends. Especially at this time of year, we try to spend more time with those who are close to us and cheer them with gifts. We decided to make Christmas ornament that our parents can add to their Christmas trees. Where did the tradition of decorating Christmas trees come from?
Ethnologist G. Dusevičiūtė writes that although no one can say exactly how and where the custom of decorating Christmas trees began, it is thought that this is a reflection of distant pagan traditions. In ancient Egypt, well before the birth of Christ, on the shortest day of the year people would decorate their homes with green palm fonds, which symbolized the victory of life over death. The Romans would place laurel branches in water. To celebrate the shortest day of the year, Druid priests would hang golden apples on oak branches. Today, the decorated Christmas tree has Christian roots. Scripture refers to the beautiful cedar of Lebanon as a symbol of immortality. Cedars do not grow in our lands, so we use evergreen trees.
Christmas is a great time for handicrafts, and hand-made decorations are delightful to receive as gifts. This Saturday a visiting teacher Zita Uleckas taught the children to make decorations from acorns, pine cones, and other materials. The younger children made smiling faces, while the older students worked with wool. The students decorated envelopes in which to present their ornaments to their parents.
We danced, talked about Christmas and Christmas traditions. It was fun to produce the ornaments for the Christmas trees. This day was a very busy one since it began with rehearsing and preparing for the forthcoming Christmas concert.