Christmas Aesthetic pictures touch our hearts in such a special way. One holiday photo, and we transport ourselves to our happy Christmas memories throughout the years.
If you’re looking for photos that feature aesthetics, 30 Day Red Aesthetic Country Living Photo Challenge and January Aesthetic – Gifts of the Season will help you on your journey.
What does Christmas Aesthetic mean?
According to merriam-webster.com, the word aesthetic means, “A particular theory or conception of beauty or art: a particular taste for or approach to what is pleasing to the senses and especially sight.”
Christmas Aesthetics are things that symbolize the holiday season.
I thought it would be fun to put together all the images people have when they think about a Merry Christmas and add a brief history of where and when all these holiday traditions got started.
You can share some of the history on your Instagram stories or other social media to help get others into the Christmas spirit.
This article has been one of the most interesting articles I’ve written. I hope you enjoy it!
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Here are the 31 Christmas Aesthetic Pictures:
1. Gingerbread Houses
The first gingerbread house tradition has its roots in Germany. In the early 1800s, bakers created gingerbread houses not for eating, but for models for actual buildings.
The first mention of a gingerbread house was in Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tales.
Making gingerbread houses at Christmas time spread to the United States in the early 1900s and dressed their creations with icing and other decorations.
2. Christmas Pickle
The Christmas pickle is a holiday family tradition that began in the late 1880s. It was initially thought to be a Christmas tradition started in Germany.
They think what really happened was that Woolworths had been importing Christmas ornaments from Germany, and a marketing idea was born.
A Christmas pickle is hung on the tree on Christmas Eve and the first child to find it in the morning gets an extra present from Santa or the parents.
You can find out more about the Christmas pickle in this article I wrote about it.
3. Christmas Wreath
Ancient Greece is said to be the birthplace of wreaths. It was tradition for homes to decorate with garlands tied in a circle, made out of evergreen leaves during the winter months.
Wreaths were believed to bring good luck and happiness to the Greeks that hung them on their doors and inside windows.
Christmas wreaths are now a key aesthetic design element that wish friends and family happy holidays.
4. Christmas Fruitcake
Fruitcake is a dessert that has been around for centuries. Whether you love or hate fruitcake, it’s been a strong Christmas aesthetic in every generation.
Historians believe fruitcake originated in Europe, with lots of different recipe variations. Fruitcake is made with dried fruit, nuts, spices, and even alcohol.
Originally, eating fruitcake was an all-year-round tradition. Now it is available for sale primarily just during the Christmas season.
5. Christmas Lights
What really made a Christmas tree beautiful before the lightbulb’s invention was the Christmas candles used in decorating the tree, but they were a fire hazard.
An apprentice of Edison, named Edward Johnson, saw an opportunity to use the light bulb that Edison invented and create a string of lights for the Christmas tree.
Johnson decorated a Christmas tree with 80 red, white, and blue Christmas lights and put the tree in his parlor window.
The Christmas lights drew crowds. His Christmas tree was written up in the Detroit Post and Tribune according to the smithsonianmag.com. This was in the 1880s.
The nativity Christmas aesthetic began with Mary, Joseph, the Three Wise Men, the Inn Keepers, the donkey, the ox, the star, the angels, and baby Jesus.
You know the story! It’s the Reason for the Season.
7. Trains at the base of the Christmas tree
No one really knows when toy trains were set up as a display beneath the Christmas tree. Historians believe it began in the early 1900s when Lionel (the toy manufacturer) made electric model trains.
Children started requesting the model trains for a gift and immediately set them up beneath the Christmas tree. For more history on this fun tradition, check out this article on wonderopolis.org.
8. Christmas presents
Giving gifts at Christmas is a Christian tradition that symbolized the gifts given from the Three Wise Men after the birth of Jesus.
9. Santa Claus
Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas, or Kris Kringle are all the names used to call this famous man wearing a red outfit and sporting a white beard.
The story can be traced back to 280 A.D. to a monk named Saint Nicholas, who was known for his kindness. It was told he gave away all his inherited wealth and traveled throughout the land helping those that needed him.
Saint Nicholas’s popularity spread as his heroic deeds were made known. Santa Claus became famous in 1823 in a poem called “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Cartoonist Thomas Nast played a role in creating the image of St. Nick.
In the 1840s, department store ads started featuring Santa Claus in their holiday ads in the United States.
To learn more about this wonderful tradition, check out this article on history.com.
For centuries reindeer have been associated with Christmas and winter festivals, especially in Scandinavia and across Eastern Europe.
In 1821, William Gilley wrote about flying reindeer and Santa in a booklet called A New Year’s Present. This was the first connection between Saint Nicholas and reindeer.
There is quite a history of reindeer and Christmas. For more information, you can read about it here on Altogether Christmas, and Viovet will explain the earlier relationship between Christmas and reindeer.
11. Christmas Stockings
One of the most famous stories of Saint Nicholas’s generosity involves a nobleman whose wife had died, leaving him a single parent to three daughters and penniless. The three girls were left with no dowry, making their ability to marry well impossible.
St. Nick came to their home and filled the girl’s stockings, hanging above the fireplace to dry, with gold so they could marry.
The idea of filling the Christmas stocking by Santa Claus in the United States goes back to that famous poem penned by Clement Clark Moore, The Night Before Christmas.
The earliest recorded mention of kissing under the mistletoe was made in a musical in 1784.
The popularity of kissing under the mistletoe started with the publication of A Christmas Carol in 1843, complete with illustrations.
Poinsettia plants are native to Mexico and Guatemala. In the 1600s, priests would adorn the nativity with the flowers.
The color of the poinsettia flower is said to represent the blood of Christ.
14. Christmas tree
Germans started the tradition of having a candlelit Christmas tree in their homes in the 16th century.
The first record of a Christmas tree on display in the United States was in the 1830s by German settlers in Pennsylvania. (They had Christmas in their homes in years before.)
In 1846, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (a German) had a sketching of them made with their children surrounding a Christmas tree in the London News.
After the publication of the image, Christmas trees became fashionable even in the United States. Everyone wanted their own tree for the holiday season. You can find more about it on the History website here.
From pine cones to gold ornaments and everything in between, Christmas trees are decorated in all different fashions and take center-stage in every home.
15. Candy Canes
The first red and white striped candy canes were made at the turn of the 19th century. When the red and white stripes were added, the flavor of peppermint was added simutaneously.
It is believed that the red and white colors represent the blood of Christ and his purity. The “J” shape of the candy cane is said to be for the first letter of Jesus. Other reports say it is to represent the shepherd’s staff.
16. Christmas cookies
When there was a change in importing laws, cookie cutters were imported from Germany starting in 1871.
17. Christmas Ornaments
After the publication of the sketch of the Royal family, Christmas trees became quite popular in the United States.
Retailers realized the ornament’s commercial potential and began carrying them in their stores.
Most of the ornaments came from Germany, and were made from lead and hand-blown glass.
18. Holiday Nutcracker
In Germany, nutcrackers resembling a toy soldier were thought to bring good luck to the beholder. They serve as protectors of the home.
After World War II, American soldiers stationed in Germany brought the nutcrackers home as gifts.
The nutcrackers were displayed at Christmas to bring holiday cheer.
19. Ugly Christmas Sweater
Ugly Christmas sweaters were initially called “Jingle Bell Sweaters.” In the 1950s, the commercialism of Christmas was in full swing, and the sweaters made their debut.
The sweaters were meant to be festive and jolly, not ugly.
Television shows like The Cosby Show in the 1980s and 1990s made the ugly sweaters popular again when Cliff Huxtable wore his on the show. Other shows followed the trend, along with Christmas specials.
In 2001 Bridget Jones Diary brought the craze back again with the ugly sweater Mark Darcy wore, and Bridget made fun of it in the movie.
Ugly sweaters are a funny Christmas tradition that is now here to stay.
20. Christmas Movie
The first Christmas movie was two minutes long and made in the U.K. in 1898. You can see it below.
21. White Christmas Aesthetic
Snow turns everything magical during the holiday season. It was a gift from God.
22. Hot Chocolate
We all know that hot cocoa is a must during the holiday season.
There are so many different ways to make this creamy beverage. Creating the perfect homemade hot chocolate recipe would make a fun holiday project.
The first chocolate drink is believed to have been created by the Maya around 2,500-3,000 years ago. A big thank you needs to go out to them for this yummy treasure.
23. Advent Calendar
Advent calendars start the countdown to Christmas from December 1st to December 25th.
The origin of the advent calendar has been contested throughout the year. It is believed to have started in Germany by Gerhard Lang in the 19th century. His mother created her own advent calendar, using cookies as the daily treat.
When Gerhard got older, he remembered his mother’s tradition and created one to sell in his bookshop.
24. Christmas Music
Christmas carols are one of the best ways to get us into the holiday spirit. Framing the holiday carols and displaying them during the season is a wonderful Christmas aesthetic.
The first Christmas carol on record was ‘Angels Hymn’ written in 129 AD.
25. Christmas Elf on the Shelf
The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition book was written in 2004 by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell.
Inspiration for their book came from their own family tradition. It’s hard to believe how relatively new this Christmas aesthetic tradition is.
26. North Pole
An American cartoonist, Thomas Nast, created a drawing of Santa in a village called Santa Claussville, N.P.
N.P. of course, stood for the North Pole. This iconic Christmas aesthetic is the symbol of where Santa and Mrs. Claus live.
27. Figgy Pudding
Whether you call it figgy pudding or plum pudding, whatever you prefer to call it is a bit of a mystery in America.
It originated in 14th century Britain as a way to preserve food using dried fruit.
This dish was used as a fasting meal to prepare for the Christmas season. It was made of beef, mutton, raisins, prunes, wines, and spices.
28. Christmas Crackers
Christmas crackers are pretty popular in the U.K. A London sweet maker named Tom Smith made the first Christmas crackers in 1861.
It was thought he bought the recipe to make the noise in the crackers from a fireworks company and added his sweets and toys to the crackers upon completion.
This popular U.K. Christmas aesthetic tradition has become popular in the United States as well.
29. Christmas Dinner
While traditional Christmas feasts have been around since the middle ages, it was the Victorian era that the meal that we’ve come to know was influenced by.
Queen Victoria was known for her love of the taste of turkey, and it gained popularity as the meat of choice for the Christmas meal.
30. Christmas Angel
Angels were placed on top of Christmas trees to symbolize Joseph’s dream. The dream was an angel telling him he would serve as the father of Jesus on earth.
After the birth of Jesus, angels appeared in the sky over Bethlehem to celebrate the arrival.
31. Christmas Tree Star
The star at the top of the Christmas tree represents the Star of Bethlehem.
The Star of Bethlehem only appears in the nativity story of the Gospel.
This Christmas aesthetic is a beautiful reminder of why we celebrate the holiday.
We’ve reached the end of the Christmas Aesthetic Pictures and Their History. I hope you enjoyed it!
Let me know in the comments below what your favorite Christmas aesthetic is and how you use it in the holiday season.
Don’t forget to join the Cozy Living Group on Facebook. It’s the best way to add a little coziness to your day. You’re not going to believe how amazing it is!
Thanks for stopping by. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
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- 31 Day Hygge Christmas Photo Challenge