Christmas Decorations Archives

Understanding Christmas in Japan Traditions


Many Christmas in Japan traditions exist, and they are celebrated throughout much of that country. Here are a few examples of Japanese culture at work.

Christmas Greetings:

Christmas in Japan Traditions

photo by Danny Choo

Christmas Greetings are large aspects of the Japanese culture. Here are a few different forms of traditional Japanese Christmas greetings:

  • Merry Christmas:
    • A popular Christmas greeting, at least for those who celebrate Christmas in Japan, is “Meri Kurisumasu,” which means Merry Christmas. This is what they wish each other on Christmas Eve, which is when the people of Japan celebrate Christmas, instead of on December 25th.
  • Different Ways to say Happy New Year:
    • Of course, how we wish each other a happy new year around Christmas time also differs for the Japanese. There are a few different ways to wish someone a happy new year in Japan. You could say, “Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu,” or some other form of popular greeting.

Christmas Gifts

Christmas in Japan Traditions 2

photo by jewell willett

Another popular tradition among a variety of cultures is the giving of xmas gifts. Japan is no exception to this famous tradition either. Here is how they do things in Japan:

  • Receiving the Presents:
    • Christmas presents are not necessarily given by family members. In America, we believe in Santa Clause, who gives the children presents. In Japan, Santa is known as “Hotei-osho,” who is basically a Buddhist monk equal to Santa.
  • Presents for Loved Ones:
    • If a couple is together, the man typically buys the woman in his life something romantic like a teddy bear, flowers, a scarf, a ring, or other types of jewelry. Friends also exchange greeting cards during Christmas.

Christmas Cards

People do give each other Christmas cards in Japan, although these are mostly exchanged among friends. Typical Christmas card messages consist of things like Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and other elements of that nature. They are quite similar to American Christmas cards.

Christmas Symbols

Christmas in Japan Traditions 3

photo by durian

Perhaps the most important Christmas symbol is Hotei-Osho, the Japanese Equivalent of Santa Clause. However, there are a few other Christmas symbols that hold meaning to the Japanese people around Christmas time:

  • Artificial Christmas Trees:
    • For decoration, the Japanese also put an artificial Christmas tree in their home to add a festive element to the season.
  • Nativity:
    • For people who believe in Jesus, the Japanese do tell the story of the Nativity. This is widely recognized, at least by some people, just like in America.

Christmas in Japan traditions are an important part of the holiday season, and are very similar to the Christmas traditions celebrated in all parts of the world.
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Looking for Vintage Christmas Decorations?


If you are looking for vintage Christmas decorations to adorn your tree this festive season a good idea is to start at your Grandmothers house, but failing that retro decorations especially the later years from about the1960′s onwards can often be picked up at garage sales or thrift shops and of course on line auction sites. If you are looking for vintage style Christmas decorations however most mainstream stores have some excellent reproductions you can buy quite cheaply. A classic vintage Christmas decoration has to be door wreathes which can always be reproduced easily especially if you are lucky enough to be creative or have a traditional florist nearby.

Ideas for Ideas!

For ideas on vintage Christmas decorating, look on line or get some old books or magazines of the era, often childrens book have the best illustrations for this kind of thing. Remember getting the box of decorations out of the attic, the old brightly colored crepe paper garlands that we used to twist and hang from the corners of the room? Then along came the expanding bells and hanging paper lanterns, all carefully put away year after year. If only we have all saved those beautiful glass baubles they would now be vintage Christmas tree decorations. In those days though everything was so fragile and we did not have central heating and other modern luxuries that help to keep the ornaments and other delicate items in tip top condition.

There are many collectors of antique decorations and these can really be quite costly and often need such care to retain the perfect condition they are in it is not practical to dangle them from the branches, they can however be carefully presented in cabinets or glass cases on the sideboards or shelves of your home. Christmas tree toppers can usually be found with relative ease as can some glass baubles, but when it comes to candy boxes and paper mache they can deteriorate quickly if not stored and handled with great care.

Lights

You may not connect lights with being particularly vintage as if you are older you can probably remember the first set the family ever purchased and the trauma of finding which bulb needed replacing every year. Vintage Christmas lights are still around however though you may want to get an electrical contractor to check them out or even to totally rewire them, as the dangers of faulty tree lights and older outdoor string lights are known to the older generation as fire hazards. You may find it easier to buy some 1950′s style reproduction lights or go for the Victorian look and have Christmas candle effect lights. There are so many styles of lights available nowadays everyone can have the style they require with a little searching.

The Next Generation

To ensure the next generations have some vintage Christmas greetings to remind them of generations past invest in a few classic Christmas ornaments or decorations in bone china, glass or crystal and hand them out as Xmas gifts or cherish them through the years before passing them down to loved ones.

Photo by anslatadams **Courtesy of flickr.com

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Solar Christmas Lights – An Excellent Choice!


To illuminate your festive season solar Christmas lights are an excellent choice. You only have the initial outlay of buying the lights and solar lights do compare extremely favorably to the traditional type of lights. Once purchased all the running costs are free so the savings over the years will be considerable.  Solar powered Christmas lights are not only a gift for your garden and all the visitors that enjoy the resplendent display, but a great gift to the planet during the holiday season or any time of year. .

Christmas Solar Lights

If you live in a cold climate you may be thinking but how can a solar Christmas light work in the winter? However when you think logically about it you will realise that even in the depth of winter we actually have ample sunlight to power lights. The sun is of course important and even in the depth of winter we have lots of natural sunlight, also the amount of power needed to run solar outdoor Christmas lights is not enormous. Plow and Hearth have some stunning Xmas lights that come with Rechargeable NiCad AA batteries as solar lights often do -just in case-. A battery operated standby gives you peace of mind but makes sure you have a clear conscience with regards to your energy use, as it really will not be needed except in the most unusual circumstances.

Nowadays you can get most styles of lights in the solar option; Lowes has a superb range of solar post lights so whether you want the style of vintage Christmas lights or cutting edge highly contemporary solar L.E.D Christmas lights there will be something to suit your taste. Check out QVC if you think a 7 pc Solar Powered Stake Snowflake is the novelty style you are looking for. Whether you want a waterproof rope of outdoor string lights, or a stunning 100 light net of colour to set your party alight don’t overlook the solar Christmas lights clearance that may be happening right now in your local store. Remember when bargain hunting some times it is better to get your purchases out of season, so always keep your eyes peeled and check out the end of range or sale items when the season is not current.

All Year Round

You may want your lights to be used all year so for subtle touches of Christmas greetings you may choose something like solar stake path lights which can be left in place all year long. Another option is to choose a light with a subtle message such as an angel design which you can find at a store such as Menards. Lights that will not look out of place at any time of year are a good investment and it’s amazing what a little bit of tinsel can do to change the look of a light. Most of the stores you associate with good quality lighting will have all the lighting you require, so even if the solar option is not available do check it out even for 12 volt or cordless options, you may well be surprised.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Creative Commons

solar powered lights


Have you ever considered using personalized Christmas stockings for your family?  You can buy Christmas stockings, make your own Christmas stocking set utilizing various handcrafts, or order custom personalized Christmas items.

What are some of the personalized stockings Christmas enthusiasts love to unpack?

For little children, a fancy knit may not make their eyes grow wide, but if they are a fan of Disney princesses or heroes, perhaps Disney Christmas stockings would be the perfect choice for them.  Then again, many children enjoy something handmade that appeals to their sense of thrift (yes, many children do have this sense!) and personalized Christmas stockings needlepoint can create may allow you to use up scraps from their babyhood blanky or favorite dress or hat, perhaps even quilted – a cheap yet satisfying present.  Lillian Vernon also offers kid-friendly personalized products and you would be wise to check there too in your quest for a personalized Christmas stockings sale.

If there is no personalized Christmas stockings sale near you, yet you wish to make a personal Christmas gift for a member of your family who appreciates the finer hand-worked gift, consider a monogrammed Christmas stocking.

If you make your own Christmas stocking, you get to choose the style and type

If you have a green thumb in the family who doesn’t get too excited about the joys of needlework or embroidered gifts, perhaps a “garden Christmas stocking” of an item from the Pottery Barn could make a jazzy surprise – for instance, a pair of outdoor cushion covers, stuffed with gifts such as a nice pair of garden gloves and some fresh packets of seasonal seeds?  Pottery Barn Kids also has a wide offering of products which would be ideal for a Christmas gift, either a custom personalized Christmas gift made extra-special by you after purchase, or a careful selection from the high-quality products they have for sale to find the perfect gift for your loved one.

Christmas stockings of many sizes and shapes for stuffing with little goodies

If you haven’t got the time to customize a Christmas stocking or other gift in time, consider Things Remembered, a place for all things personalized according to your specifications.

Then there’s LL Bean for a gift which would suit any man, woman or child who is interested in adventure.  What about a backpack for a child, used as a Christmas stocking this Christmas and thereafter serving as a regular day pack for the child?  Whether for school or for holidays, world travel or just a sleepover, a good backpack is always an appreciated gift.

Pets

Anyone who has a dog or a cat knows that the pet is a member of the family, and for sure they would also need a personalized Christmas stocking too!  Personalized pet Christmas stockings can be made or bought depending on your preference, and range from a chewable toy that your dog can go at with great gusto on the day (perhaps saving more precious gifts that may be left around the home from being adopted by Fido!), to lush velour velvet personalized Christmas stockings for the most pampered pooch or princess cat on the street.  So you can ensure every member of the family has a Christmas stocking custom-presented just for them – what a joyous way to bring in the season!
Creative Commons License photo credit: Creative Commons

personalized christmas stocking

The Traditional Christmas Angel


If you like the traditional Christmas angel tree topper to pass down the generations and give unlimited joy to your family, you may want to consider Swarovski, who make an annual collectible crystal Angel ornament which is very beautiful as part of the Christmas collection. There are also several regular Christmas ornaments, so for a tree that really sparkles, this may be your choice. Each year they come out with just a few unique ornaments with the year engraved on it.

Establishing Traditions

You could even add new crystal Christmas angels each year, perhaps with crystal snowflakes to also hang amongst the branches. It would leave quite a spectacular collection for your family to share out and would ensure your children and grandchildren had a vintage Christmas angel or other crystal decoration each, to carry the tradition of the Christmas tree angel long after you after you have gone. What a wonderful way to ensure the traditions you started are long lived and your memory becomes a mainstay of the festive season as the tale is retold year after year.

Crafting Christmas

Of course Christmas tree toppers may not have that significance in your family and for you it may be more about using your craft to ensure a new and different cute Christmas angel adorns your family tree each year. You may prefer to make a Christmas star for the top of your tree or any number of other ornaments that you connect with the festive time. It’s amazing what an old egg box a bit of glue and perhaps some tinsel can transform into, and with the range of craft materials in the shops a truly professional finish is easily achieved. You can download Christmas angel patterns to make toppers or Christmas greeting cards to keep the children busy in the run up to the festive period, perhaps writing there own little poems to really personalise the card.  Of course it will all have to be sprinkled with glitter, which you will still be finding in the spring clean.

Alternative Ideas

Be different and daring with the Christmas angel banished to yesteryear and the Gothic or Emo angel taking pride of place. Have a Kylie or Lady Ga Ga angel dancing in your festive season. Or why not dress the tree all in black, with silver lights glittering away. Be a little risqué and have a red Christmas angel to set the tree alight, or perhaps try popping a baby Christmas angel into the Nativity crib. Or why not forgo the traditional tree in favour of an eco solution such as reusable Flat Pack Plywood Xmas Tree; a truly effective and terribly adult alternative, or perhaps a recycled cardboard Christmas tree may be more in your field of vision. There are no hard and fast rules, and if the traditional way is not for you, bring out those Christmas bells and ring in the changes as you set the trend for your very own imaginative ideas.

Sprinkle a little magic with this 15″ animated, fiber-optic angel. Synchronized movement with wings, head and arms.
Price: $24.99
Photo Courtesy of CreativeCommons

swarovski christmas angel

Christmas Tree Toppers


If you are looking for novel Christmas tree toppers to give your tree that wow factor crystal Christmas party decorations may be on the expensive side but for a one off statement for the main focal point of your decoration, such as a Christmas tree topper it is well worth the investment as with care it will keep indefinitely and you will be able to pass it down the generations.

Decorations as Gifts

Angel tree toppers, for Christmas presents are also good ideas as you can really invest some money and thought into the article in much the same way you would a piece of jewellery. The important factor is that it is a keepsake to be used again and again whether it is glass or gold. It does not have to be an Angel of course tree toppers for Christmas trees reflect personal taste, so you may want to buy your loved one an old Disney fairy or other character that will grow in value as it brought out year every year to be the talking point unique to the family tree as they all grow up in its presence.

Do it Yourself

Handmade Christmas tree toppers are another idea to keep the children occupied in the run up to Xmas and Grandma will delight in getting out the Christmas tree toppers, stars fairies and ornaments the little ones have made over the years. Try Michaels a store that have a great range of art supplies and ideas to consider. You may want a country Christmas theme and ideas from the simple angel or bow to the resplendent finial are all available if you look hard enough. Western tree toppers such as rusty tin stars can be made at home, taking care with the safety aspect if it involves the little ones and will bring out the cowboy in you all. Macys is another store worth looking at for ideas on Xmas decorations

New Traditions

Whilst angel Christmas tree toppers may be the standard fare that most of you immediately think of to pop on top of the Xmas tree, with a little imagination and creativity you could start the new family trend by doing something a little different. You could ensure that your ideas go down in history and the seasonal rituals you thought up and instigated will live on in the family for many generations to come. Don’t be limited by convention, introducing new concepts that update the theme or add a new aspect to your family traditions all adds to the sense of belonging.

As we Grow

The teenagers may well be cringing at the Christmas photos and homemade decorations as they are revealed each and every year, but once the embarrassing years are passed they will love the rituals associated with the festive season and happily pass on the established traditions. The family Christmas video will also one day hold fond memories for you all with your old fashioned outfits and hairstyles, so make sure you collect all the memorabilia over the festive seasons to play back on those precious moments when you are together again. Some faces may not be present but the sadness of the passing will be replaced by the joy the new additions to the family bring.

Photo: CreativeCommon Results (Black Market Antiques)

christmas tree topper


As the seasons move along, it seems unbelievable that it’s that time of year again. You are once again considering Christmas party decorations to make sure the festive seasons lives up to every ones expectations. Hopefully you are starting nice and early as it’s never too early to plan decorating ideas, however even if it’s a last minute rush there are lots of party themes and great ideas to help you.

Christmas party decorations ideas

There is a lot more to planning a party than you may realise, so start by looking at various Christmas party decorations available in the shops to help you establish your theme. Next get your guest list and invitations sorted out, particularly if you are having a fancy dress theme as people will need to consider what outfit to wear.

You needn’t spend a fortune there are lots cheap Christmas party decorations around in thrift stores. For Christmas party table decorations, consider visiting your local craft supplies shop. You can make named crackers for each guest placed as the seating plan dictates. Each cracker can contain a party hat and the jokes and novelties to go inside can be individual to the person; your budget can dictate whether that is a costly item of dress jewellery, or a fun traditional trinket.

Homemade decorations can be really special and show your guests how much you care. Kids love to be involved in making seasonal things Christmas party decoration garlands of looped sticky paper, can really evoke childhood memories in adults, nowadays they are much more sophisticated and worth checking out. Remember with small children safety is very important, make sure the gifts comply with health and safety standards.

Decorating the Office

If you are planning company Christmas party decorations, in an outside venue, they may already have decorations in place, so do check before putting your energy into planning. Your ideas could actually clash with the venues ideas.

There are a multitude of Christmas decorations, Santa Claus does not have to be your central theme if children are not involved; in fact for office Christmas party decorations there will be themes topical to work and colleagues may all want to contribute ideas. You may decide on a Casino themed party, or what about a touch of Mardi grass Christmas decorations? Try giving a mask to each guest as a fun way to get people talking; adding a new twist is a fun way to get your guests interacting and anything that helps your guests to mingle is sure to be a hit. The classic decoration ideas such as tooter blowouts or jingle bells, streamers and party poppers always go down well at any event no matter what the age range.

When planning your Christmas party decorations don’t forget you will also need the paper napkins, plates and cups as well as cutlery. For a more formal event you can look at hiring all that you need from glasses to crockery, but for a smaller casual event disposable paper products are entirely appropriate.

Photo by tintsweoo **Cortesy of sxc.hu

christmas party decorations