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It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, Especially In Rye

The holiday storefront at Poppy's Cafe, 27 Purchase St. in Rye. Photo Credit: Carol Bloom Stevens
A wreath outside Aurora Restaurant, 60 Purchase St. in Rye. Photo Credit: Carol Bloom Stevens
A holiday planter on Purchase Street in Rye. Photo Credit: Carol Bloom Stevens
A Peanuts display at ValuClean on Purchase Street in Rye. Photo Credit: Carol Bloom Stevens

RYE, N.Y. -- Everywhere you go, Rye merchants have lost no time decorating the town for the holiday shopping season. Once the last bite of turkey was swallowed, residents started making their shopping lists and checking them twice.

Aunts, uncles, cousins, dads, moms, children and friends will all be expecting a gift. It is easy to get caught up in that "childlike" feeling after seeing Rye store windows painted, tree lights glimmering and endless ads on TV promising a picture perfect holiday.

But when did all these Christmas traditions begin?

Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree in the 16th century. They built Christmas pyramids made out of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles.

The Candy Cane also originated in Germany -- approximately 250 years ago. Started as white sugar sticks, the red stripes were added years later using peppermint.

The custom of sending Christmas cards was started in the United Kingdom in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole. Cole was a civil servant who helped set-up the new Public Record Office (now called the Post Office). About a thousand of the original cards were printed and sold and are very rare today.

As printing methods improved, Christmas cards became much more popular and were produced in large numbers from about 1860. In 1870, the cost of sending a postcard and Christmas cards dropped to half a penny. As a result, more people were able to send cards.

Only 15 more shopping days until Christmas! Happy hunting.

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