If your New Year's Eve you want something new, and at the same time, you can not imagine the holiday without tradition, there is a great option, reconciles these two desires: New Year's decorations in the spirit of European Christmas.
Christmas decoration in the European style - is to some extent a return to pre-revolutionary Russian tradition of celebrating Christmas. Despite certain differences in Catholic and Orthodox interpretation of this holiday, both have much in common: toys decorated Christmas tree, candles, paper angels of Christmas and other elements of biblical symbolism. And, although a few years ago the Europeans departed slightly from tradition, bowing to the decoration of Christmas trees identical balls or ribbons of one color, now, fortunately, we are seeing a waiver of such minimalism. Now in Europe again decorate the Christmas tree vintage toys from my grandmother's chest and do not forget about biblical symbolism.
How does the European tree?
Once upon a time, at the dawn of Christmas traditions, holiday Christmas tree decorated entirely alive apples (among other things, and today it is still a good idea). And familiar to us Christmas balls were invented by the German glass blowers instead of natural fruits, which were sometimes too heavy for the delicate feet of spruce. Bright apple-balls symbolize the heavenly tree of knowledge, and besides - the gifts of the Magi the Christ Child. Subsequently, the idea was continued in the tradition of decorating Christmas trees in different goodies: fruits, nuts, sweets and biscuits (in Austria, for example, and today decided to decorate the tree with marmalade and chocolate).
Generally, in Europe like Christmas decorations, which are the biblical sense. Very popular paper "sculptures" of angels, hearts, bells and pipes (characters Good News), a winged lion (symbol of the Apostle Mark's), lamb (a symbol of sacrifice and purity), fish (a symbol of Christ the Savior), etc. Ruling elite trees traditionally decorated with a figure of Christ, an angel or star of Bethlehem. Christmas illuminations also has biblical roots. Numerous lights, lanterns and candles in the decoration of the house symbolizes the divine light that Jesus brought peace. In another version of this tradition came during the persecution of Irish Catholics (if parishioners put the candle on the sill to provide nearby priest could find this house and celebrate Mass in it).
Songs and other holiday plants
For those who do not want to put a Christmas tree, in the framework of Western tradition, there are other options. For example, a European-will look festive basket of Christmas "wealth": fruits, berries, fresh flowers, and, of course, pine boughs (to create a winter effect can priporoshit top to "snow" from a container). The most convenient way to fix center of the composition (a bunch of branches) in the stowed at the bottom of the basket coil of thick wire. Its can also be used if you do a bouquet in a wide vase. Do not forget that the tips of pine branches should always be in sweetened water - or lose their needles quickly.
Well, if you want to bring to the festive decor a bit exotic, habitual tree can be replaced by another European symbol of Christmas: a pot plant - holly or poinsettia (which otherwise are called - Christmas Star) - Traditional European Christmas attribute along with the spruce and pine. True, unlike conifers, poinsettia is not decorated with tinsel and toys, and put in the center of the composition of the candles. In England, in addition to holly, are used to decorate the house a branch of white mistletoe (by the way, according to custom, once a year, on Christmas Eve, men have the right to kiss any girl, stopped under the decoration of this plant).
Indispensable attribute of the Catholic Christmas - holiday pine wreaths. They are placed on walls, windows, on the festive table in a horizontal composition with candles - and certainly above the door! Christmas wreath above the threshold or at the door - it's your family amulet, a symbol of hope for happiness, prosperity and wealth, as well as an invitation for guests. Wreaths are sold ready for Christmas sales, but you can make them yourself, using pine branches, small toys, tinsel, Christmas-tree garlands, fresh flowers (white roses, lilies or chrysanthemums) or other natural materials (tangerines, nuts, cones, rose hips and m . etc.).
Christmas Nativity Scene
If you want to recreate at home the magical atmosphere of Bethlehem the night, pitch, together with their children a Christmas nativity scene. It is said that this tradition has emerged in Europe in 13 th century when St. Francis of Assisi for the first time gave "a vivid picture" of the people in the clothing of the characters and the Gospel of the animals. Since then, the so-called dens - puppet songs, representing Christ's birth (or mini-plays on this theme). Until now, home-made nativity scenes are arranged in many European homes, and figures (and even whole pieces of ready-made) that can be used to build a den, are sold at Christmas bazaars.
Create a Christmas entourage
Strengthen the European flavor of New Year decoration at home in several ways. In the selection of jewelry and textiles (tablecloths, bedspreads, curtains) try not to get out of the traditional European Christmas colors: red, green, white and blue, gold and silver. Use natural materials - straw (which symbolizes Christ's manger), "star" pinks and designs from which you can decorate before serving, oranges and tangerines (first with an awl or a sharp knife nadkalyvaete fruit, and then inserting cloves into the holes).
Do not forget about striped socks or stockings for the children's gifts. With regard to registration of the festive table, here you can borrow not only design but also the culinary traditions of Europe. In the Christmas menu usually includes roast goose with apple, roast turkey and Christmas cake (or Plum-pudding). Cake recipes in different countries are different, but their essence is similar: the cake should be stuffed with various items that predict the fate of the next year (the ring - the wedding, a coin - to wealth, little horseshoe - good luck, etc.). Decorate it too can be different: Plum-pudding, for example, before serving, pour rum and ignite, and sometimes decorated with sprigs of fir. Pine branches involved in serving a festive table: bunches of them, intertwined with red ribbon with a bell, usually laid out next to each device, along with Christmas cards. But the main decoration of the table is often another - small - desktop Christmas tree or conifer composition.