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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

K is for Kris Kringle

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Christmas traditions vary across the world, but one figure appears in many countries under different names. In a listing of traditions from A to Z, K is for Kris Kringle, one of many names for a person who brings gifts to children at Christmas.  

is for Kris Kringle.

Kris Kringle is the American name for Father Christmas and comes from the German word Chriskindl. Christkindl means Christ child. In Germany children believe the baby Jesus brings presents to children for Christmas. 

Kris Kringle, Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas, Father Frost, and Père Noël are just a few of the names used around the world for a person who brings gifts on Christmas Eve. Kris Kringle first appeared in English in the 1830s through the Pennsylvania Dutch settlers who were German Americans. 

Kris Kringle or Santa Claus is one of the most popular Christmas traditions. His likeness varies but appears throughout American Christmas decorations. 

Santa often appears on Christmas cards, and red is the most popular color for his clothing. 

Kris Kringle is also popular for linens for table settings... napkins, placemats, tablecloths. 

Santa decorated salad plates added to everyday white dinner plates turn everyday dishes into holiday tables. Festive Christmas dishes brighten everyone's day, not just children's days. Add a little joy to the season by setting the table with Santa dishes. And, it is okay to mix paper plates with everyday china. 

Christmas pillows scattered throughout the house are quick and easy ways to decorate for the holidays. A Père Noël pillow instantly says, "It's Christmas." 

Father Christmas wrapped soaps add Christmas cheer instantly to bathrooms. A bar of soap, some wooden snowflakes, and a Christmas decorated hand towel are all that's needed to decorate a guest bathroom.

A small ceramic Santa figurine paired with greenery and fresh flowers is another way to add Christmas instantly to a guest bathroom.

Hand-carved Father Frosts become family heirlooms to display every year and to pass on to future generations. 

Though red is the most popular color for Santa, there are beautiful versions of Father Frost in all colors. Today it is possible to decorate for Christmas in any color which means one doesn't have to totally redecorate the house for Christmas. Instead, Christmas decorations can be added to existing everyday decor.  

By whatever name, Kris Kringle, Santa Claus, Father Frost, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Père Noël, the gift-bearing kind soul is a Christmas tradition that lifts our spirits and reminds us of the joy in giving. 

If you missed seeing the earlier posts about Christmas traditions, see the Blog Archive in the right hand column for a list of all previous blog posts.