Special holiday traditions found down south

Whether you're visiting family and friends or looking for a wintertime escape, spending the holidays in the South is a magical experience. It's usually cool but not freezing, the food is traditional and wonderful, and the state is full of activities to get you in the holiday spirit. While certain aspects of our Southern Christmas have been embraced outside of the South, many traditions and rituals have remained distinctive to Southern culture. Below are our favorite holiday traditions found down south.

Fruit in Stocking

It's a long-standing Southern Christmas tradition for parents to stuff oranges into their children's fireside stockings. The origins of this perplexing present can be traced back to the past scarcity of citrus fruit and the high cost of such a lavish gift. The popularity of the Christmastime food staple known as Ambrosia was influenced by the Southern Christmastime yearning for the flavor of oranges, and for many people, Christmas isn't complete without it. Citrus is also common in Southern holiday décor, whether in the shape of fragrant potpourri slices or complete orange garlands.


This lovely red-flowering shrub has become synonymous with Christmas cheer. The poinsettia was once a popular Christmas decoration in Mexico, and Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett, the botany-loving US ambassador to Mexico, carried back clippings of the plant to his house in South Carolina. The star-shaped flower is supposed to be reminiscent of the Star of Bethlehem, and its popularity grew across the country after Congress named December 12 National Poinsettia Day. It's just not Christmas without some cheery poinsettia blooms.


Oysters are a Southern favorite. Because the colder water temperatures in the Gulf make December a safe month to eat them, they are typically served on the half-shell at Christmas celebrations across the South. Many Christmas dinners include oyster dressing, which many people consider to be superior to other types of the dish.

Magnolia and Pine Décor

We owe this heritage to the immigrants who arrived in Jamestown, Virginia. They began employing pine as a symbol of good fortune and hope in décor after discovering it was an evergreen. It was first popularized in the South, but it can now be found all throughout the country in holiday swags, wreaths, and garlands. Many popular styling magazines have also published articles on how to utilize magnolia leaves to create a rustic, country look. These beautiful, dark-green, lustrous leaves are more commonly used to make wreaths than any other type of fir tree branch.

Deep-Fried Turkey

Southerners love to fry everything and anything, so why not the most delectable piece of bird they can find? It keeps the meat tasty and moist while leaving a delightful crispy texture on the outside. Naturally, this custom is catching on in other sections of the country.

If you're considering relocating to the South, Atlanta is a reasonably priced city. The overall cost of living is 2% cheaper than the national average. The average price of Atlanta houses for sale is roughly $350,000. You'll also discover that if you can get through the sticky summer days, the winters become really pleasant. When you live in the city, snowstorms are extremely infrequent. When you live in Atlanta, you have a lot of alternatives when it comes to holiday activities.

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