Updated: Dec 3, 2021
Baubles. Tinsel. Presents under the tree. Sleigh rides. Reindeer. Sitting on Santa’s knee. Who doesn’t love Christmas? But there’s one ingredient Christmas can’t do without. It’s not turkey or Christmas pudding, nor is it mince pies or Yule log. It’s chocolate!
And not just any old chocolate either. We’re talking delicious Welsh handmade chocolate straight from the valleys. After all, if you can’t indulge yourself at Christmas – with a chocolate or two... or three – then when can you?
But all jokes aside, why is Christmas such a delectably chocolatey holiday? Why does that first bite of a handmade chocolate truffle fill us with such Christmas spirit?
We went on a magical adventure to find out.
(Ok, we may have scoured the internet while eating our amazing Welsh handmade chocolates. Guilty as charged!)
Way Before Chocolate, Christmas was Pagan
There’s a little secret most people don’t know: Jesus wasn’t born on 25th December. In fact, we didn’t begin celebrating his birthday then until four whole centuries after his birth. Originally, the festival was associated with the pagan holidays of Yule and Saturnalia.
Both of which involved giving gifts. Indeed, the Norse god Odin famously handed out gifts made by a crew of small men somewhere in the far and frosty north. He even rode an eight- legged horse. (Remind you of anyone?)
Then, around the 4th century, the real St. Nick came along. Legend says he handed out coins to the poor children in his city, somewhere in modern-day Turkey.
And that was it: Christmas was synonymous with giving. But where did chocolate come in?
Christmas chocolate traditions around the world
Chocolate, as we know and love it, wasn’t made until recently. It was Joseph Fry, an English chocolatier, who first moulded handmade chocolate into bars in 1847. Soon after, chocolate found itself a Christmas treat.
The likely reason was that, at first, chocolate was a luxury. Few people could afford chocolate, and as such, it was reserved for a special occasion. Think of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where Charlie only receives a bar for his birthday. That’s how most people treated Christmas.
Around this time, chocolate began being shaped into coins. These coins would be hung from a tree in Britain as decoration – likely commemorating ol’ St. Nick.
However, in Holland, chocolate letters, known as “chocoladeletter” are given to loved ones as a Christmas tradition. The letter represents the first initial in a person’s name. It’s a major Dutch holiday tradition.
Meanwhile, in Mexico, the turkey itself receives a layer of chocolate on top. Definitely, something to try once.
Give chocolate with a difference
The rest, as they say, is history. Chocolate and Christmas have gone together ever since.
However, chocolate today isn’t the treat it once was. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be. Don’t settle for a boring chocolate coin. Give a beautiful selection of Welsh handmade chocolates. Or even better, one of our individual handmade chocolate truffles.
They’re simply sublime. And there’s no better present to give this Christmas. After all, it’s a tradition!
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