Every year on December 25th, we celebrate Christmas, a day to spend time with family, celebrate an important Christian holiday, participate in joyful traditions, or just spread a little holiday cheer. Christmas has evolved over several millennia to become a global religious and secular celebration filled with fun family activities.
Traditionally, Christians claim that Christmas is the day Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born. And while many of our Christmas rituals and traditions evolved from that singular moment, that's not the whole story. While there are myths and truths about Christmas, let's look at what we know.
The fact is, no one knows the exact time and place of Jesus' birth. In the New Testament of the Bible, the apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke and John share similar stories but never mention the date of Jesus' birth. December 25th is widely attributed to the first Christian historian, Sextus Julius Africanus, around 221 AD.
In view of why December 25th was chosen as the official date of Christmas, historians believe that the early church wanted to link the birth of the Son of God with the "rebirth of the sun" which occurs after the vernal equinox. A second opinion bases the date on the date of Jesus' conception on March 25, the vernal equinox. December 25 would then be the date of Jesus' birth exactly nine months later.
At one point, the Church designated January 6 as the date of Jesus' baptism and the correct date for Christmas. But in the 9th century, Christmas was observed only as a minor holy day.
In the Middle Ages, Europeans created some of the Christmas customs we recognize today. In Strasbourg, spruce trees decorated with apple trees appeared in houses. During the 17th and 18th centuries, people began to give gifts as a symbol of the Magi's arrival in Bethlehem with offerings for the newborn baby Jesus. In the 19th century, spruce wreaths charged with 24 candles representing the 24 days before Christmas were later reduced to four much safer candles. Eventually, Christmas Day traditions spread from Europe to Latin America, North America and other parts of the world.
December 25th becomes official
With the help of astronomers and mathematicians, Sextus Julius Africanus, a historian of the first millennium, calculates the date of Jesus' birth as December 25th.
Natal or Mardi Gras?
After dutifully attending church services on Christmas Day, all hell breaks loose with displays of public drunkenness, revelry and turmoil.
Christmas is against the law
English settlers arrive in the United States fleeing religious persecution with an orthodox Puritan contingent that bans Christmas in Boston, while a milder group shares eggnog at Christmastime in Jamestown, Virginia.
June 26, 1870
Christmas Day becomes official in the US
Christmas is declared a federal holiday and most workers receive paid time off.
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In most countries of the world, gifts are given to friends and loved ones, symbolizing the original Magi offerings of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus.
For several days before Christmas in Mexico, there are re-enactments of Mary and Joseph's frantic search for an inn where baby Jesus could be born. On Christmas Day, children take turns batting apiñata filled with Christmas toys and candies.
Singing on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day involves groups of gaily dressed carolers singing Christmas carols in city squares, business districts or in front of private homes.
Natalfrequently asked questionss
Why do we celebrate Christmas Day?
Most Christians celebrate Christmas Day on December 25th as the day the Son of God, Jesus Christ, was born.
Was Jesus born on Christmas Eve or Christmas?
According to the Apostle Luke's New Testament account of the birth of Jesus, most Christians believe that Jesus was born at night. To celebrate, many believers attend the midnight mass or church service.
Is Christmas Eve a federal holiday?
Do not. Christmas Eve is not a federal holiday, but in many parts of the United States, employers give non-essential workers part or all of the day off with pay.
Make your own advent calendar
Spread the holiday excitement by making a calendar full of sweet surprises for the month. Create your own Advent calendar using paper bags, a muffin tin, envelopes or other items accessible around the house, and include cute and quirky little gifts to commemorate each day. These make the perfect Christmas gifts or a great way to treat yourself every day in December.
Holiday parties are the perfect excuse to spread joy to those around you, and in so doing, help you enjoy the holidays more. Whistle your favorite Christmas song, smile at others and wish everyone a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. Your merry Christmas spirit will be contagious.
Organize a Christmas dinner
Organize a special dinner with your friends and family. One of the most important traditions of the Christmas season is to gather with loved ones and make the winter a little warmer by sharing the warmth of compassion with them. Your friends and family will leave with a stomach full of food and a heart full of happiness!
5 crazy facts about Christmas
26 million Christmas trees
In 2015, approximately 26 million Christmas trees were purchased at an average cost of $50.82 each.
$29.14 spent on holiday cards
In the United States, most consumers spend an average of $29.14 on holiday cards.
More than half of Americans buy gifts online
About 64% of American consumers buy their gifts online.
Christmas wreaths are symbols of Christ
The holly represents the crown of thorns Jesus wore at his crucifixion, and the red berries symbolize the blood he shed.(Video) Why Is Christmas On December 25th? | QI
Christmas decorations send thousands to the ER
The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 14,700 people visit hospital emergency rooms in November and December due to accidents involving Christmas decorations.
why we love christmas
has a deeper meaning
The Christmas holiday focuses on honoring the sacred birth of Christ in the Christian religion. The Christmas traditions we know today grew out of this story: the Three Wise Men came to see the newborn Jesus with gifts and embodied the seasonal spirit of giving gifts to others. It helps us to remember the gestures of love, kindness and forgiveness.
It is cheerful, cheerful and bright.
Christmas is one of the happiest holidays! Some celebrate just to join in the fun of Christmas or to spend time with family. The houses are decorated with fairy lights and beautifully decorated pine trees, the delicious smell of hot chocolate and spices fills the air; there is nothing that beats the beautiful Christmas spirit.
it's sweater season
Christmas is the only time of year when collections of finely woven red and green luminous sweaters emerge, embellished with bows, glitter and trinkets, after being stored in cardboard boxes all year round. These glorious outfits (some of which can sparkle with lights or sing a Christmas carol) only make their debut during this special season.
christmas related holidays
let's be social
Here are some special hashtags for the day.
#christmas #christmas #christmas tree