Christmas is really a Christian holiday commemorating the birthday of Christ. Christmas in English, which means “mass on Christ’s day,” is a modern invention. The Anglo-Saxon gel or the Germanic Jl, which both referred to the winter solstice feast, may have been the source of the older name Yule. The terms for nativity in their respective languages—Navidad in Spanish, Natale in Italian, and Nol in French—are all presumably used in that order.
The term “Christmas” in German means “holy night.” Christmas has also evolved into a secular family holiday celebrated by both Christians and non-Christians equally, free of any Christian traditions, and characterized by an ever-expanding exchange of presents. Central to this secular Christmas function is Santa, a famous figure.
Christmas is a season of cheer, happy decorations, and spending time with loved ones. It doesn’t matter if you celebrate a secular or religious Christmas; it’s a day to have fun, fall in love, and be joyful. Decorate your home and take steps to put yourself in the holiday spirit to celebrate Christmas. With your family, take part in Christmas traditions and make time to help others.
History of Christmas Day
The very first Christian community made a variation between knowing exactly the evening Jesus came to be and partying it in worship. Prior to the birthday of Jesus being celebrated, it took a little time for a while. During the first two decades of Christianity, it was especially difficult to celebrate the birthday parties of martyrs or Jesus. Plenty of church fathers made scathing responses concerning the pagan practice of celebrating birthdays when, actually, teams and martyrs should be honoured on the days of all their martyrdom. It’s uncertain where exactly the date December 25 was chosen as Jesus’ birthdate. There are no hints in this respect in the New Testament.
Sextus Julius Africanus initially recognized December 25 as the birthdate of Jesus in 221; this date eventually came to be widely acknowledged. The dies Solis invicti nati (“day of the birth of the unconquered sun“), a well-known holiday in the Roman Empire that celebrated the winter solstice as a symbol of the resurgence of the sun, the casting away of winter, and the heralding of the rebirth of spring and summer, was Christianized on December 25, according to a widely accepted explanation for the origin of this date. In fact, after December 25 had come to be widely recognized as the birthdate of Jesus, Christian authors frequently drew parallels between the sun’s rebirth and that of the Son. One issue with this perspective is that it implies a casual willingness on the part of the Christian church to appropriate a pagan festival, despite the early church’s steadfast determination to categorically separate itself from pagan beliefs and practices.
An alternative perspective contends that December 25 was chosen as the day of Jesus’ birth through a priori deduction, which claimed that the world was created on the spring equinox and that Jesus was conceived on the fourth day of creation when the light was created. The birth of Jesus was officially celebrated on December 25, nine months after that. Jesus’ baptism, which was observed on January 6, was long observed alongside the celebration of his birth.
In the ninth century, Christmas became a widely observed celebration with a distinct liturgy, but it never attained the liturgical significance of Good Friday or Easter, the other two significant Christian holidays. While Protestant churches increasingly hold Christmas candlelight services late on December 24th, the first Christmas mass is celebrated at midnight in Roman Catholic churches. Christmas carols are interspersed with Scripture readings in a special service called “lessons and carols” that relates the story of salvation from the Fall in the Garden of Eden to the birth of Christ. The E.W. Benson-initiated service, which was adopted at the University of Cambridge, has grown immensely popular.
How did Christmas emerge to be the holiday it is today?
Early Christmas festivities mixed pagan and Christian customs, resulting in practices that now would seem more fitting for Halloween, such as bonfires, exchanging gifts for bad deeds, and street bacchanals akin to Mardi Gras. When the Pilgrims first arrived in America, they severely opposed celebrating it and even made it illegal in some areas due to its reputation for immorality. Although Christmas was not forgotten, it didn’t begin to acquire prominence again until the middle of the 1800s.
The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. by Washington Irving, and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens both presented Christmas in a welcoming, family-friendly manner. Although most of their accounts were made up, they stimulated Victorians‘ imaginations. President Ulysses S. Grant proclaimed Christmas a national holiday of the United States on June 26, 1870. In the 150 years that have passed since Americans have developed their own distinctive Christmas celebration by borrowing elements from other cultures and developing some new ones. Christmas customs that are unique to each family offer depth and joy to the holiday.
Nowadays, many Christmas celebrations in us concentrate on a lot more secular events, because there is usually a religious element. Many individuals attend some sort of chapel service either before or the next day. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 90% of Americans claim to celebrate Christmas, but less than half claim to do so for religious reasons.
Christmas Day celebration ways
Decoration for Christmas
1. Set up and decorate a Christmas tree. A live tree or an artificial tree are also options. Then, wrap lights around each branch of the tree starting at the bottom and working your way up. Wrap garlands, such as those made of tinsel, popcorn, or cranberries, around the tree repeatedly to decorate it. Put your favourite decorations, such as stars, Christmas balls, or practically any little object, on the tree. Put a tree topper, such as an angel or star, at the very top to complete the tree.
- You might choose to adorn your tree with sentimental ornaments from your family or you can try something different, like using decorations with Star Trek or superhero themes, trains, or Disney characters. Both homemade and store-bought ornaments are acceptable.
- Even items like candy canes can be used! Actually, the tradition of bringing evergreens inside throughout the winter goes back to before Christmas. It served as a way to infuse the home with life.
- Christmas tree decorating customs date back to the 16th century in Germany.
2. Create ornaments to hang around your house. Your home may be festively decorated without costing a fortune. Make paper chains out of red and green paper, paper snowflakes, or garlands out of popcorn and cranberries. Additionally, you may gather evergreen branches and pine cones to decorate your home with. Put some oranges in a dish as they are frequently connected to the holiday season. To produce pomanders, you can even stud them with cloves.
- Regular tree branches can also be painted with metallic, glittery, or other spray paint before being placed in vases.
- Additionally, candles are frequently utilized as Christmas decorations. The typical Christmas colours are red and green, but you may also decorate your home with white, gold, or any other colour you choose.
- Additionally, you may create decorations using household items like cloth or paper.
Adopting a holiday spirit
1. To get in the holiday spirit, turn up the Christmas music. No matter your preference for more modern or classic Christmas music, Christmas songs are frequently played throughout this season. Typically, all you have to do to discover some Christmas music is turn on your local radio station! Find songs online if there isn’t a local radio station playing holiday music. To listen to them, use streaming music services.
2. To spend time together, read Christmas stories as a family. A great way to get in the holiday spirit is to spend some time reading stories with your family that have a Christmas theme. For instance, try reading a brief portion of a longer story every night. Of course, you may read the Bible’s account of Christmas straight from the source. Try classic tales like A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens or enjoyable children’s tales and poetry like How the Grinch Stole Christmas or ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.
Giving to others
1. Give gifts to loved ones, friends, and those in need. It’s customary at this time of year to give Christmas presents. On Christmas Day, children typically get presents from “Santa,” but it’s also traditional to give gifts to those you care about. The size or cost of the gift is not necessary. Giving even tiny handcrafted presents, baked food, or a chocolate bar is appreciated.
Giving presents to people in need is also a nice idea at this time of year. For instance, you may donate gifts to toy drives for struggling families or send care packages to soldiers serving overseas.
- Try unwrapping one gift this evening just for fun. Pyjamas or books are suitable Christmas Eve presents.
- While giving gifts might be enjoyable, there is no need to incur debt to do so. Ensure that you only spend what you can afford.
2. Give to the charity of your choice. Selecting a charity to donate to is one way you may take part in the charitable spirit of Christmas. Food banks, homeless shelters, and other organizations that help those in need are some of the popular causes that individuals donate to during this time of year.
- Given that so many charities set up donation boxes and centres at this time of year, you won’t have to look far to find somewhere to donate.
- You could also make an anonymous grocery purchase for a struggling family, you know.