Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. For modern Christians it also starts a 12-day Christmas season that begins on December 25th and ends on January 5th. Churches celebrate Christmas with services on Christmas Eve and often midnight masses.
While the holiday is religious in origin, many cultures, even those without Christian ideologies, celebrate this holiday. This celebration often centers around Santa Claus, a mythical figure dressed in a red suit, based on Saint Nicholas. Tradition has it that on Christmas morning, Santa brings gifts for children who have been good and coal for those who have been naughty.
Christmas Facts & Quotes
- During the 4th Century A.D., Bishop Nicolas of Smyrna was known to be very generous to the poor, especially to children. He was later given the title of Saint Nicholas and is patron saint of children.
- The first Christmas Card was commissioned in 1843 by Sir Henry, designed by artist John Calcott Horsley, and contained the words A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you.
- Constantine the Great named the holiday and set the date for Jesus' birth as being December 25th. This happened in 325 A.D.
- The Christmas tree is a custom that is believed to have begun in Germany in the 18th century. Candles and decorations that are lit represented the light of Christ in the world.
Nothing's as mean as giving a little child something useful for Christmas. - Frank Hubbard
Christmas Top Events and Things to Do
- Sing Christian Christmas carols, such as O Come All Ye Faithful, Silent Night, and Joy to the World.
- Make Christmas Cookies.
- Attend a Christmas Eve service at a local church. Many churches offer midnight mass. Alternately, watch the Pope's annual Christmas eve service broadcast live from the Vatican.
- Many churches hold pageants for children that involve playing the parts of the nativity scene. Go to one of these events or put up a nativity scene in your home.
- Instead of purchasing a cut tree, get a Live tree for Christmas that comes in a burlap root sack. It can then be planted after the holiday, rather than thrown out.