Christmas, always associated with Christ’s birth literally means”Christ’s mass”. In general understanding, the story of Christmas begins with the birth of a babe in Bethlehem. It has been derived from the middle english term Christemasse. In early Greek versions of the New Testament, the letter ? (chi), is the first letter of Christ. Since the mid-16th century ?, or the similar Roman letter X, has been used as an abbreviation for Christ. Hence, Xmas is often used as an abbreviation for Christmas.
Christmas History goes way back to middle of winter, It is believed that Christ was born on the 25th, although the exact month is unknown. December was likely chosen so the Catholic Church could compete with rival pagan rituals held at that time of year and because of its closeness with the winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere, a traditional time of celebration among many ancient cultures.
Christmas History of Santa Claus begins in the 4th century with Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, an area in present day Turkey. St. Nicholas was known as a generous man, particularly devoted to children. His kindness and reputation for generosity gave rise to claims that he could perform miracles and devotion to him increased. St. Nicholas became the patron saint of Russia, where he was known by his red cap, big white beard, and bishop’s mitre.After his death thousands of churches across Europe were dedicated to him and some time around the 12th century an official church holiday was created in his honor. The Feast of St. Nicholas was celebrated December 6 and the day was marked by gift-giving and charity.
After the Reformation, European followers of St. Nicholas dwindled, but the legend was kept alive in Holland where the Dutch spelling of his name Sint Nikolaas was eventually transformed to Sinterklaas. Dutch children would leave their wooden shoes by the fireplace, and Sinterklaas would reward good children by placing treats in their shoes. Dutch colonists brought this tradition with them to America in the 17th century and here the Anglican name of Santa Claus emerged.
Christmas History of Trees begin in 16th-century Germany fir trees were decorated, both indoors and out, with apples, roses, gilded candies, and colored paper. In the Middle Ages, a popular religous play depicted the story of Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden.
It is held that Protestant reformer Martin Luther first adorned trees with light. While coming home one December evening, the beauty of the stars shining through the branches of a fir inspired him to recreate the effect by placing candles on the branches of a small fir tree inside his home. The Christmas Tree was brought to England by Queen Victoria’s husband,
Prince Albert from his native Germany. The famous Illustrated News etching in 1848,
featuring the Royal Family of Victoria, Albert and their children gathered around a Christmas tree in Windsor Castle, popularized the tree throughout Victorian England. Brought to America by the Pennsylvania Germans, the Christmas tree became by the late 19th century.