According to Wikipedia, Christmas or Christmas Day (Old English: Crīstesmæsse, meaning "Christ's Mass") is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed most commonly on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.
A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is prepared for by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night;in some traditions, Christmastide includes an Octave. The traditional Christmas narrative, the Nativity of Jesus, delineated in the New Testament says that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in accordance with messianic prophecies; when Joseph and Mary arrived in the city, the inn had no room and so they were offered a stable where the Christ Child was soon born, with angels proclaiming this news to shepherds who then disseminated the message furthermore.
Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world's nations, is celebrated religiously by the vast majority of Christians,as well as culturally by a number of non-Christian people, and is an integral part of the holiday season, while some Christian groups reject the celebration. In several countries, celebrating Christmas Eve on December 24 has the main focus rather than December 25, with gift-giving and sharing a traditional meal with the family.
Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter. Just as people today decorate their homes during the festive season with pine, spruce, and fir trees, ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. In many countries it was believed that evergreens would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness.
In the Northern hemisphere, the shortest day and longest night of the year falls on December 21 or December 22 and is called the winter solstice. Many ancient people believed that the sun was a god and that winter came every year because the sun god had become sick and weak. They celebrated the solstice because it meant that at last the sun god would begin to get well. Evergreen boughs reminded them of all the green plants that would grow again when the sun god was strong and summer would return.
The ancient Egyptians worship a god called Ra, who had the head of a hawk and wore the sun as a blazing disk in his crown. At the solstice, when Ra began to recover from the illness, the Egyptians filled their homes with green palm rushes which symbolized for them the triumph of life over death.
Early Romans marked the solstice with a feast called the Saturnalia in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture. The Romans knew that the solstice meant that soon farms and orchards would be green and fruitful. To mark the occasion, they decorated their homes and temples with evergreen boughs. In Northern Europe the mysterious Druids, the priests of the ancient Celts, also decorated their temples with evergreen boughs as a symbol of everlasting life. The fierce Vikings in Scandinavia thought that evergreens were the special plant of the sun god, Balder.
Most 19th-century Americans found Christmas trees an oddity. The first record of one being on display was in the 1830s by the German settlers of Pennsylvania, although trees had been a tradition in many German homes much earlier. The Pennsylvania German settlements had community trees as early as 1747. But, as late as the 1840s Christmas trees were seen as pagan symbols and not accepted by most Americans.
By the 1890s Christmas ornaments were arriving from Germany and Christmas tree popularity was on the rise around the U.S. It was noted that Europeans used small trees about four feet in height, while Americans liked their Christmas trees to reach from floor to ceiling.
The early 20th century saw Americans decorating their trees mainly with homemade ornaments, while the German-American sect continued to use apples, nuts, and marzipan cookies. Popcorn joined in after being dyed bright colors and interlaced with berries and nuts. Electricity brought about Christmas lights, making it possible for Christmas trees to glow for days on end. With this, Christmas trees began to appear in town squares across the country and having a Christmas tree in the home became an American tradition.
Christmas brings family and friends together; it helps us appreciate the love in our lives we can often take for granted. May the true meaning of the holiday season fill your heart and home with many blessings.
May this holiday season sparkle and shine, may all of your wishes and dreams come true, and may you feel this happiness all year round.
During this season of giving, let us take time to slow down and enjoy the simple things. May this wonderful time of the year touch your heart in a special way. Wishing you much happiness today and throughout the New Year.
Having you as my friend makes me feel as if it is Christmas every day. The warmth and comfort that comes with this season reminds me of you.
Christmas is the season for peace, joy and fellowship with family and friends. May the yuletide spirit fill your heart and home with an abundance of mercy, contentment, laughter and harmony.
It is the season for giving and remembering and sharing the love. Christmas is a time when we take stock of our blessings and reach out to those who have touched our lives. Thank you for being such a wonderful friend/sibling. The best of the Christmas season to you.
May the message of Christmas fill your life with joy and peace. Best wishes to you and your family during this holiday season.
Wishing you peace, joy, and all the best this wonderful holiday has to offer. May this incredible time of giving and spending time with family bring you joy that lasts throughout the year.
Take time during the rush of the holidays to enjoy the things in life that really matter. Take in the serene moments spent with friends and loved ones, and may the wonder of Christmas surround you throughout the holiday season.
During this time of faith and family, may the true meaning of Christmas fill you with joy. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.
As you celebrate the miracle of this special season, may your heart be filled with joy and peace. May these holiday blessings linger in your home and stay with you throughout the year.
Amidst the Christmas carols, eggnog, cookies and mounds of presents, may your heart be filled with contentment and the unique feeling of joy that the season brings.
Hope your Christmas is as warm and sweet as a cup of hot cocoa and filled with more granted wishes than you can count.
May the peace and love of the Christmas season wrap you boundless joy during the season and in the New Year.
The warmth and love surrounding Christmas is a joy to be savored with family and friends. It is a time to give and share with one another. Here’s to wishing you the best this season has to offer.
Christmas is a season of great joy: a time for remembering the past and hoping for the future. May the glorious message of peace and love fill you with joy during this wonderful season.
This time of year brings festivities and family fun. It is a time for reminiscing and looking forward. Wishing you wonderful memories during this joyous season.
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