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The History of Christmas, Around the World and Through the Years...

Throughout the ages, Christmas has evolved to what it is today. Along the way, many things have become traditions that are as much a part of Christmas as Santa Claus and Christmas Mass.

Below are some interesting articles about the History of Christmas, How it has changed over the years and how it is celebrated Around the World.

Be sure to also check out our other Christmas Article Sections:

The History of Christmas | All About Santa | Christmas Trees | Christmas Traditions


Christmas Articles


Christmas Now and Then - Christmas is a holiday of seemingly little variance. That is to say, there are no radical departures from the way in which Christmas is celebrated from one year to the next. In other words, there is never going to be a Christmas any time soon that people abandon the tradition of having a Christmas tree. However, there are subtle differences in the Christmas season from year to year mainly deriving from changes in the culture and, to a certain extent, changes in the way we perceive things and, for many, perception is 9/10’s of reality. 

Now, while things do change one should avoid thinking of one as better than the other just merely different. Often, we will look at the Christmases of years past as being “better” than the Christmas of today’s day and age. Part of the reason for this we have a tendency to look back at things that occurred during nostalgia periods as being better than they may have actually been because we crystallize the positives of the era and bring them to the forefront of our memories while negating the memories of the more mundane. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but it does change our perspective on the way we look at things. There are, however, subtle differences between Christmas past and present. Read More...


How Different Nations Celebrate Christmas - There literally hundreds of Christmas traditions.  Though we may be only aware of the small corner or our world, in another nations Christmas is being celebrated as well.

American Christmas celebrations are a Hodge-podge of traditions from all over the world.  They follow the English tradition with carol singing, the German tradition of decorated trees, and Santa Claus from the Dutch tradition.  Most families do not open their gifts until Christmas morning but a few especially the Spanish Americans open their gifts the night before.  Many Americans celebrate the Christian tradition and attend church on the special day and enjoy a feast for dinner.  Read More...


The Beginnings of a Modern Christmas - The beginnings of modern Christmas was essentially an evolutionary process that developed over a period of centuries into what we now commonly recognize as the Christmas holiday season. This includes the establishment of a particular time of the year for celebration, the inventions of various decorations and symbols as well as the common interactive pleasantries and traditions. While Christmas is, of course, considered a holiday of the Christian tradition (although it has become more secularized and inclusive in recent years) much of what exists today in modern Christmas originated in many decidedly non-Christian cultures many centuries prior to the birth of Christ. So, to a great extent, the advent of modern Christmas was an evolutionary process that redefined the common winter festivals of pagan, pre-Christian and non-Christian religions. Read More...


Christmas: The Season of Commerce - While Christmas is one of the most joyous seasons of the year, a great deal of that joy comes in the form of the exchange of gifts and cards. Then again, there are also such things that provide what is called peripheral joy. This peripheral joy is the good feeling that we derive from that fantastic and familiar images of common Christmas items and decorations such as Christmas trees, mistletoes and their like. Then, there are those really cool pop culture tie in Christmas items such that combine a holiday theme with such familiar entertainment icons such as Star Trek Christmas tree ornaments, Charlie Brown Christmas stockings and, for those who have really good memories, a record album featuring the Six Million Dollar Man called A Bionic Christmas. Yes, Christmas has a great deal of merchandise associated with this and while do not often think about it Christmas has such a massive effect on commerce that is quite a positive thing.

For example, did you know that in the year 2000 the E-commerce shopping figures of Christmas time sales were upwards of $10 billion? Yes, that was billion with a “B” and it proves that the Christmas time juggernaut of improved commerce has shown no signs of slowing down since it first started by accident over 200 years ago.  Read More...


Christians celebrate pagan holiday - Christmas, the mere name alone has children’s eyes twinkle with delight, parents groan with pain, and store merchants dreaming of dollar signs.  But what is Christmas really all about? What is its history? Let’s first explain what the word Christmas means. The word is derived from the old English “Cristes Maesse” which means Christ-Mass.  This feast commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ.  But does it really?  

We know that from the Bible and many theologians’ writings, Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Israel.  Now let’s look at what we believe to know.   Unfortunately no one is exactly sure of Christ’s birthday, but most theologians believe it to be around the end of September.  So why do we celebrate His birthday on December 25th?    To begin with let’s examine the December 25th date. The ancient Roman pagans held many feasts for their gods. Read More...


A Traditional American Christmas - Not every family celebrates the holiday season in the same way. Everyone has different traditions whether this may involve dinner on Christmas Eve or a relative dressed as Santa. There are some traditions that have been handed down as people like to replicate the Christmas of their childhood. Sometimes new traditions are invented to keep up with the changing times and changes in the family and family life. It is impossible to catalogue what a traditional Christmas means to most people but we can put together a list of things that are generally done.

Shopping: Christmas shopping can be done at any time but the period after Thanksgiving is officially shopping season. While most people will vouch for shopping being one of the best things some regard it as a bore and a necessary headache to endure. Internet shopping has changed the intrinsic experience that holiday shopping is and people (ok, men mostly) have found it to be a lifesaver. However nothing can compare with the traditional rush to the shops, the feel of buying things and seeing the Santas at the stores, the lights, smells and sound that accompany such trips.  Read More...


Christmas in the 20th century - Christianity is one of the oldest religious concepts in this world. In order to symbolize an everlasting life, in the earlier days, the Christians used to have evergreen plants in their house. Herbs like bay and rosemary, which were holly, ivy and evergreen, got to be used with their symbolism. To specify, rosemary and bay were there to symbolize remembrance and valor respectively.

Interestingly, a kissing-bough consisting of a round-ball of twigs and decorated with some special fruits was placed to be hung from the ceiling. Mistletoe, which succeeded this, was sacred to the Druids. There could be no denying of a kiss under a kissing bough. Mistletoe was thought to bring fortune and push out futility protecting from witchcraft.  Read More...


Christmas around the world - Christmas, though traditionally a religious holiday has become progressively more secular. The conventions and traditions of Christmas have also undergone considerable change and have come under the influence of the local communities where Christmas is celebrated. This is probably why the traditional Christmas rites are as varied and diversified as cultures all over the world are. 

The United States is such a case where, many a Christmas tradition has been imported from various countries. Immigrants, chiefly European are mainly responsible for bringing with them these customs which make for a miscellaneous collection. The Christmas tree itself was a concept that originated in Germany as did the Yule log in England. Noels, more popular as carols, were a part of French traditions and Santa Claus descended from the Dutch. Fresh traditional rites such as the luminaries from Mexico and the greeting “Feliz Navidad!" from Latin America, have made appearances along with the recently arrived immigrants. 

Let’s make a rapid appraisal of some diverse yet fun-filled global traditions of Christmas. Read More...

 

How Christmas traditions have changed over the centuries - On the 25th of December every year Christ’s birth is honored through 'Christmas', a term that originated in the Old English 'Cristes Maesse', meaning "Christ's Mass".  

The tradition of Christmas in history: 

Initially Churches of earlier centuries paid very little attention to the birth of Christ and Easter was the primary festival among Christians. A date had to be chosen to celebrate Christ's birth because the New Testament contained no reference to it, being framed many years after Jesus’ death. The January 6th was selected as the 'Epiphany', which meant "appearance", by the Eastern Orthodox Church.  

The feast of Brunalia of the Romans was around the 25th of December, commemorating the "birth of the unconquered son". For all the worshippers of the Persian god of the sun, Mithras, this was similar to Christmas itself. This was perhaps the only other Pagan religion which could be called a proper adversary to the Christian religion during this phase of history. By the time the Western Church chose December 25 as Christmas day it was already A.D. 336. Other religions also observed certain festivities around this time, such as the Jews, who celebrated Hannukah.  Read More...


 

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