Christmas Christmas is primarily a Christian holiday to celebrate the birth of Christ. Christmas is also a civil holiday in many of the worlds nations, is celebrated by an increasing number of non- Christians. Other names for the season: Christs Mass, Nativity, Noel, Feast of the Nativity, and Xmas.
Christmas The exact day of Jesus’ birth is unknown. In the early-to-mid 4th century, the Western Christian Church first placed Christmas on December 25 (Julian calendar).
Christmas Season The Christmas Season in America is from Thanksgiving until January 1st. After Thanksgiving, families will decorate their homes with lights, wreaths, mistletoe, Christmas stockings and other holiday decorations.
Origins of Santa A number of historical figures - Christian and non- Christian - have been associated with Christmas and gift giving. Among these are Father Christmas, also known as Santa Claus; Saint Nicholas or Sinterklaas; the Christkind; Kris Kringle; Babbo Natale; Saint Basil; and Father Frost.
Origins of Santa The name Santa Claus can be traced back to the Dutch Sinterklaas, which means simply Saint Nicholas. Nicholas was Bishop of Myra, in modern day Turkey, during the 4th century. Nicholas was known forgenerosity, and the giving of gifts to children. His feast day on December 6 came to be celebrated in many countries with the giving of gifts.
Origins of Santa By the 13th century, the Saint Nicholas tradition was well known in central and southern Europe. During 16th–17th century Europe, Protestants “changed” Saint Nicholas to Christ Child or Christkindl which in English is Kris Kringle. Kris Kringle is another name for Santa Claus. The date of giving gifts changed from December 6 to Christmas Eve (24- 12).
Coca-Cola and Santa Claus The modern appearance of Santa Claus is an American invention due to Coca-Cola. In the 1800’s, Santa Claus was drawn in bishops robes. By the end of the 1930s, Santa begins to look as he does now - jolly, fat and wearing a red, fur-trimmed suit.
Santa Claus For many children, Santa Claus is the focus of Christmas. Santa Claus lives at the North Pole with Mrs. Santa Claus and the Christmas elves.
Santa Claus Every year, Santa delivers presents to good boys and girls on Christmas Eve (24.12) On Christmas Eve, families put out milk and cookies for Santa and carrots for his reindeer
Santa’s Workshop At the top of the North Pole there is a toy workshop where all Santa’s elves make gifts for children. Santa has a list of children around the world. If you have been a good boy or girl you will get a toy but if you are on the naughty list you will get a lump of coal.
Santa’s Reindeer On Christmas Eve Santa flies around the world in his big red sleigh filled with presents. Santa has eight magic reindeer that pull his sleigh through the night sky. The most famous reindeer is Rudolf. His bright red nose helps Santa see when there is bad weather.
Decorating for Christmas Decorating for Christmas has a long history. From pre-Christian times, people in the Roman Empire brought branches from evergreen plants indoors in the winter. In 15th century London, it was the custom at Christmas for buildings to be decorated with ivy and “whatever else is green during the winter”.
Decorating for Christmas Nativity scenes are known from 10th-century Rome. The first commercially produced decorations appeared in Germany in the 1860s. The traditional colors of Christmas are green and red. Red symbolizes the blood of Jesus, which was shed in his crucifixion, while green symbolizes eternal life.
Decorating for Christmas Other raditional decorations include bells, candles, candy canes, stockings, wreaths, and angels. Since the 19th century, the poinsettia, a native plant from Mexico, has been associated with Christmas. Other holiday plants include holly, mistletoe, and Christmas cactus.
Christmas Stockings Hanging stockings is a German tradition. On Christmas eve, people hang their Christmas stocking on the fireplace or on the wall. On Christmas morning the stockings will be filled with gifts from Santa.
Christmas Trees Decorating Christmas trees is German tradition. From Germany the custom was introduced to Great Britain. By the 1870s, people in the United States had adopted the custom of putting up a Christmas tree. Santa Claus leaves gifts under the Christmas tree.
Christmas Foods Christmas food includes gingerbread men, sometimes people make gingerbread houses. Candy Canes, hot chocolate, and cookies are other holiday foods. As one of the few fruits available to northern countries in winter, oranges have been long associated with special Christmas foods.
Christmas Dinner A special Christmas family meal is an important part of the holidays celebration, and the food that is served varies greatly from country to country. Some regions, such as Sicily, have special meals for Christmas Eve, when 12 kinds of fish are served. In England, a traditional Christmas meal includes turkey or goose, meat, gravy, potatoes, vegetables, sometimes bread and cider. Special desserts are also prepared, such as Christmas pudding, mince pies and fruit cake.