What is Christmas?
The word Christmas comes from the words "Christ's Mass."
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus for members of the Christian religion. Most historians peg the first celebration
of Christmas to Rome in 336 A.D.
Christmas is both a holiday and a holy day. In America it is one of the biggest event of the year (especially for kids), and for
members of the Christian religions it is an important day on the religious calendar.
December 25 really the day Jesus was born?
No one really knows. What is known is that Christian leaders in 336 A.D. set the date to December 25,
in an attempt to eclipse a popular pagan holiday in Rome
that celebrated the winter solstice. Originally, the celebration of Christmas involved a simple mass, but over time, Christmas
has replaced a number of other holidays in many other countries, and a large number of traditions have been absorbed into
the celebration in the process.
Why is Christmas such a big deal?
There are two reasons why Christmas is such a big deal:
· There are about 2 billion Christians in a total world population of 5.5 billion, making it the largest religion worldwide.
In America, 241 million out of a total
population of 281 million people are Christians -- that's 85 percent. Because Christians follow Jesus, the birth of Jesus
is important to them.
· In America,
the weeks leading up to Christmas are the biggest shopping weeks of the year. Many retailers make up to 70 percent of their
annual revenue in the month preceding Christmas. Therefore, retailers hype the event beyond belief.
Christmas was largely a non-event in America until the 1860s. 1867 was the first year that Macy's department store in
New York City remained open until midnight on Christmas Eve.
1874 was the year of the first window displays with a Christmas theme at Macy's. It has snowballed from there.
Why do people give each other presents on Christmas day?
The tradition of gifts seems to have started with the gifts that the wise
men (the Magi) brought to Jesus. As mentioned in the previous question, however, no one was really in the habit of exchanging
elaborate gifts until late in the 1800s. The Santa Claus story and amazing shopping campaigns have made gift giving a central
focus of the modern Christmas tradition.
is there a small evergreen tree in the living room?
When you think of Christmas, one of the first things you probably think of is a Christmas tree. In fact, the Christmas tree is one of the most recognizable
images of the season. Almost everywhere you go in Europe or America,
it is the focal point of people's holiday decoration. People pile their gifts under the tree. They gather around their tree
to sing Christmas carols and drink eggnog.
This is a German tradition, started as early as 700 A.D.
In the 1800s the tradition of a Christmas tree was widespread in Germany, then moved to England
and then to America through Pennsylvanian