Christmas is an annual festival, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the Son of God, observed primarily on December 25as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year. The name ‘Christmas’ comes from the Mass of Christ (or Jesus). A Mass service (which is sometimes called Communion or Eucharist) is where Christians remember that Jesus died for us and then came back to life. The ‘Christ-Mass’ service was the only one that was allowed to take place after sunset (and before sunrise the next day), so people had it at Midnight! So we get the name Christ-Mass, shortened to Christmas.
Today, most Christians celebrate on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar, which has been adopted almost universally in the civil calendars used in countries throughout the world. However, some Eastern Christian Churches celebrate Christmas on December 25 of the older Julian calendar, which currently corresponds to January 7 in the Gregorian calendar, the day after the Western Christian Church celebrates the Epiphany. This is not a disagreement over the date of Christmas as such, but rather a preference of which calendar should be used to determine the day that is December 25.
Christmas is now celebrated by people around the world, whether they are Christians or not. It’s a time when family and friends come together and remember the good things they have. People, and especially children, also like Christmas as it’s a time when you give and receive presents!
Christmas celebrations include spending time with the family, decorating the entire house, inside and out and shopping, for friends and relatives. Spending Christmas with the family is very important. On this day, all family members spend time in baking cookies, making fudge and preparing a big Christmas dinner, with all the trimmings. The children love to see each other and spend the day playing games and sharing their new gifts and toys that Santa Claus brought for each of them.
The Christmas Tree
The Christmas tree is an evergreen trimmed with lights, decorations, and tinsel, is derived from a «paradise tree», or the tree in the Garden of Eden. The use of the Christmas tree began early in the 17th century, in Strasbourg, France, spreading from there through Germany and then into northern Europe.
Evergreens, the symbol of eternal life, have long been used for Christmas time decorations. The Christmas wreath represents everlasting life and God’s endless love for us. Holly is the most known Christmas greenery, and there are several legends about it, one is that Jesus’ crown was made of holly, and the holly berries represented his blood.
The beginning of gift giving during Christmas started from the three wise men, with their three gifts for the Christ child. Since then people have made up different things to tell their children where their Christmas presents came from. The historical Saint Nicholas was known in early Christian legends for saving storm-tossed sailors, standing up for children, and giving gifts to the poor.
The Christmas Feast
On Christmas day, the year’s greatest feast is served. The feast is started off with drinks and music, followed by a procession of the food. Once everyone is seated, the food is served and eaten, after dessert, people drink and dance. Some of the food that are generally served include: beef, meat pies, roasted duck, geese, pigs, plumb porridge, fancy cakes, bowls of wassail, and toast.
Centuries ago, Romans decorated their homes, public buildings, and temples on festive occasions, and we have followed this ancient custom. During Christmas time, store windows, malls, streetlights, and parking lot poles are decorated to celebrate this joyous time filled with shopping, gift giving, and happiness.
Christmas Eve Celebration
The day before Christmas, Christmas eve celebration begins on the evening of December 24. On this day, the Christmas-tree is manifested in its glory; and the Midnight masses is originally celebrated by the Pope towards midnight.
The Tradition Of Gifting
The tradition of gifting is the most important custom attached to Christmas. To many people, it is a favorite time of the year involving gift giving, parties and feasting.
A great way for getting into the Christmas spirit, Christmas carols are one of the greatest charm of this season and exudes a warmth, generosity and good will that is always welcome everywhere.
Christmas Songs stand as one of the most important pillars of holiday music. The vast collection of Christmas songs prompt a lot of lovers of Christmas music to fall in love with it.
Christmas poems celebrates the traditional as well as the present form of Christmas. Christmas poems impart a deep religious feelings and give a persistent invitation to open our minds and hearts to the mystery of God incarnate.
The exchange of Christmas gifts are a cause for much wild excitement and celebration. Thus, gift giving and merriment fills the holiday season of Christmas.