Cristale is an online author and publisher. Her articles vary in topics and focus on life situations.
The History of Christmas
Christmas is the most widely observed cultural holiday around the world and is also known as Christ's Mass. This day is an annual commemoration for the birth of Jesus Christ that took place approximately between 7 BC to 2 BC. The original date for the observation and celebration of Jesus' birth was January 7th, according to a historical Gregorian calendar. The Greek Orthodox church was guided by a different calendar, called the Julian calendar, and therefore changed the date of observance to December 25th of each year. Although the exact date of Jesus' birth still remains unknown today, it is still observed and celebrated on December 25th of each year. The Romans began celebrating Christmas during 345 AD with feasts, music, and festivities. Other countries began celebrating at later dates. To date, over 2 billion people around the world celebrate this holiday on December 25th of each year.
Evidence states that on the day of Jesus Christ's birth, there were angels, shepherds, and people from other countries that traveled to see the newly born baby boy. They followed the North Star as a navigation tool to locate where baby Jesus was. As he laid in a manger with Mary and Joseph by his side, the traveling guests arrived bearing gifts for the child. Some did not have physical gifts for the newborn baby Jesus, so they played music for him instead. There are numerous Christmas songs and biblical stories that emphasize those facts. On December 25th of each year, many people all across the world will come together to celebrate Christmas with traditions.
The Famous Nativity Scene
A Traditional Christmas
Christmas festivities are celebrated each year in many different ways around the world, varying by country, religion, and culture. There are many historical Christmas traditions that are followed by many different people around the world, while new traditions are being created each year. Every culture and every family has their own unique Christmas traditions that they follow each and every year, which is what makes them a tradition. Christmas traditions are usually followed for generations and were started by previous generations. New traditions are being created each year that will continue to be followed for future generations to come. Some of the most popular Christmas traditions include:
- Decorating for Christmas, especially outside.
- Purchasing a Christmas tree, real or fake, big or small.
- Sending Christmas cards, sometimes with Christmas pictures.
- Christmas gift exchanging, like games such as Left or Right or White Elephant.
- Leaving milk/eggnog and cookies out for Santa, then checking in the morning to see if they are gone.
- Hanging Christmas stockings, usually by the fireplace.
- Opening one small Christmas present before bed on Christmas Eve.
- Attending a special church service on Christmas Eve or Day, which is usually lengthy because there is a large worship and celebration volume.
What is Your Favorite American Christmas Tradition?
The Top 7 Reasons Why Christmas is Magical This Year
There are many different reasons why Christmas is more magical this year, from the obvious to the not so obvious. This year has been the year of the Covid pandemic, lockdowns, the presidential election during said Covid pandemic, and also the loss of economic stability. This holiday season is the most unique of its kind and is highly popular with adults as well as children. Most people are celebrating earlier this year with Christmas trees up as early as Halloween. Everyone is viewing Christmas as a way to take their minds off of everything going on in the world and all of the negativity. It is in a way, a form of seeing the light during the dark times. There is always a Christmas magic in the air that begins at the beginning of December and will linger until New Year's Eve. This year, the Christmas magic in the air is more special and magical because it helps to decrease the spread of Coronavirus. Since we are all stuck at home and online, let's explore why Christmas is Magical this year compared to other years, starting with the most important reason.
1. The True Meaning of Christmas is On Display.
The first reason why Christmas is more magical this year is because it really isn't about the decorating, parties, or gift-giving. There are many stay-at-home orders put in place by many states and particular mandates have been enacted. Since the true and real meaning of Christmas is to celebrate our Lord and Savior Jesus, who is love, then the real meaning of Christmas is love. Christmas is about doing nice things for family and friends, even strangers. Christmas is about the love, peace, and joy that makes this season so special. Studies have proven that many people are kinder, abundantly empathetic, generous, and increasingly compassionate during the Christmas season because it's the most wonderful time of the year!
Here are Some Examples
2. The Representation of Christmas Can Be Appreciated.
Christmas traditions demonstrate the real meaning of Christmas. Since the real meaning of Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ, there are many different elements of Christmas traditions that represent this fact. The American Christmas traditions that represent the real meaning of Christmas can include:
- The Christmas tree represents the world during the time of Jesus's birth. The Christmas tree is usually an evergreen conifer that is spruce, pine, or fur. Sometimes the Christmas tree can also be artificial, usually made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The Christmas tree is decorated with festive lights, garland, bulbs, and other Christmas décor.
- The Christmas lights that decorate the Christmas tree represent the stars that shined bright in the world during the time of Jesus' birth.
- The star on top of the Christmas tree represents the earth's largest star, called the North Star. The star on top of the Christmas tree is also known as a tree topper. The North Star is what guided the shepherds and people to the place where Jesus was born so they could see him and bring him gifts.
- The Christmas bulbs that decorate the Christmas tree represent the villages that existed during the time of Jesus' birth. Shepherds and people who lived in those villages traveled near and far to visit the newborn baby Jesus.
- The Christmas presents that are exchanged during Christmas represent the gifts that were brought to baby Jesus. These were special gifts that the shepherds and the people from the different villages brought to the newborn baby. The gifts were to show appreciation, acceptance, and love for the baby.
3. Christmas Snow Will Happen.
Christmas snow and the magic of Christmas go hand in hand. The cold weather and snow is the way that the earth is cleansing itself for a new year and for new life to begin, by ways death or hibernation. Playing in the snow is very fun, by having a snowball fight or building a snowman. The snow can remind people that it really is Christmas and the winter season. The snow looks amazing during the day or at night, as it glistens in the light like white diamonds. The snow also brings in a cold breeze with a special chill in the air that can only be experienced during Christmas time, which may or may not be accompanied by sweet aromas. There's nothing like going outside on Christmas morning with the smell of fresh Christmas snow and fireplaces burning. It is a great feeling and makes Christmas even better.
4. Special Christmas Eggnog Can Enhance Christmas Spirit.
Eggnog is a sweetened dairy-based seasonal beverage that is traditionally made with milk and/or cream, sugar, and whipped eggs (which gives it a frothy texture). Spirits such as brandy, rum or bourbon are often added for alcohol content. and may possibly increase Christmas cheer. Eggnog is often garnished with a sprinkling of fresh ground cinnamon or cinnamon stick with a dash of nutmeg. Eggnog can be found in the grocery store, in the milk section, but only during Christmas time. Eggnog can be served hot or cold. Eggnog is definitely a Christmas staple because it tastes like Christmas...if it had a taste.
5. No Rushed Christmas Dinner.
This elaborate holiday feast only happens once a year and is the most special dinner of the year, besides Thanksgiving. Family and friends will not be attending this year but instead, Christmas dinner will not be rushed. Since one will have to rush eating dinner to attend functions or gatherings, there will be more time for Christmas pictures with family within the same household. This year there seems to be more time to make more Christmas dishes, appetizers, and desserts from scratch.
There are always traditional Christmas dishes that are prepared using seasonal recipes and the leftovers from Christmas dinner are popular lunches during the week after. Many people will spend hours and sometimes days in the kitchen to prepare for a Christmas dinner. Some of the most common foods for Christmas dinner are:
- Turkey or Ham
- Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Green Bean Casserole
- Dinner Rolls
- Cranberry Sauce
- Pies, Cakes, Cookies
6. A Kiss Under the Mistletoe.
The history of mistletoe can be traced back to the ancient Greeks when they would reconcile differences by kissing under the mistletoe. Kissing under the mistletoe during a holiday first began during the festival of Saturnalia, celebrated on December 17th to commemorate the year of work, and later in marriage ceremonies. The mistletoe is a parasite that will attach itself to a host, such as a tree or a plant to absorb all the nutrients and water and sunlight until the host eventually dies. Many varieties of mistletoe are poisonous and ingesting their toxic white berries is known to cause a variety of stomach problems. Some poison control centers send out "holiday safety" fliers every year to avoid such mistletoe incidents. Mistletoe is a relative of sandalwood but unlike sandalwood, however, mistletoe seeds are dispersed by berry-eating birds, which allows the plant to grow on branches high above the shade, freeloading on other trees' sunlight. Since mistletoe can be harmful, it is a tradition to kiss under it and admire it from afar. This only happens during Christmas.
7. Christmas Candles.
The different scents of Christmas always remind me of when I was a child, awaiting Christmas morning. Candles are an important aspect of Christmas, but the scented Christmas candles are unique. The candles really do smell like Christmas, from the scent of the Christmas tree to the aroma of goodies baking. Christmas candles are also available in very vivid Christmas colors, like deep green and bright red. Having some scented Christmas candles burning all day for Christmas Day can help to brighten the Christmas spirit since smells do affect the brain and memories. Christmas candles are usually only sold during Christmas time, which is why Christmas candles are another favorite thing about Christmas. They can only be purchased during Christmas time, with no guarantee it will return the following winter.
A Christmas Collection
2020 Christmas Playlist
© 2012 Cristale Adams
Cristale Adams (author) from Florida on January 10, 2019:
Thank you for reading! I hope everyone had a safe and merry Christmas.
Cristale Adams (author) from Florida on January 10, 2019:
Thank you for reading!
Tori Leumas on October 09, 2018:
Great article! I love how you said that Christmas is about celebrating our Savior, Jesus Christ. I totally agree. I love Christmas. It is my favorite holiday.
Cristale Adams (author) from Florida on October 08, 2018:
Thank you for reading and commenting on this article.
kirtidv2006 on September 26, 2018:
Beautifully explained. People are generally happy during christmas.
Ras Bahadur Rai from Kapan Kathmandu Nepal on September 03, 2018:
Cristale Adams (author) from Florida on March 02, 2018:
Thank you for reading and commenting. My goal was to bring back those childhood memories and aromas from Christmases past.
Deborah Nessmith from Florida on December 07, 2016:
Well-written post. I love Christmas time, as a child we used to have Christmas parties at my grandmother's house before she past away. I can still remember the smells of cakes and pies baking for our Christmas dinner. However, those days are long past and the big family celebration has dwindled down to immediate family only. Although it's nice to celebrate with my siblings and parents, nieces and nephews; I miss the days of spending time with all my family.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on November 18, 2014:
i love christmas but never get to celebrate it after I was married
Joytotheworld on November 04, 2014:
Christmas really is a huge part of life. My memories of childhood and why I love this life so dearly largely revolve around Christmas. There is so much bad on the world. Christmas is a time to be kind to one another and to just be joyful and happy. The smell of a Christmas tree will always make me smile and close my eyes, feeling the warmth and coziness of years past.
Martin Kloess from San Francisco on December 04, 2012:
Thank you for sharing you thoughts on Christmas.
Jasmin from United Kingdom on December 04, 2012:
Lovely hub, christmas is by far my favorite time of the year! Did you mean to leave out Christmas in the poll :\ x