Christmas History

The word Christmas comes from the old English "Cristes maesse" meaning Christ's
Mass. The Holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. The actual birthday of
Jesus is not known; therefore, the early Church Fathers in the 4th century fixed
the day around the old Roman Saturnalia festival (17 - 21 December), a
traditional pagan festivity. The first mention of the birthday of Jesus is from
the year 354 AD. Gradually all Christian churches, except Armenians who
celebrate Christmas on January 6 (the date of the baptism of Jesus as well as
the day of the three Magi), accepted the date of December 25th.

In American/English tradition, Christmas Day itself is the day for opening gifts
brought ...

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as twigs
from a sacred grove as good luck emblems. Soon that escalated to food, small
items of jewelry, candles, and statues of gods. To the early Church, gift-
giving at this time was a pagan holdover and therefore severely frowned upon.
However, people would not part with it, and some justification was found in the
original gift giving of the Magi, and from figures such as St. Nicholas. By the
middle ages gift giving was accepted. Before then it was more common to
exchange gifts on New Year's Day or Twelfth Night.

Santa Claus is known by British children as Father Christmas. Father Christmas,
these days, is quite similar to the American Santa, but his direct ancestor is a
certain pagan spirit who regularly appeared in medieval mummer's plays. The
old-fashioned Father Christmas was depicted wearing long robes with sprigs of
holly in his long white hair. Children write letters to Father Christmas
detailing their requests, but instead of dropping them in the mailbox, ...

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Christmas History. (2007, July 5). Retrieved July 14, 2020, from
"Christmas History.", 5 Jul. 2007. Web. 14 Jul. 2020. <>
"Christmas History." July 5, 2007. Accessed July 14, 2020.
"Christmas History." July 5, 2007. Accessed July 14, 2020.
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Added: 7/5/2007 04:55:35 PM
Category: Religion
Type: Free Paper
Words: 1237
Pages: 5

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