Christmas (pronounced /ˈkrɪsməs/), also referred to as Christmas Day
"is an annual holiday celebrated on December 25 that commemorates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. The day marks the beginning of the larger season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days. The nativity of Jesus, which is the basis for the anno Domini system of dating, is thought to have occurred between 7 and 2 BC. December 25 is not known to be Jesus' actual date of birth, and the date may have been chosen to correspond with either a Roman festival or the winter solstice." "Modern customs of the holiday include gift-giving, Church celebrations, exchange of Christmas cards, (see Christmas Card Day) and the display of various decorations—including the Christmas tree, Christmas lights, mistletoe, nativity scenes, and holly. Santa Claus (also referred to as Father Christmas, although the two figures have different origins) is a popular mythological figure often associated with bringing gifts at Christmas for children. Santa is generally believed to be the result of a syncretization between Saint Nicholas and elements from pagan Nordic and Christian mythology, and his modern appearance is believed to have originated in 19th century media."
"Christmas is celebrated throughout the Christian population, but is also celebrated by many non-Christians as a secular, cultural festival. Because gift-giving and several other aspects of the holiday involve heightened economic activity among both Christians and non-Christians, Christmas has become a major event for many retailers."
- Christmas is the most economically significant holiday of the year, and is even celebrated by non-Christians.
- The popularity of Christmas can be traced in part to its status as a winter festival.
- The holiday is characterized by the exchange of gifts among friends and family members, some of the gifts being attributed to Santa Claus (also known as Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Saint Basil and Father Frost).
- Although no one knows on which exact date Jesus was born, Christians have favored December 25 since ancient times. It is the date on which the Romans marked the winter solstice.
- The Puritans of New England disapproved of Christmas and celebration was outlawed in Boston (1659-81).
- Although Christmas may be celebrated on December 25-December 31 in historically Catholic and Protestant nations, in eastern Europe it is often celebrated on January 7. This is because the Orthodox church continues to use the Julian calendar for determining feast days, and the Julian calendar is currently 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar followed by most countries today.
- In the U.S., the pre-Christmas shopping season begins on the day after Thanksgiving.
- In the Netherlands, Germany, Scandinavia, Lithuania and Poland, Christmas Day and the following day are called First and Second Christmas Day.
- In many European and Commonwealth countries, the first non-Sunday after Christmas is referred to as Boxing Day.
- In Finland, Ireland, Italy, Romania, Austria, and Catalonia (Spain), the day is known as St. Stephen's Day.
- Russia banned Christmas celebration from 1917 until 1992.
- Many Christmas practices originate in Germanic countries, including the Christmas tree, the Christmas ham, the Yule log, holly, mistletoe, and the giving of presents.
- In the southern hemisphere, Christmas is during the summer. This clashes with the traditional winter iconography, resulting in oddities such as a red fur-coated Santa Claus surfing in for a turkey barbecue on Australia's Bondi Beach.
Traditional Foods of Christmas
- Brandy Butter - Brandy butter is a sweet, rich sauce, usually consumed with traditional desserts during the Christmas and New Year period in the UK. Brandy butter is a blend of soft dark brown or icing sugar, unsalted butter and brandy. Refrigerated until it is relatively hard, it is typically served cold to provide a contrast with hot desserts such as: Christmas Pudding (alternatively known as plum pudding). Freshly baked or microwaved Mince pies.
- Christmas Pudding - Christmas pudding is the dessert traditionally served on Christmas day, although still available and popular throughout the year in Britain. It has its origins in England, and is sometimes known as plum pudding, though this can also refer to other kinds of boiled pudding involving a lot of dried fruit.
Top All Time Favorite Christmas Movies
Wrapping gifts in pretty paper, ribbons and bows
Visiting the local Christmas Tree farm to pick out a tree
Decorating a christmas tree
Making homemade Christmas orniments
Stringing lights around the house outside
Making Christmas candy
Driving to see christmas lights at night
Singing Christmas Carols
Watching old Christmas movies on tv.
Hanging holly and mistletoe
Burning scented candles
Setting up the Nativity of baby Jesus
Placeing Poinsettia flowers and Christmas Cactus on the table
Making out the Christmas card list and sending