Ever wonder how December 25th became the date to celebrate Christmas, or the history behind Santa Claus? Did you know that Christians in the first three centuries of the Church did not celebrate Christmas?
read these motivational quotes for this Christmas day, December 25
Many people, both religious and secular, celebrate Christmas time. The airwaves on radio, television and in retail shops begin pumping their catchy merry melodies and people gather with families and friends to exchange gifts and share ‘holiday cheer.’ Many call it ‘the most wonderful time of the year. Did you ever wonder about the origins of the celebration and the various associated trappings of the holiday called Christmas?
Christmas trees, Yule logs, holly wreathes and kissing under the mistletoe? Where did these customs come from? Are they “Christian”? Does Christmas really commemorate and honor “the birth of baby Jesus”? If not, what are its origins? Let us dig into the matter and discover the truth together, shall we?
Read: Christmas Special Recipe
What is Christmas?
The Christmas is an annual Christian festival celebrated to remember the birth of of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the Son of God. Every year people in the United States celebrate Christmas Day on 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. Christmas is close to the hearts of many people – whether they are observant Christians or secular enthusiasts.
15 Alternative Gift Ideas for Christmas
When Was Jesus Born?
“It is impossible todetermine the exact date of the birth of Christ, either from theevidence of the gospels, or from any sound tradition.” Some scholars think that he was born between 6 B.C. and 4 B.C., based partly on the biblical story of Herod the Great.
Adam Clarke (Methodist): Wrote in his book, (Clarke’s Commentary, on Lk. 2:8, Vol. V, p. 227). We tried our best to gather those Christmas information,
“The time in which Christ was born has been considered a subject of great importance among Christians. However, the matter has been considered of no moment by Him who inspired the evangelists; as not one hint is dropped on the subject by which it might be possible to guess nearly to the time. Learned and pious men have trifled egregiously on this subject, making that of importance which the Holy Spirit, by His silence has plainly informed them is of none”
Another source we found some historical information on Christmas and Jesus birth in a book “4000 Years of Christmas” written by Earl W. Count, Professor of Anthropology at Hamilton College:
“We do not know its beginning . . . we do not really know when the Christ child it venerates was born, or the time and place when Christmas was first celebrated or exactly how it was that, over the centuries, a bishop saint of Asia Minor, and a pagan god of the Germans merged to become Santa Claus”. “Although the Christmas story centers in the Christ child of Bethlehem, it begins so long before his coming that we find its hero arriving on the scene after more than half of the time of the story has gone by. Christmas began over 4000 years ago, as the festival which renewed the world for another year.
What Does “CHRISTMAS” Mean?
“The name is derived from the medieval Christes Masse, the Mass of Christ” (Encyclopedia Americana). In time this was shortenedto CHRISTMAS.
Catholics teach: “The Sacrifice of the Mass isidentical with that of the Cross, both having the same victim and highpriest — Jesus Christ” (Gibbons,
Faith of Our Fathers, p. 254).
“TheOnly difference consists in the manner of the oblation. Christ wasoffered up on the cross in a bloody manner, and in the Mass He is offered up in an unbloody manner” (Ibid). The Bible says that Christ was offered only ONCE (cf.Heb. 9:26-28).
Why Was December 25th Chosen?
In the 3rd and 4th centuries the Church was already observing Epiphany on Jan. 6, “and in so doing conjoined the baptism and the birth of Christ” (Cullman, p. 25). Some also linked the adoration by the wise men and the first miracle at Can a as part of the Epiphany celebration (The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, p. 346).
EPIPHANY means “appearing.” A heretical sect in the second century held that “the divine Christ first appeared on earth at the baptism of Jesus; and their festival of the baptism was accordingly called Ephiphany…” (Cullman, p. 24). Later, the Orthodox Eastern Church began to observe the festival of baptism on Jan. 6. These regarded the birth of Jesus as his real
appearing on the earth.
So, how came Christmas to be celebrated on Dec. 25th?
The Romans celebrated the Mithraic feast of the Sun God. The Roman Saturnalia and other pagan feasts came at this time also. The idea of
light, which appeared in Christ and dispersed the darkness is certainly basic in Christianity. John 1:5ff. The Emperor Constantine the Great “pursued the deliberate policy of uniting the worship of the Sun with that of Christ” (Cullman, p. 29). “Sometime before 336 the Church in Rome, unable
to stamp out this pagan festival, spiritualized it as the Feast of the Nativity of the Sun of Righteousness” (James Taylor, “Christmas, The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, p. 223).
Note: New Testament Christians gathered for worship on the Lord’s Day; the New Testament never uses the word “Sunday.” The term “Sunday” was applied to the Lord’s Day in the second century. Constantine, in A. D. 321, officially recognized Sunday as a day of rest in the empire. This was a day that had already been dedicated to the Sun god by the Romans.
- The first observance on Dec. 25th probably took place in Rome between A. D. 325 and 354. The reason for selecting Dec. 25 was theological. The Council of Nicaea (A. D. 325) expressly condemned the doctrine that God did not become incarnate in Jesus at his birth.
“We find it first in Rome, in the time of the bishop Liberius (Catholics consider him as a Pope), who on the twenty-fifth of December, 360, consecrated Marcella, the sister of St. Ambrose, nun or bride of Christ, and addressed her with the words: ‘Thou seest what multitudes are come to the birth-festival of thy bridegroom.’ This passage implies that the festival was already existing and familiar” (Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church)
Have you ever wondered how December 25th became the date to celebrate Christmas? Did you know that Christians in the first three centuries of the Church did not celebrate Christmas? What is the history behind Santa Claus? How has the observance of Christmas changed or developed over time?
Christmas Tree/ What is Christmas Tree
A Christmas tree is a decorated tree, usually an evergreen conifer such as spruce, pine, or fir or an artificial tree of similar appearance, associated with the celebration of Christmas.
The tree is thought to be of German origin. Boniface, an English missionary to Germany, is said to have “replaced the sacrifices to Odin’s sacred oak by a fir tree adorned in tribute to the Christ child” in the 8th century (Britannica). Even atheists have trees in their house at this season (Article about Jon Murray, son of Madalyn Murray O’Hair and president of the American Atheist
Center, Tampa Tribune, 12/25/81).
Why do we have a Christmas tree?
The evergreen fir tree has traditionally been used to celebrate winter festivals (pagan and Christian) for thousands of years. Pagans used branches of it to decorate their homes during the winter solstice, as it made them think of the spring to come.
What does the Christmas tree stand for?
In 2004, Pope John Paul called the Christmas tree a symbol of Christ. This very ancient custom, he said, exalts the value of life, as in winter what is evergreen becomes a sign of undying life, and it reminds Christians of the “tree of life” of Genesis 2:9, an image of Christ, the supreme gift of God to humanity.
Who is Santa Clause?
Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, or simply Santa, is a legendary figure of Western culture who is said to bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved (“good” or “nice”) children on Christmas Eve (24 December) and the early morning hours of Christmas Day (25 December).
Santa Claus is believed to have originated with a 4th century bishop, Nicholas of Myra in Asia Minor. Most of the information about him is shrouded in mystery. “The patron saint of Russia as well as of sailors and children, he was believed to bring gifts to children on his feast day, 6 December” (NIDCC, 710). “The concept of a jolly Santa Clause was first made popular in 19th-cent. New York City” (The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia, p. 169).
Santa Claus phone number
How can you call Santa? Wants to call Santa Clause? Here is his phone number: Call Santa on his phone number 16054772682.
Its really fun to Call Santa: 1-605-47-SANTA (72682) on his mobile and you can talk with Santa, ask him gifts. Many children looks forward to calling Santa Claus every year.
Promo to Santa: Here’s His Phone Number… NORTH POLE, Arctic Circle — Santa Claus and the elves have opened up shop for the season at the North Pole. Grab your family and give him a call. Dial 951-262-3062 to receive a holiday greeting from Santa and leave your wish list.
Another phone number that connects you directly to Santa Claus is (951) 262-3062. You can contact him and leave him a message with your holiday wishes as well as cheer. What do you want for Christmas?
The Christmas Story
The main part of the Christmas Story, the birth of Jesus! But why was Jesus born in such unusual surroundings? Below is the brief of the Christmas story:
Long ago, about 2000 years, when King Herod ruled Judea (now part of Israel), God sent the angel Gabriel to a young women who lived in the northern town of Nazareth. The girl’s name was Mary and she was engaged to marry Joseph.
The angel Gabriel said to Mary: ‘Peace be with you! God has blessed you and is pleased with you.’ Mary was very surprised by this and wondered what the angel meant. The angel said to her ‘Don’t be afraid, God has been very kind to you. You will become pregnant by the Holy Spirit and give birth to a baby boy and you will call him Jesus. He will be God’s own Son and his kingdom will
never end.’ Mary was very afraid but she trusted God. ‘Let it happen as God chooses.’ She replied to the angel. Gabriel also told Mary that her cousin, Elizabeth who everyone thought was too old to have children, would have a baby boy whom God had chosen to prepare the way for Jesus….
…Mary said goodbye to her family and friends and went to visit her cousin Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah. Elizabeth was very happy to see Mary. She knew that Mary had been chosen by God to be the mother of his Son. An angel had already told Zechariah that Elizabeth’s baby would prepare people to welcome Jesus. He was to be called John. Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then returned home to Nazareth. Joseph was worried when he found out that Mary was expecting a baby before their marriage had
taken place. He wondered if he should put off the wedding altogether. Then an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and said: ‘Don’t be afraid to have Mary as your wife.’ The angel explained that Mary had been chosen by God to be the mother of his Son and told Joseph that the baby would be named Jesus which means ‘Saviour’ because he would save people. When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel had told him to do and took Mary as his wife.
At this time, the land where Mary and Joseph lived was part of the Roman Empire. The Roman Emperor Augustus wanted to have a list of all the people in the empire, to make sure they paid their taxes. He ordered everyone to return to the town where their families originally came from, and enter their names in a register (or census) there. Mary and Joseph traveled a long way (about 70 miles) from Nazareth to Bethlehem, because that is where Joseph’s family came from. Most people walked but some lucky people had a donkey to help carry the goods needed for the journey. Joseph and Mary traveled very slowly because Mary’s baby was due to be born soon.
When they reached Bethlehem they had problems finding somewhere to stay. So many people had come to register their names in the census, that every house was full and every bed was taken in all of the guest rooms. The only place to stay that they could find was with the animals. People often kept animals in the house, especially at night, and used them like ‘central heating’! People normally slept on a raised/upper level with the animals below to give them extra warmth. So in the place where the animals slept, Mary gave birth to Jesus, the Son of God. In those days it was the custom to wrap newborn babies tightly in a long cloth called ‘swaddling clothes’. Jesus’ bed was the manger that the animals ate their hay from. In the hills and fields outside Bethlehem, shepherds looked after their sheep through the long night. As the new day began, suddenly an angel appeared before them and the glory of God shone around them. The shepherds were very, very scared, but the angel said, ‘Don’t be afraid. I have good news for you and everyone. Today in Bethlehem a Saviour has been born for you. You will find the baby lying in a manger.’.
…Then many more angels appeared, lighting up the sky. The shepherds heard them praising God singing: ‘Glory to God in highest, and peace to everyone on earth.’ When the angels had gone the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem to see what has happened.’ ..
The Wise Men followed the star towards Bethlehem (where it said that the king would be born in the old writings). It seemed to stop and shine directly down upon the place where Jesus was.
The Wise Men entered the house where they now lived and found Jesus with Mary, they bowed down and worshipped him. The Wise Men spread the the gifts they had brought before Jesus. The gifts were gold, frankincense and myrrh. The Wise Men were warned in a dream, by God, not to go back to Herod. So they returned home to their countries in the East by a different way. When the Wise Men had gone, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream. ‘Get up,’ the angel said, ‘take Jesus and Mary and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for Jesus to kill him.’ So Joseph got up, took Jesus and Mary during the night they left for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod died.
When Herod realized that he had been tricked by the Wise Men, he was furious and he gave orders to kill all the boys aged two or younger in Bethlehem and the surrounding area. This was to try and kill the new King, as his plan to find the location of the new king from the Wise Men had failed.
After Herod had died, Joseph had another dream in which an angel appeared to him. The angel said, ‘Get up, take Jesus and Mary and go back to Israel, for those who were trying kill Jesus are dead.’
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