The year's most celebrated holiday is celebrated on December 25th, both in homes
and churches worldwide. The meaning for Christmas is to recognize Christ's birth,
of which the exact date is not known. During the fourth century the Bishop of Rome
set December 25th as Christ's birth date. Some authorities claim that the choice of
December 25th was made because it coincided with Chanukah, Mithraic's feast of
the sun god, and the people of northern Europe's winter solstice feast.
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. Kissing under a mistletoe supposedly started out when early Roman
enemies stopped fighting when they met under a mistletoe. 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 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. (Encarta 2000) 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. In 1841 Prince Albert introduced the Christmas tree to Great Britain, where
from there immigrants brought it to the United States. (Encarta 2000)
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. Although many of his stories... Continues...