christmas

 

Christmas Day is one of the most festive holidays in many countries around the world. It is a Christian holiday in memory of Jesus Christ’s birth and most people celebrate the day on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar.

There are many ways to celebrate Christmas and people in different countries blend their cultural traditions with more universal Christmas celebrations. It is common for many households to have decorated Christmas trees, either real or fake. Many homes are also decorated to fit the Christmas theme prior to and on Christmas Day. Many workplaces hold Christmas parties in the weeks leading to Christmas Day.
Many people have a day off work and spend time with their families and loved ones on Christmas Day. Festive activities include exchanging Christmas presents, joining in Christmas feasts, and listening to Christmas-themed music or movies. For some cultures, Christmas is an exclusive family affair that sees relatives travel from different geographic regions to unite at this time of the year. Other people may choose to openly invite friends to a Christmas buffet or pot luck lunch or dinner.
Christmas Day is a special day for children who receive gifts that they have been longing for. Many children believe in Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, a figure who is believed to provide Christmas presents to children. Some children write “letters to Santa” a few weeks before Christmas Day, asking for a gift that they desire most. Christmas cards are also exchanged among adults and children prior to Christmas Day.
Many churches have special Christmas Day services, some of which include choirs, joyous singing, and meet-and-greet opportunities after the church services. Many churches are beautifully decorated and may include a crèche or miniature Nativity scene. Some large-scale Christmas church services are televised for those who do cannot attend a church service.

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the son of God. His birth date is unknown because there is little public information about his early life. There is disagreement among scholars on when Jesus was actually born. Many Christians celebrate Jesus’ birthday on December 25. Many Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas Day on or near January 7.
The word “Christmas” comes from the old English “Cristes maesse”, or the mass of Christ. It is probably that the Christmas date of December 25 was chosen to offset the Pagan celebrations of Saturnalia and Natalis Invicti. It may also be that the celebration of the birth of the “true light of the world” was set at the time of the December solstice because this is when the days in the northern hemisphere began to have more hours of sunlight. Christmas holiday customs derive from various cultures, including Teutonic, Celtic, Roman, West Asian and Christian.

 

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