When you think of Christmas, notions of jolly Santa Clause, decorated evergreen trees and brightly decorated presents immediately probably pop into your mind. In today’s society Christmas has become more of a commercial celebration that an actual celebration of what Christmas is actually all about; the birth of Jesus Christ. But is this the true origin of Christmas? Furthermore, was December 25th really even the birth of Christ? What else has changed since the birth of Christ and the years before that?
Read on for some trivia about Christmas to dish out during your Christmas dinner and surprise everyone at the table (even your uncle who knows everything!)
Christmas – What’s it All About?
Every country is different when it comes to Christmas traditions. In America, for example, Santa is usually dressed in a hot red suit and is in a sleigh pulled by reindeer. However, it is not uncommon to see an Australian Santa in thongs and boardies on a surf board pulled by kangaroos. Whatever the symbols, however, Christmas is usually a time to spend with family and friends, whether enjoying egg nog and turkey or prawns and Pavlova.
Christmas comes from the Greek symbol X which “means chi” and word Mass which meant “Feast Days.” The meaning of Christmas is literary the feast of Christ. The first known word of Christmas was Christes-Maess in England, 1038. In fact, although Christmas is now celebrated as the birth of Christ, Jesus Christ’s birth date is actually unknown. In fact, Christmas was actually first celebrated centuries before the arrival of Jesus with the Winter Solace. This continued for many centuries to come. Romans celebrated the birthday of the undefeated sun on December 25th and the beginning of Winter Solace. Early Christian scholars suggested that Christ was connected to the Gods of the Sun. Apart from the feasts related to the Gods of the Sun and winter solace, the actual celebration of Christmas on the December 25th date was accepted around AD 336. Even now, however, some countries celebrate Christmas on other dates. In Russia, for example, because the Russian Orthodox Church uses the old Julian calendar, Christmas is celebrated on January 7th.
The Christmas Changes
Many things have changed since the birth of Christ and the origin of Christmas. Even today Christmas means different things to different cultures and religions. For many people in today’s society the true meaning of Christmas is more about getting gifts and eating cookies than reflecting on the birth of the Christ. Although Christmas is generally celebrated as the Birth of Christ, this is not actually the true origin of Christmas. In fact, the real story of the celebration of Christmas dates back before Christ was even born. In the past Christmas was celebrated by different cultures for very different reasons, much like it is today. Furthermore, for both the people in the past and for today’s society, Christmas is a time to celebrate, to be with family and friends and to enjoy the life that God has created for us, regardless of whether this means having a BBQ on the beach or having a traditional American Christmas dinner with turkey and all the trimmings.