Origins of Christmas

Everything has a beginning. But in the case of Christmas there are two, because after theProtestant Reformation the holiday was reinvented.

Today Christmas is a widely observed cultural holiday, an annual mid-winter festival that is traditionally celebrated on December 25th. Celebrated by millions of people around the world, Christmas is a civil holiday in the United States as well as in many of the world’s nations.

In the United States, the season of Christmas traditionally begins with the annual
Thanksgiving Parade, and Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) marks the beginning of the holiday shopping period. New Year’s Day marks the end of the festive season.

For Christians, Christmas is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ. It is central to the Christian liturgical year, closing the Advent season and initiating the twelve days of Christmastide, which ends after the twelfth night.

For non-Christians who
celebrate Christmas, it is an
annual mid-winter festival
focused on family, friends and
fellowship. It represents the
closing of one year and the
beginning of the next.

The customs associated with
Christmas have a mix of
pagan, pre-Christian,
Christian and secular themes
and origins, including
gift-giving, special music and
caroling, attending church
celebrations, feasting, the
exchanging of cards, the display of various holiday decorations, the reading of seasonal stories and the watching of seasonal movies.

For many Christmas is a fond memory of a winter snowfall, roaring fireplace, familiar music, family and friends gathered around, laughter, remembering, exchanging gifts and bonding.   

Santa's Whiskers