The History of Christmas


Christmas is a well known holiday where we live.  A majority of people celebrate Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  We feel that we are familiar with Christmas, but do we know as much as we think we do?  Even though, many of us grew up celebrating Christmas, not many people know where the holiday originated or what the classic traditions mean.

Christmas originated in the Pagan and Roman cultures.  Many of our traditions come from the pagan festival Saturnalia.  Christmas became an American federal holiday in 1870, just after the Civil War.  The name for the holiday “Christmas” is a way to combine Christ and mass.

Many of the classic traditions for Christmas have come from people decades ago.  Most of our classic traditions have meaning.  We put up Christmas trees because the Pagans used to believe that the evergreen would keep away witches and spirits.  Our Christmas caroling comes from the Pagan tradition to sing at their winter solstice.  Santa Claus is based on a real person from the 3rd century named Saint Nicholas.  Saint Nicholas became the patron saint of the children.

Christmas has adapted in its own ways throughout the years.  Even though Christmas has changed, it is interesting to look through the history of the holiday.  We may not throw huge festivals anymore, but some of our traditions are timeless.  Christmas has more meaning behind it than you think.