History of Christmas

History of Christmas

Carlos Este-McDonald, Reporter/Writer

Christmas is a holiday celebrated on December the 25 celebrating the birth of Jesus. Although it may not have been the day he was born, History states: “It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival.” There is also the popular Santa Clause, who if you somehow don’t know is typically a fat jolly man with a white beard dressed in red. Santa is said to deliver toys to children ridding in a flying sleigh driven by reindeer. According to History, he was based off of a monk named Saint Nicholas (born in Turkey around 280 A.D.) , Nicholas gave away all his inherited wealth travelling helping people like the poor and sick. The inspiration being obvious in name and both giving things away to people, speaking of being siHanmilar in name, history.com states: “…Dutch families gathered to honor the anniversary of the death of “Sint Nikolaas” (Dutch for Saint Nicholas), or “Sinter Klaas” for short. “Santa Claus” draws his name from this abbreviation.” Back to Christmas, Christmas actually used to be a wild festival but started to evolve during the 19 hundreds. History says this about about a book that shaped Christmas as we know it: “In Irving’s mind, Christmas should be a peaceful, warm-hearted holiday bringing groups together across lines of wealth or social status.” Iconic Christmas foods and drinks are figgy pudding, eggnog, gingerbread, ham, and cranberry sauce.


                      Inspirations for Christmas and other Christmas-Like Holidays

Yule- Yule is celebrated from December 21- January in celebration for the return of the sun. History has this to say about Yule: “The people would feast until the log burned out, which could take as many as 12 days. The Norse believed that each spark from the fire represented a new pig or calf that would be born during the coming year.”


Hanukkah- Hanukkah signifies the return of Jerusalem as well as the re-dedication of the2nd temple in Jerusalem. Wikipedia states “Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December…”


Kwanzaa- An African American holiday celebrating life from December 26-January 1st. According to Wikipedia the creator’s original policy of the holiday was “During the early years of Kwanzaa, Karenga said it was meant to be an alternative to Christmas. He believed Jesus was psychotic and Christianity was a ‘White’ religion that Black people should shun.” which was controversial, although as Kwanzaa became more popular he said that it wasn’t an alternative and took back a lot of his previous statements.