Today is First of December and because of that I did a little search about Christmas.
Christmas is definitely my favorite time of the year, who doesn’t like it right; you get to get all cozy under blankets, drink a warm hot chocolate or tea, watch the snow fall, be around family and friend, exchange presents and the most exciting for me… Wait to see what surprise Mr. Santa brought for me. 😀 But is it Christmas all about? I know a lot of people forgot the real reason why we celebrate Christmas so I came here to remind you all why this time of the year so important.
IS IT THE DATE? Some mistakenly think that December 25th was the day Christ was born. The honest truth is that no one is exactly sure when Christ was born. The Bible is strangely silent on the issue but let me share with you some interesting historical notes that i found out. Did you know that the Apostolic and early churches did not even celebrate the birthday of Christ? The only recognition of his birth that I have been able to find was a century after Christ had ascended to heaven. An early churchman from Rome urged the people in his congregation to sing musical prayers, praising God for the birth of the Lord Jesus. No specific date was connected with his encouragement. It is curious to note that Eastern Orthodox Churches believe Christ was born on January 6th and Armenian Churches celebrate his birth on January 19. One Bible Scholar, Frank R. Klassen, believes that Christ was born on April 1, 5 B.C. In fact it is his theory that this accounts for “APRIL FOOLS’ DAY,” because those who remembered Christ’s real birthday were heckled as “APRIL FOOLS.” Is that possible? I can tell you this from my research. .. No one is able to determine the origin of April Fools’ Day! It is possible, yet no one knows for sure.
WHAT ABOUT THE NAME? Where the name “Christmas” did come from? It comes from the Latin “Christes Masse” of Christ’s Mass. This grew out of the Roman Catholic feast day by that name in the A.D. 1 00’s. “Christmas” is not found in the Bible, nor is it a prescribed scriptural holy day. It is NOT the NAME that makes Christmas important! So what makes it important?
IS IT SANTA CLAUS? This “Jolly Old Wit” never existed. How did we get him then? Well, there was a churchman named Nicholas. Not a lot is known about him, except that he gave his possessions to the poor children in his parish. He was “sainted” supposedly because he brought two children back to life who had been viciously murdered. In medieval times he was the Roman Catholic Patron Saint of children, merchants and seafarers. St. Nicholas had a special day December 6th, which coincided with an ancient Roman holiday at which time secret gifts were given. I have been unable to find any information revealing when this Roman tradition of secret gift giving was transferred to Christmas day with “Saint Nick” regarded as the giver. But it seems that the transition took place in Colonial American times. We do know the Dutch brought him to the American Colonies as “Santé Niklass”. . Shortened and run together, forming SanteKlas or Santa Claus as we say it today. Dutch children expected the friendly guy to visit them on the eve of December 5th and would place their wooden shoes in front of the fireplace to be filled with goodies by the next morning. The belief that Santa Claus enters the house through the chimney developed from an Old Norse legend. The Norse believed that the pagan goddess Hertha appeared in the fireplace and brought good luck to the home. It was not until relatively recently that our present day Santa Claus really developed as we know him. As interesting as the Santa Claus is, and the history surrounding him, it is NOT SANTA that makes Christmas important! So what is it?
ARE THE TRADITIONS OF CHRISTMAS? There are many interesting traditions that surround the Christmas season. You could write an entire book on them but I want to consider just a couple of them and explain their origin. THE CHRISTMAS TREE: An early Roman ritual was to exchange green tree branches on January 1. They believed this would bring them good luck. The Scandinavian people once worshipped evergreen trees. They believed godlike spirits inhabited them so people brought trees into their homes to please the spirits and seek their blessing. When the Gospel of Christ reached the Scandinavian people they made the evergreen tree part of their Christian Festivals. But how did the “Christmas Tree” get to where it is today? Germans are responsible for bringing the them to the New World. Their theologian and reformer Martin Luther was perhaps the one who popularized the “Christmas Tree” as we know it. The tale goes . . . “One clear, brisk Christmas Eve, Martin Luther was walking home under the star-studded sky. It was so wonderful. As he walked he tried to think how he could catch the beauty of that eve and bring it home to his children. Suddenly he thought of a large evergreen tree gleaming with candles. He proceeded to find a tree, cut it down and takes it home to decorate it. His children were delighted”. As interesting and beautiful as Christmas Trees are, they are NOT the reason Christmas is important! THE CHRISTMAS CARD: Are these little jewels what makes Christmas special? This year Americans will spend close to $1 billion on the cards and another $500 million for mailing them! Wow . . . ouch! Yet it was not until 1 865 that Louis Prang of Boston printed and sold Christmas Cards in the US. Is that what makes Christmas important?
WHAT MAKES CHRISTMAS IMPOTANT?
Christmas is more than a day all of that, it resolves around a person called Jesus. Christmas is time to exalt hi and what he has done for the world. Jesus Christ is what makes Christmas special. It is not the day that is important, nor the customs that are observed. If we are going to celebrate Christmas, we are to celebrate it in a Christ honoring way.
I hope you guys had enjoyed the little research I did. I hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas and I see you later. Xoxo