Christmas is a special time of the year. It is a time that bonds people together and generally awakens the spirit of love in many families. I have always loved Christmas for the gifts, family time, and the annual festivities that happen at this time of the year. It is a wonderful experience.
Over time, though, I have learned some odd facts about Christmas that are not just fun to bring up in conversations but important to know. Today being the eighth day of Christmas, I will share 8 interesting facts about Christmas.
December 25 was originally a pagan celebration. However, Christmas has now become known as the day of celebration for Jesus’s birth. The importance of Jesus’ birth to the world was that he started a journey to redeem humanity by teaching and disciplining people who believed in the good news he came to share. His death marked the ultimate sacrifice paid for the salvation of man with God the Father. Jesus’ birth was prophesied about decades before he was born and found in books of the Bible. The story of Jesus’ birth, life, and death embody more meaning to love and is the greatest love story told.
Even though nobody knows when exactly Jesus of Nazareth was born, nobody celebrated his birthday for hundreds of years. December 25 now marks the birth of the greatest love story and an important festivity that spreads love.
Also, the Christmas wreath originated as a symbol of Christ. The holly represents the crown of thorns Jesus wore at his crucifixion, and the red berries symbolize the blood he shed. So when you see a wreath this season, you’ll remember the reason for the season.
Coca-Cola shaped Santa’s Image. I found this intriguing. Apparently, before Coca-Cola’s intervention, Santa used to look a lot less jolly — even spooky. It happened for a while until 1931 when an illustrator named Haddon Sundblom for magazine ads that we got the jolly old elf. Now, kids won’t get nightmares when they dream of Christmas eve. Also, Santa Claus originated in a newspaper ad. Far from being a quaint medieval legend, Santa Claus first appeared as a recognizable entity was in a newspaper ad for toys and “gift books” in the mid 19th century.
Mistletoe kissing originated with fertility rites. The hanging sprig is a very ancient symbol of virility, and therefore, anybody standing beneath it is signaling that he or she is sexually available.
Christmas is only recently a “family” holiday. Christmas was originally celebrated as an adult form of “trick or treat,” but with the “treat” consisting of booze and the threatened “trick” consisting of bodily harm or destruction of property. Isn’t It amusing that Christmas was formerly Halloween mixed with a festive ‘purge’ culture?
“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” was originally a threat. The ever-popular song was originally sung, loudly and repeatedly, by crowds of rowdy, lower-class servants demanding booze from their masters… or else. (i.e., “We won’t go until we get some!”)
The Christmas Tree is a manufactured tradition. Evergreens are an ancient tradition. The tradition of Christmas trees goes all the way back to ancient Egyptians and Romans, who marked the winter solstice with evergreens as a reminder that spring would return. So if you decorate with a green tree, wreaths, or evergreen garland, you’re throwing it back – way back.
Scrooge does not celebrate with the Cratchits. While most cinema versions of “A Christmas Carol” show the reformed miser celebrating with his lower-class employee, in the book, Scrooge celebrates instead with his middle-class nephew.
There are many more facts that you can find about Christmas on the internet, but one profound fact is that Christmas is the season of love, and it is important to know why it is called the season of love. For as many celebrating Christmas, I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone else!
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk & Karolina Grabowska from Pexels