wondered by Joana Galhardo Tags

Today is Christmas day. All around the world people will be sitting down to special meals, giving gifts, singing, drinking and stuff like that. In honor of this great holiday, i have a gift for you, some Christmas facts!

#1 The Date: In the early Church, Christmas was not celebrated as a major feast. The first evidence of the Church attempting to put a date on the day of Christ's birth comes from 200 AD, when theologians in Alexandria decided it was the 20th of May. By the 380's, the Church in Rome was attempting to unite the various regions in using December 25th as the universal feast day, and eventually that was the day that stuck. The influence of the pagan feasts of Rome is clear, because December 25th was the festival for the birth of the sun.

#2 Gifts and such: Many of the Christmas traditions (gifts, drinks, cards, etc.) are not modern gifts of capitalism! They actually come to us via the Ancient Romans who exchanged all of those things on New Year's Day. This was initially shunned by the Church, but old habits die hard and it eventually transferred to Christmas.

#3 Xmas: That one small word causes anger amongst many people. Many Christians consider it to be disrespectful to replace Christ's name with an 'X'. However, Xmas is almost as old as the feast it refers to, the 'X' is actually the Greek letter chi which is the first letter of Christ's name in Greek.

#4 Christmas Tree: The first association of tree with Christmas comes from Saint Boniface in the 7th century AD, when he chopped down a tree sacred to Thor to prove to the local villagers that the Norse gods were not legitimate. By the 15th century people were cutting down trees and putting them in their homes to decorate with sugared fruit, candy and candles.

#5 Santa Claus: Santa Claus is actually based on the early Church Bishop Saint Nicholas. He was born during the 3rd century, in the village in Turkey, and was known for secretly giving gifts of money to the poor. The modern image of him as a jolly man in red most likely comes from the 1823 poem "A visit from St Nicholas" also known as "The Night before Christmas".

#6 Candy Canes: In the late 1800s, a candy maker in Indiana wanted to express the meaning of Christmas through a symbol made of candy. He came up with the idea of bending one of his white candy sticks into the letter 'J', symbolizing the first letter in Jesus name. He incorporated several symbols of Christ's love and sacrifice through the Candy Cane. First, he used a plain whit peppermint stick, the color symbolizes the purity and sinless nature of Jesus. Next, he added three small stripes to symbolize the pain inflicted upon Jesus before his death on the cross - there are three of them to represent the Holy Trinity. He added a bold stripe to represent the blood Jesus shed for mankind. And finally, when looked at with the crook on top, it looks like a shepherd's staff because Jesus is the shepherd of man.

Wonder about that! And have jolly Christmas