History Of Christmas



A painting of St.Nicholas of Myra, wearing a red robe.

What is the meaning of christmas? Togetherness, friendship, caring for one another, or gifts? 

Christmas is the only time you have a chance to spend time with your family and friends, eat delicious foods and sing songs throughout the neighborhood. But it leaves you thinking ‘How did it come to be?’

As the story goes, December 25, many centuries ago a little baby boy was born thus the celebration of some guy named Jesus Christ which is why it is called ‘Christmas.’ But even before the time of his birth there were many winter celebrations related to this time of year.

Around the time of AD 336 a Roman pagan festival called Saturnalia. They celebrated Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture and time. “Romans spent Saturnalia gambling, singing, playing music, feasting, socializing and giving each other gifts. Wax taper candles called cerei were common gifts during Saturnalia, to signify light returning after the solstice.”  They would also decorate their homes with wrath and traditional togas in bright colors called ‘the synthesis.’ Doesn’t this sound like a special holiday? Time skip 300 years later, The Roman church kept the holiday to honor Christ and to also appropriate the pagan holiday to destroy their beliefs and practices. 

One of the bigger things of this holiday’s history is having a man in red break in from house to house and leave gifts under the tree every year. Santa Claus is a man who loves cookies and sharing gifts with others and has a list that he checks twice. Originally Santa (aka St. Nicholas or Kris Kringle) was a pastor in Turkey known for being kind and giving, but best known as the protector of children and sailors. 

You can learn a lot about the origins of Christmas, learn why we celebrate the biggest holiday of the year.