What is Christmas?
A religious and commercial holiday with both religious and secular traditions, Christmas is a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. However, many Christmas celebrations and traditions have their roots in pre-Christian winter festivals. Learn more about the history behind Christmas by clicking here.
When is Christmas?
December 25 of each year in the Gregorian calendar. Following the Julian calendar, Orthodox Christmas falls on or near January 7.
How do people celebrate Christmas?
As a federal holiday – in the U.S., Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom – government offices, schools, post offices and other stores and businesses close for the day. Churches hold special Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services that include singing Christmas hymns and reading scripture of the birth of Jesus. The most popular Christmas tradition is exchanging gifts with friends and family and, for children, waking up early Christmas morning to see what Santa Claus left for them under the Christmas tree. Other Christmas celebrations and traditions include setting up and decorating a Christmas tree in the home, putting up Christmas lights and decorations inside and outside of the home, enjoying a festive meal with friends and family, watching Christmas movies, making (and eating) Christmas cookies and singing Christmas carols.
Find Christmas crafts, activities, stories and recipes as well as gift, party and music ideas here.
Sources: history.com, timeanddate.com
Photo Source: HikingArtist.com, CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons