Eventually, Christmas Day traditions spread beyond Europe to Latin and North America and other places around the world. In the Middle Ages, the word mass referred to a religious feast day in honor of a specific person. This is what’s referred to by the ending -mas, which is used in the names of Christian holidays. By far the most well-known holiday that uses this ending is Christmas, but there are others, including Candlemas and Michaelmas. Shop the Christmas Sale at Oriental Trading to find a large selection of Christmas decorations, plates and cups, gift bags, stocking stuffers, nativity scenes, gift boxes, gifts, toys and more at great prices.
A must-watch for the entire family, Disney’s animated take on the classic Charles Dickens story offers a unique visual experience (and also stars the hilarious Jim Carrey as the curmudgeonly Scrooge!). A sequel to 1999’s The Best Man, director Malcom D. Lee reunites the original cast, including Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard and Nia Long for a holiday-themed comedy. Make sure to tell your loved ones how much you care for them throughout this season. This Netflix original about a postman who befriends a reclusive toymaker makes for a great family Christmas film — especially with the beautiful animation that will leave you really feeling the holiday magic. Watching this Chevy Chase movie will make anything your family does at Christmas seem totally normal by comparison.
Other names for Christmas include Noel and Nativity, which are typically used in religious contexts. The word yule is sometimes used as another word for Christmas or Christmastime, but it is rooted in and is also used as a name for the celebration of the Winter Solstice that’s observed in some Pagan traditions. Some of these customs influenced the ways that Christmas is celebrated.
It was not until 1958 that Christmas again became a Scottish public holiday. The pre-Christian Germanic peoples—including the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse—celebrated a winter festival called Yule, held in the late December to early January period, yielding modern English yule, today used as a synonym for Christmas. In Germanic language-speaking areas, numerous elements of modern Christmas folk custom and iconography may have originated from Yule, including the Yule log, Yule boar, and the Yule goat. Often leading a ghostly procession through the sky , the long-bearded god Odin is referred to as “the Yule one” and “Yule father” in Old Norse texts, while other gods are referred to as “Yule beings”. On the other hand, as there are no reliable existing references to a Christmas log prior to the 16th century, the burning of the Christmas block may have been an early modern invention by Christians unrelated to the pagan practice.
Following the Parliamentarian victory over Charles I during the English Civil War, England’s Puritan rulers banned Christmas in 1647. The celebration of Christmas was banned on more than one occasion within certain groups, such as the Puritans and Jehovah’s Witnesses , due to concerns that it was too unbiblical. In addition to “Christmas”, the holiday has been known by various other names throughout its history. The Anglo-Saxons referred to the feast as “midwinter”, or, more rarely, as Nātiuiteð (from Latin nātīvitās below). In Old English, Gēola referred to the period corresponding to December and January, which was eventually equated with Christian Christmas.
Six tips for families to make the best of Christmas and the holiday season this year. Here are some simple ways to get rid of all the clutter from the holiday season. They’re some of the most important people on your holiday shopping list. Christmas is the one time of year where collections of finely knit, red-and-green light-up sweaters adorned with bows, glitter, and knick-knacks emerge after being stowed away in cardboard boxes all year. These glorious garments make their debut only during this special season. The holidays are the perfect excuse to spread cheer to those around you and, in doing so, help you enjoy the holiday more, too.
Hermann Usener and others proposed that the Christians chose this day because it was the Roman feast celebrating the birthday of Sol Invictus. In 221, Sextus Julius Africanus (c. 160 – c. 240) gave March 25 as the day of creation and of the conception of Jesus in his universal history. This conclusion was based on solar symbolism, with March 25 the date of the equinox. As this implies a birth in December, it is sometimes claimed to be the earliest identification of December 25 as the nativity. However, Africanus was not such an influential writer that it is likely he determined the date of Christmas.
Radio has covered Christmas music from variety shows from the 1940s and 1950s, as well as modern-day stations that exclusively play Christmas music from late November through December 25. Hollywood movies have featured new Christmas music, such as “White Christmas” in Holiday Inn and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Traditional carols have also been included in Hollywood films, such as “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” in It’s a Wonderful Life , and “Silent Night” in A Christmas Story. American Christmas songs include religious carols and hymns, as well as secular songs featuring goodwill, Santa Claus, and gift-giving.