January 19, 2012
By Kevin16900 BRONZE, BOWIE, Maryland
Kevin16900 BRONZE, BOWIE, Maryland
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Christmas is a widely practiced holiday that is celebrated throughout the world and in many religions (The Real Story of Christmas). It is celebrated on December 25th. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, an important person in Christianity. Christmas became a federal holiday in the United States in 1870 (Christmas).

The season of Christmas is characterized by giving gifts, festivities, and merriment. For merchants, the Christmas season’s sales make up 60% of their annual sales (The True Story of Christmas). In 1931, Santa was shown drinking a Coca Cola for a commercial to promote the Coca Cola product (The Real Story of Christmas). This advertising had a powerful effect on those who celebrated Christmas, and, ultimately, led to more sales of Coca Cola (The Real Story of Christmas).

Today, Christmas is a big part of Christianity. Actually, in early Christianity, Easter was the main holiday (Christmas). Christians did not celebrate Christmas until a long time after Christ had gone.

Though most people associate Christmas with originating from the Christian religion, records show that Christmas did not originate from Christian traditions (The True Origins of Christmas). In fact, Christmas has mostly Roman roots (The True Origins of Christmas). Christmas started in the fourth century, and the first celebration was in Egypt (Christmas).

Contributing to the fact that Christmas did not originate from the Christian religion, there was a court case in 1990 in which a public school had banned all items relating to Christmas to “separate the Church from the State” (The True Origins of Christmas). The Court decided that Christmas had no Christian roots; therefore their argument for banning all things relating to Christmas was invalid (The True Origins of Christmas). They did say, however, that prayers and readings from the Bible would be considered religious, and would not be allowed (The True Origins of Christmas).

Christmas is celebrated throughout the world, but the world had been celebrating the middle of December for ages (Christmas). In Europe, the middle of December was celebrated because most of the cattle and livestock had been slaughtered, which meant that they no longer had to feed the cattle and that they had a fresh supply of meat (Christmas). Also, around that time, the wine and beer that they had been preparing becomes ready to consume (Christmas).

In the United States, Christmas is celebrated as a federal holiday. A recent survey states that 58% of the public celebrates Christmas, and that 73% enjoy Christmas (Nguyen 2011). Christmas in the United States is celebrated in different ways depending on the region (Christmas in the U.S.A.). Early Europeans brought their traditions to the United States, and every region has its own traditions for Christmas depending on who settled in that region (Christmas in the U.S.A.).

The popular belief is that Jesus’ birthday was on December 25th, but neither the Bible nor the Church has the exact date for His birth (The Real Story of Christmas). Historians believe the reason for choosing the date of the 25th of December was to parallel the Roman feast of Saturnalia, which is similar to Christmas in terms of traditions and customs (The Real Story of Christmas).

There are plenty of symbols of Christmas, such as the Christmas tree, the mistletoe, and gifts. But not too many people know what these symbolize and how they originated. A recent survey reports that 86.66% of people do not know what many symbols of Christmas represent (Nguyen 2011).

The Christmas tree, an evergreen tree, originated from the pagans who revered trees in the forest, and the tree symbolizes the immortality of Jesus Christ (The True Origins of Christmas). The first modern Christmas trees originated from Germany (The True Origins of Christmas).

The mistletoe symbolizes fertility, and originated from druids using the mistletoe for breeding cattle (The True Origins of Christmas). They did this because they believed that this would help them become fertile (The True Origins of Christmas).

The giving of gifts symbolized the generosity of Christ, and the gift giving of Saint Nicholas. This originated in Rome, where emperors made the most hated citizens bring them offerings (The Real Story of Christmas).

Christmas is a holiday with a vast history. It is celebrated all throughout the world and is an important part of culture. Christmas is a time for fun and merriment.

Works Cited
"Christmas — Articles, Video, Pictures and Facts." — History
Made Every Day — American & World History. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Dec. 2011.
"Christmas in America: Christmas Around the World at Santa's Net.."SANTA CLAUS OF
THE NORTH POLE. Father Christmas.. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Jan. 2011.

Nguyen, Kevin. “Christmas.” Survey. 7 Dec. 2011
" The Real Story of Christmas | Origin of Christmas | How it Began." Judaism Online.

N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Dec. 2011.
"The True Origin of Christmas." The Restored Church of God - The Greatest Questions.
Plain Answers.. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Dec. 2011.

The author's comments:
This is a research paper I compiled for my English class, and I thought I might post it here and see what people thought of it.

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