Christmas History

  For some, Christmas is a sacred holiday that celebrates Jesus’s birthday. For others, it’s simply a season of love and giving to others. Many people put up Christmas trees, hide the Christmas pickle, or put up the mistletoe, and we can’t forget about holiday parties and Christmas presents. How did Christmas come to be you may ask? Well, let me tell you from two perspectives.

  Many people believe that a long time ago, God sent Gabriel, an angel, to a woman named Mary of Nazareth. She was set to marry Joseph. The angel Gabriel said that she was to have a baby boy and name him Jesus. The baby was to be God’s son and their kingdom should never end. The place where Mary and Joseph lived was part of the Roman Empire. The Empire wanted to make sure that everyone had paid their taxes, so everyone was ordered to return back to where they originally came from. So, they headed back to Bethlehem because that is where Joseph came from. They took their donkey and traveled 70 miles. When they got there, they couldn’t find shelter because every bed was taken. They eventually found a home with animals to keep them warm and Mary gave birth to Jesus. Christians believe that God came to Earth as a man, Jesus, and Christmas time is meant to celebrate his birth. 

  There are others who believe that Christmas came from the tales of Old St. Nick, of whom there are many stories. There is one story where he was said to have helped three sisters who were poor. Their dad wanted to sell them into being slaves because he couldn’t pay to get them married. Saint Nick used to go visit them at night to give them money. The father eventually got one daughter married off. He was also a savior to three men who were in jail for a crime they didn’t commit and were sentenced to death. Another story says he helped several sailors who were caught in an awful storm. It was so bad, the men thought the ship was going to sink. They prayed for St. Nick to help them and he was suddenly on their ship. He demanded the ship to calm down and the storm stopped. St. Nick made sure the boat got to land before he disappeared. Old Saint Nick has come to be known as Santa today. Santa is important to Christmas because he gave people his kindness and support and that is what the Christmas season is all about.     

  So whether you’re celebrating Jesus’ birth, or the legends of Old St. Nick as we interpret them today, it’s important to remember that December 25th is about much more than Christmas trees, carols, presents, and bows. It’s about the season of cherishing others, spending time with those whom you care about and showing them how much they mean to you. Christmas is a season of giving, and kindness, two characteristics exemplified by both Jesus and Saint Nick. This Christmas season, I challenge you all to spread some Christmas cheer!