By the time that Christmas rolls around, we are so used to all the traditions and things we do every year that we never stop to think about where these traditions come from. We just take them as well “the way that we have always celebrated Christmas.” Besides, the Christmas holidays are supposed to be such a fun time that we just enjoy it without really pondering why we celebrate it in a particular way. If you follow the Christian tradition, then you know that you celebrate Christmas because it’s the birth of Christ. But do you really know why we believe in the tradition of Santa, or why do we put a Christmas tree, why do we put lights outside and inside the house, why is Christmas day a national holiday? Sit tight, here I tell you why.
Santa Claus – What do we know about this jolly man dressed up in red and white who only works one day out of the year, and can perform scientifically impossible feasts like flying over the earth and delivering gifts to all the kids – I mean if a really smart kid starts thinking about the physics of this reality he can deduce right away that it’s not scientifically possible. Ah but we still believe. The fun thing to know is that the tradition of “Santa Claus” started a long long time ago with a Saint called Nicholas of Myra – he was a Christian Bishop and used to give poor children toys. He was later made into a saint and when Europe was Christianized and this took years, this tradition and story of St. Nick was adopted, and how it happens through word of mouth and family traditions it became associated with the Christmas day celebration.
Christmas Tree – Why do we have a Christmas tree? I love the tradition but I didn’t know where it came from until I did some digging and discovered some fun facts. Well it comes from the Germans during the Renaissance, at least historically records show that this is accurate. It spread throughout Europe in the later part of the 19th century, but as you may imagine it became popular among the rich class first since they had the money to invest in such a ornament.
Christmas Day – Is Christmas day a national holiday? Is it in the constitution? or some federal law? I started to think about this because I really was not sure and it became a really fun question to answer. Yes, it is a federal holiday and was approved by Congress, but the thing is that states don’t have to abide by this federal rule if they choose to.
Like you, I’m so used to these holidays and traditions that I sometimes take them for granted. These three holiday traditions have a fascinating history. Sometimes we have to stop and think about these things, these traditions that we celebrate because really they have not been done since the beginning of time, and I wonder sometimes that if in 100 years they’ll be as strong as they are today or if someone will question why they exist?