All About Christmas


The History Channel has done a top notch job at documenting Christmas, from its ancient origins to its current practice. If you ever wanted to know more about this fascinating worldwide holiday, click on any of the following articles and video clips.

Christmas (Article – Page 1, Page 2)

Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. December 25–Christmas Day–has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870.

Contents

An Ancient Holiday

Saturnalia

An Outlaw Christmas

Irving Reinvents Christmas

A Christmas Carol

Christmas Facts

 

Santa Claus (Article)

The man we know as Santa Claus has a history all his own. Today, he is thought of mainly as the jolly man in red, but his story stretches all the way back to the third century. Find out more about the history of Santa Claus from his earliest origins to the shopping mall favorite of today.

Contents

The Legend of St. Nicholas

Sinter Klaas Comes to New York

Shopping Mall Santas

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

A Santa by Any Other Name

The Ninth Reindeer

 

History of Christmas Trees (Article – Page 1, Page 2, Page 3)

Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter. Discover the history of the Christmas tree, from the earliest winter solstice celebrations, to Queen Victoria and all the way to the annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center tree.

Contents

How It All Got Started

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Christmas Trees Around the World

Christmas Tree Trivia

 

Christmas Traditions Worldwide (Article – Page 1, Page 2)

Christmas as we know it today is a Victorian invention of the 1860s. Probably the most celebrated holiday in the world, our modern Christmas is a product of hundreds of years of both secular and religious traditions from around the globe. Discover the origins of Christmas traditions from around the world, like the Yule log, caroling and how Christmas is celebrated “Down Under.”

Contents

Sweden: ‘God Jul!’

Finland: ‘Hyvää Joulua!’

Norway: ‘Gledelig Jul!’

Jamestown, Virginia

Germany: ‘Froehliche Weihnachten!’

Mexico: ‘Feliz Navidad!’

England: ‘Merry Christmas!’

France: ‘Joyeux Noël!’

Italy: ‘Buone Natale!’

Australia

Ukraine: ‘Srozhdestvom Kristovym!’

Canada

Greece: ‘Kala Christouyenna!’

Central America

 

Christmas Truce of 1914 (Article)

During World War I, on and around Christmas Day 1914, the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding faded in a number of places along the Western Front in favor of holiday celebrations in the trenches and gestures of goodwill between enemies.

 

Christmas Video (21 Video Clips)

Video Clip Titles

Evolution of Christmas

Christmas Becomes a Holiday

North Pole: Deconstructed

Strange Christmas Traditions

Evolution of Santa Claus

Origins of Christmas

Origins of Santa Claus

History of the Christmas Carol

The Life of a Christmas Tree

Christmas Light Technology

Christmas Light Fanatic

Crafting Glass Ornaments

Why December 25th

Fruitcake

Gingerbread House

Candy Canes

White House Christmas

Babe Ruth Santa

Christmas on the Western Front

The Christmas Tree

European Christmas Customs

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

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12 Comments

  1. If you care to know the real origins of Santa Claus, the Christmas tree and all the other Christmas traditions as they relate to our LDS temple tradition, you might want to give my blog article a once over. (www.mormonprophecy.blogspot.com)

  2. Concerning Anthony’s plug — I found this post and this post from his site to be applicable to the discussion of Christmas origins.

  3. I have mixed feelings about Christmas. It is good that it helps some people to focus on the Saviour. If you study the scriptures it is plain to see that this day is not his birthday. He would have been born at one of the appointed times. It is very plain to see which one he fulfilled with his death. You have to dig a little deeper to see which one would fit for his birth.

  4. I had intended to publish this post last year (or maybe it was the year before, I don’t readily recall), but never got around to it and then forgot all about it. My purpose in posting was two-fold: to have a ready reference and also to open up the topic for discussion, as many people “have mixed feelings about Christmas,” as Waiting above expressed.

    The reason why I got around to publishing this now is because I was recently watching another History Channel documentary on Constantine and the worship of Mithra by the elite Romans. The most sacred day of the Mithra worshippers was December 25 and this was the day that they went to their secret temples to partake of a sacrament. The worship of Mithra continued in secret chambers underneath Christian church buildings after Constantine converted. (Who knows when it stopped, or even if has stopped.) At any rate, this reminded me about the Christmas documentary I had seen and so now I’ve finally posted it.

    Thank you, Anthony and Justin, for bringing up those links, as they add to the discussion.

  5. I dislike Holidays in general — birthdays and anniversaries too. They are statist inventions to influence people to spend money, over-eat, and get too much candy for children. There are many ridiculous Christian sites that “expose” the “secret meaning” of Christmas or Halloween or whatever. Etymology is not definition. A day is whatever it is.

    The only thing “evil” or “satanic” about Christmas is the focus people place on purchasing merchandise for family and friends — instead of using it as a time to gather with family and friends and connect with them.

  6. Justin, Your a man after my own heart. I totally agree with you. My “not wife” is up for Christmas. She has no money, and she isn’t telling me how to spend what I have. So I bought food for the weekend at WalMart, The kids requested i get eggnog and stocking stuffers. I declined. I bought no presents for anyone, however friends of the family have bought the kids many gifts, as well as my older children (my oldest is 29)

  7. I have recently become opposed to the hoax of Santa. When kids are told that Jesus and Santa are real, and then one day are shocked to learn that Santa was phony from the beginning, what do you think that might do to kids belief in Jesus and his trust in his parents? It can be devastating to kids. I’m not opposed to someone telling their kid that Santa is coming to give presents, as long as they communicate that Santa is not a real person and is not actually doing those things.

    My ward had a Christmas dinner and the leadership decided to have the kids come up after and receive gifts from the Three Wise Men rather than Santa. It felt sooooo much better! And I didn’t hear any kids complain that the toys were coming from the Three Wise Men rather than Santa. So it will be in my home. (And what’s up with the Easter Bunny?)

  8. Anarcho-captalist:

    The three wisemen thing is pretty genius.

    I think that the association of belief in Santa [a non-real entity] with faith in Jesus [a real entity] is done very much on purpose. The intention is to destroy faith in Jesus by connecting it with a holiday wherein children are taught to believe in Santa.

    It’s the same feeling a person raised in the ChurchTM receives when they learn that Joseph Smith didn’t avoid drinking whiskey for his leg surgery as a young boy b/c he was being prepared to live the Word of WisdomTM

  9. i just had the santa discussion with someone on facebook, and am amazed at some people who become so wrapped up with santa, and the perpetuation of the lie at all costs, above all else. here’s the original post:

    “Help. Our 8 yr old said, “Mom, I know the secret. Brycen’s parents told him and he told all of us.”
    Me: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
    “OK, but if you’re lying to me, that’s the biggest lie parents have ever told and I can never trust you again.”

    WHAT SHOULD I DO? He really WANTS to believe and he’s only 8..”

    and the majority of the responses were to lie. and not just lie, but “lie like you’ve never lied before” and justifying it by saying parents lie all the time. other gems like “Tell him if he doesn’t believe, he doesn’t receive…” and “I told my kids that they could choose to believe or choose to not believe, but that I choose to believe. I still do,” the latter being from a member of the church. i am still amazed

  10. and “I told my kids that they could choose to believe or choose to not believe, but that I choose to believe. I still do,” the latter being from a member of the church. i am still amazed

    Imagine how much this person says he/she “knows” come fast and testimony meeting.

  11. I feel like the Puritans were right not being fooled into the Christmas facade. Christmas was only transformed into something more palatable to mask something dark. Just about everything about it seems fake. The many “symbols” of Christmas to me don’t seem to point to something higher. Maybe just altogether backwards. Sure does give a lot of people nice and warm fuzzies, though.

    http://now.howstuffworks.com/2016/12/12/ridiculous-history-when-the-puritans-said-bah-humbug-christmas-america

  12. I’m glad I came back and reread the links from the comments to the articles by Anthony Larson. I was completely ignorant in the ancient symbology, and how it can surpass the pagan rites that we attach to them. What a breath of fresh air that maybe I can reclaim, or at least appreciate, Christmas with greater understanding.


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