Christmas is widely celebrated throughout the world on 25th December, though there are a few countries that celebrate Christmas on another day mainly because 25th December is only considered to be the birth of Jesus Christ and is not the actual date. The word Christmas is derived from the word "Christ's mass".
According to the Gospels, Jesus was born to Virgin Mary in the city of Bethlehem which is referred to as Nativity by the Christians. This Nativity scene of the shepherds of Bethlehem coming to see infant Jesus laid in a manger forms part of the stories and is recreated in the form of figurines decorated in homes during Christmas.
It is not known exactly as to why 25th December is celebrated as Christmas. It was Sextus Julius African us who spread the message that Jesus was born on 25th December in his chronography. Early Christians believed that Jesus was crucified on March 25th and it was the same day that he was conceived.
Hence his birth date is celebrated on 25th December, nine months later. Christ was born to spread the message of peace and goodwill among men. It is also said that when the Lord was born a bright star appeared in the sky and three wise men followed the star and landed up in Bethlehem and knew that the Lord was born to spread peace on earth.
Santa Claus also known as Father Christmas or St. Nicholas was created by the German American cartoonist Thomas Nast. Santa is the bringer of gifts and spreads happiness all around. In some cultures Santa doesn't come alone but is accompanied by someone. The latest tradition of Latin American countries said to be reconciliation between the traditional and modern is that Santa makes the toys and gives it to Baby Jesus who gives it to the children. The origin of Santa was to make people aware that happiness lies in giving and sharing along with the message spread by Christ.
The origin of Christmas trees began in Germany from where it was passed on to England. The traditional decorations of Christmas trees included the nativity scene and plants like Holly, mistletoe, Christmas cactus and red amaryllis. Other decorations include bells, candles, wreaths, snowmen, sleighs. The idea behind decorating the trees was to instill a sense of festivity and gaiety and spreading the message of happiness by giving and receiving of gifts.
The songs refers to the time when Christmas was extended from one day to 12 days ending with Epiphany. The song symbolizes the time when Catholics were repressed by the laws of England and to hide their faith but at the same time preach their Catholic faith to the children this song was composed where the actual lyrics have a lot of hidden meanings in them.
There are stories on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer which have become immortalized in history. The story goes about how other reindeers used to make fun of the Rudolph because he had a shiny nose and one fine day Santa came to him and asked him to drive his sleigh and lo! He went down in the annals of history.
The Christmas Truce by David G. Stratman, talks about December 25th, 1914. The World War 1 was going on, and the soldiers were sick and tired of the senseless killing. So they just spontaneously decided to embrace brotherhood by showing Christmas trees and shouting Merry Christmas and hugging each other, much to the chagrin of the seniors who considered it blasphemy.
The Last Christmas Tree a poem from dads.com. This is a beautiful poem about how Santa goes around with lots of Christmas trees in the truck and one boy takes a fancy to one tree but could not afford to buy it. So the Santa disguised as the truck man gives it to him free but asks him to promise that he will keep it at Christmas time and always keep the spirit the Christmas alive.
In this way he gives away all the trees to everyone extracting promises from everyone but for one last tree which didn't have any takers. So the truck man takes the tree to the woods so that the birds could make a home of the tree and even that tree would feel wanted and have a sense of belonging. Thus Santa succeeds in his mission of spreading happiness everywhere and goes off on his reindeer around the world to spread the message of Christmas.
The story of why the Chimes Rang by Raymond Macalden is a heart rendering story of how even a small good deed is worth more than tons of gold or other valuables put together. There goes this story about the Chimes which had rung many years ago on Christmas night and about how it never rang after that. Year after year people rich and poor would place the best of gifts at the altar of Christ-child, each outdoing the other in the hope that the chimes would ring, but it never rang.
In a far off village there lived Pedro and his little brother who had never heard about these chimes but wanted to hear the service at the church to see the grandeur. They had been planning this for a long time, finally on the day when they set out in the dark, Pedro saw a poor sick woman in the snow who would surely die if not cared for immediately.
So he offered to stay back to nurse the sick woman but sent his little brother to the service and told him to offer the little piece of silver at the altar of Christ-child when no one was looking. As soon as the brother offered the silver at the altar the chimes rang in the distant so melodiously that everybody stood dumbstruck. Thus Christ proved to everyone that it is deed that matters not the money.
These traditional Christmas stories for children transport them into a world of fantasy like the story of the Kingdom of Sweets. In this story the Sugarplum fairy invites Clara and the Prince to her kingdom to stay with her subjects for a while.
The people of the Sweet kingdom dance before them and they are wonderstruck. . A magic sleigh made of ice and candy is at the disposal of Clara and the Prince to go home. She finds herself under a tree when she wakes up in the morning holding a nutcracker doll.