This essay has a total of 774 words and 4 pages.
The year's most celebrated holiday is celebrated on December 25th, both in homes and churches worldwide. The meaning for Christmas is to recognize Christ's birth, of which the exact date is not known. During the fourth century the Bishop of Rome set December 25th as Christ's birth date. Some authorities claim that the choice of December 25th was made because it coincided with Chanukah, Mithraic's feast of the sun god, and the people of northern Europe's winter solstice feast. The winter solstice is the time of year in the Northern Hemisphere when the noon sun appears to be farthest south. (All About American Holidays, 1962 Encyclopedia Encarta, 1998)
The Saturnalia was celebrated for seven days, during the period of time when the winter solstice occurred. During this, slaves were given freedom, gifts were exchanged, and banquets and happiness prevailed. (Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1998)
Evergreens, the symbol of eternal life, have long been used for Christmas time decorations. The Christmas wreath represents everlasting life and God's endless love for us. Kissing under a mistletoe supposedly started out when early Roman enemies stopped fighting when they met under a mistletoe. Holly is the most known Christmas greenery, and there are several legends about it, one is that Jesus' crown was made of holly, and the holly berries represented his blood. (All About American Holidays, 1962)
The Christmas tree: The Christmas tree is an evergreen trimmed with lights, decorations, and tinsel, is derived from a "paradise tree", or the tree in the Garden of Eden. (Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1998) The use of the Christmas tree began early in the 17th century, in Strasbourg, France, spreading from there through Germany and then into northern Europe. In 1841 Prince Albert introduced the Christmas tree to Great Britain, where from there immigrants brought it to the United States. (Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1998)
The beginning of gift giving during Christmas started from the three wise men, with their three gifts for the Christ child. Since then people have made up different things to tell their children where their Christmas presents came from. The historical Saint Nicholas was known in early Christian legends for saving storm-tossed sailors, standing up for children, and giving gifts to the poor. Although many of his stories can't be proven true, his legend spread thr
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