Christmas Wishes Silver Coin Father Christmas Santa Stocking Filler Tree Magical • $3.48 (2024)

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Seller: lasvegasormonaco ✉️ (3,645) 99.6%, Location: Manchester, Take a look at my other items, GB, Ships to: WORLDWIDE, Item: 266828160758 Christmas Wishes Silver Coin Father Christmas Santa Stocking Filler Tree Magical. Christmas Wishes Silver Plated Coin This is a silver plated coin with an image of Father Christmas The Reverse has an image of a Christmas Angel with the words "Christmas Wishes 2015" Give it to a Child before Christmas tell them to hold tight in their hand close their eyes and wish for all the christmas present they would like The coin is 40mm in diameter, weighs about 1 oz This coin has never been removed from its air-tight acrylic coin holder In Excellent Condition Would make an Excellent Christmas Gift or Stocking Filler Comes from a pet and smoke free home Sorry about the poor quality photos. They don't do the coin justice which looks a lot better in real life Like all my Auctions Bidding starts a a penny with no reserve... if your the only bidder you win it for 1p...Grab a Bargain! Click Here to Check out my Other Xmas I tems Bid with Confidence - Check My 100% Positive Feedback from over 800 Satisfied Customers I have over 10 years of Ebay Selling Experience - So Why Not Treat Yourself? I have got married recently and need to raise funds to meet the costs also we are planning to move into a house together I always combined postage on multiple items Instant Feedback Automatically Left Immediately after Receiving Payment All Items Sent out within 24 hours of Receiving Payment. Overseas Bidders Please Note Surface Mail Delivery Times > Western Europe takes up to 2 weeks, Eastern Europe up to 5 weeks, North America up to 6 weeks, South America, Africa and Asia up to 8 weeks and Australasia up to 12 weeks Thanks for Looking and Best of Luck with the Bidding!! 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Miami, Ho Chi Minh City, Madrid, Tianjin, Kuala Lumpur, Toronto, Milan, Shenyang, Dallas, Fort Worth, Boston, Belo Horizonte, Khartoum, Riyadh, Singapore, Washington, Detroit, Barcelona,, Houston, Athens, Berlin, Sydney, Atlanta, Guadalajara, San Francisco, Oakland, Montreal, Monterey, Melbourne, Ankara, Recife, Phoenix/Mesa, Durban, Porto Alegre, Dalian, Jeddah, Seattle, Cape Town, San Diego, Fortaleza, Curitiba, Rome, Naples, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Tel Aviv, Birmingham, Frankfurt, Lisbon, Manchester, San Juan, Katowice, Tashkent, f*ckuoka, Baku, Sumqayit, St. Louis, Baltimore, Sapporo, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Taichung, Warsaw, Denver, Cologne, Bonn, Hamburg, Dubai, Pretoria, Vancouver, Beirut, Budapest, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Campinas, Harare, Brasilia, Kuwait, Munich, Portland, Brussels, Vienna, San Jose, Damman , Copenhagen, Brisbane, Riverside, San Bernardino, Cincinnati and Accra Santa Claus Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, or simply Santa, is a legendary[1] character originating in Western Christian culture who is said to bring children gifts on Christmas Eve of toys and candy or coal or nothing, depending on whether they are "naughty or nice".[2][3] He supposedly accomplishes this with the aid of Christmas elves, who make the toys in his workshop, often said to be at the North Pole, and flying reindeer who pull his sleigh through the air.[4][5] The modern character of Santa is based on folklore traditions surrounding Saint Nicholas, the English figure of Father Christmas and the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas. Santa is generally depicted as a portly, jolly, white-bearded man, often with spectacles, wearing a red coat with white fur collar and cuffs, white-fur-cuffed red trousers, red hat with white fur, and black leather belt and boots, carrying a bag full of gifts for children. He is commonly portrayed as laughing in a way that sounds like "ho ho ho". This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of the 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas". Caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast also played a role in the creation of Santa's image.[6][7][8] This image has been maintained and reinforced through song, radio, television, children's books, family Christmas traditions, films, and advertising. Predecessor figures A 13th-century depiction of St. Nicholas from Saint Catherine's Monastery, Sinai Saint Nicholas Main article: Saint Nicholas Saint Nicholas was a 4th-century Greek Christian bishop of Myra (now Demre) in the region of Lycia in the Roman Empire, today in Turkey. Nicholas was known for his generous gifts to the poor, in particular presenting the three impoverished daughters of a pious Christian with dowries so that they would not have to become prostitutes.[9] He was very religious from an early age and devoted his life entirely to Christianity. In continental Europe (more precisely the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany), he is usually portrayed as a bearded bishop in canonical robes. In 1087, while the Greek Christian inhabitants of Myra were subjugated by the newly arrived Muslim Seljuq dynasty, and soon after their Greek Orthodox church had been declared to be in schism by the Catholic church (1054 AD), a group of merchants from the Italian city of Bari removed the major bones of Nicholas's skeleton from his sarcophagus in the Greek church in Myra. Over the objection of the monks of Myra the sailors took the bones of St. Nicholas to Bari, where they are now enshrined in the Basilica di San Nicola. Sailors from Bari collected just half of Nicholas' skeleton, leaving all the minor fragments in the church sarcophagus. These were later taken by Venetian sailors during the First Crusade and placed in Venice, where a church to St. Nicholas, the patron of sailors, was built on the San Nicolò al Lido. St. Nicholas' vandalized sarcophagus can still be seen in the St. Nicholas Church in Myra. This tradition was confirmed in two important scientific investigations of the relics in Bari and Venice, which revealed that the relics in the two Italian cities belong to the same skeleton. Saint Nicholas was later claimed as a patron saint of many diverse groups, from archers, sailors, and children to pawnbrokers.[9][10] He is also the patron saint of both Amsterdam and Moscow.[11] During the Middle Ages, often on the evening before his name day of 6 December, children were bestowed gifts in his honour. This date was earlier than the original day of gifts for the children, which moved in the course of the Reformation and its opposition to the veneration of saints in many countries on 24 and 25 December. The custom of gifting to children at Christmas has been propagated by Martin Luther as an alternative to the previous very popular gift custom on St. Nicholas, to focus the interest of the children to Christ instead of the veneration of saints. Martin Luther first suggested the Christkind as the bringer of gifts. But Nicholas remained popular as gifts bearer for the people.[12][13][14] Father Christmas "Ghost of Christmas Present", an illustration by John Leech made for Charles Dickens's festive A Christmas Carol (1843) Main article: Father Christmas Father Christmas dates back as far as 16th century in England during the reign of Henry VIII, when he was pictured as a large man in green or scarlet robes lined with fur.[15] He typified the spirit of good cheer at Christmas, bringing peace, joy, good food and wine and revelry.[15] As England no longer kept the feast day of Saint Nicholas on 6 December, the Father Christmas celebration was moved to 25 December to coincide with Christmas Day.[15] The Victorian revival of Christmas included Father Christmas as the emblem of good cheer.[16] His physical appearance was variable,[17] with one image being John Leech's illustration of the "Ghost of Christmas Present" in Charles Dickens's festive story A Christmas Carol (1843), as a great genial man in a green coat lined with fur who takes Scrooge through the bustling streets of London on the current Christmas morning, sprinkling the essence of Christmas onto the happy populace.[15][16] Dutch, Belgian and Swiss folklore Sinterklaas, Netherlands (2009) on his horse called Amerigo 1850 illustration of Saint Nicolas with his servant Père Fouettard/Zwarte Piet See also: Sinterklaas and Saint Nicholas In the Netherlands and Belgium, the character of Santa Claus competes with that of Sinterklaas, based on Saint Nicolas. Santa Claus is known as de Kerstman in Dutch ("the Christmas man") and Père Noël ("Father Christmas") in French. For children in the Netherlands, Sinterklaas remains the predominant gift-giver in December; 36% of the Dutch only give presents on Sinterklaas evening or the day itself, 6 December,[18] while Christmas, 25 December, is used by another 21% to give presents. Some 26% of the Dutch population gives presents on both days.[19] In Belgium, presents are offered exclusively to children on 6 December, and on Christmas Day all ages may receive presents. Saint Nicolas/Sinterklaas' assistants are called "Pieten" (in Dutch) or "Père Fouettard" (in French), so they are not elves.[20] In Switzerland, Père Fouettard accompanies Père Noël in the French speaking region, while the sinister Schmutzli accompanies Samichlaus in the Swiss German region. Schmutzli carries a twig broom to spank the naughty children.[21] Germanic paganism, Wodan, and Christianization An 1886 depiction of the long-bearded Norse god Odin by Georg von Rosen Prior to Christianization, the Germanic peoples (including the English) celebrated a midwinter event called Yule (Old English geola or giuli).[22] With the Christianization of Germanic Europe, numerous traditions were absorbed from Yuletide celebrations into modern Christmas.[23] During this period, supernatural and ghostly occurrences were said to increase in frequency, such as the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky.[citation needed] The leader of the Wild Hunt is frequently attested as the god Odin (Wodan), bearing (among many names) the names Jólnir, meaning "Yule figure", and Langbarðr, meaning "long-beard", in Old Norse.[24] Wodan's role during the Yuletide period has been theorized as having influenced concepts of St. Nicholas in a variety of facets, including his long white beard and his gray horse for nightly rides (compare Odin's horse Sleipnir) or his reindeer in North American tradition.[25] Folklorist Margaret Baker maintains that "the appearance of Santa Claus or Father Christmas, whose day is the 25th of December, owes much to Odin, the old blue-hooded, cloaked, white-bearded Giftbringer of the north, who rode the midwinter sky on his eight-footed steed Sleipnir, visiting his people with gifts. Odin, transformed into Father Christmas, then Santa Claus, prospered with St Nicholas and the Christchild, became a leading player on the Christmas stage."[26] In Finland, Santa Claus is called Joulupukki (direct translation 'Christmas Goat').[27] The flying reindeer could symbolize the use of fly agaric by Sámi shamans.[28] History Origins Early representations of the gift-giver from Church history and folklore, especially St Nicholas, merged with the English character Father Christmas to create the mythical character known to the rest of the English-speaking world as "Santa Claus" (a phonetic derivation of "Sinterklaas" in Dutch). In the English and later British colonies of North America, and later in the United States, British and Dutch versions of the gift-giver merged further. For example, in Washington Irving's History of New York (1809), Sinterklaas was Anglicized into "Santa Claus" (a name first used in the U.S. press in 1773)[29] but lost his bishop's apparel, and was at first pictured as a thick-bellied Dutch sailor with a pipe in a green winter coat. Irving's book was a parody of the Dutch culture of New York, and much of this portrait is his joking invention.[30] Irving's interpretation of Santa Claus was part of a broader movement to tone down the increasingly wild Christmas celebrations of the era, which included aggressive home invasions under the guise of wassailing, substantial premarital sex (leading to shotgun weddings in areas where the Puritans, waning in power and firmly opposed to Christmas, still held some influence) and public displays of sexual deviancy; the celebrations of the era were derided by both upper-class merchants and Christian purists.[30] 19th century Illustration to verse 1 of Old Santeclaus with Much Delight In 1821, the book A New-year's present, to the little ones from five to twelve was published in New York. It contained Old Santeclaus with Much Delight, an anonymous poem describing Santeclaus on a reindeer sleigh, bringing rewards to children.[31] Some modern ideas of Santa Claus seemingly became canon after the anonymous publication of the poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" (better known today as "The Night Before Christmas") in the Troy, New York, Sentinel on 23 December 1823; Clement Clarke Moore later claimed authorship, though some scholars argue that Henry Livingston, Jr. (who died nine years before Moore's claim) was the author.[9][32] St. Nick is described as being "chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf" with "a little round belly", that "shook when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly", in spite of which the "miniature sleigh" and "tiny reindeer" still indicate that he is physically diminutive. The reindeer were also named: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder and Blixem (Dunder and Blixem came from the old Dutch words for thunder and lightning, which were later changed to the more German sounding Donner and Blitzen).[33] By 1845, "Kris Kringle" was a common variant of Santa in parts of the United States.[34] A magazine article from 1853, describing American Christmas customs to British readers, refers to children hanging up their stockings on Christmas Eve for "a fabulous personage" whose name varies: in Pennsylvania he is usually called "Krishkinkle", but in New York he is "St. Nicholas" or "Santa Claus". The author[35] quotes Moore's poem in its entirety, saying that its descriptions apply to Krishkinkle too.[36] 1881 illustration by Thomas Nast who, along with Clement Clarke Moore's 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas", helped to create the modern image of Santa Claus. As the years passed, Santa Claus evolved into a large, heavyset person. One of the first artists to define Santa Claus's modern image was Thomas Nast, an American cartoonist of the 19th century who immortalized Santa Claus with an illustration for the 3 January 1863 issue of Harper's Weekly in which Santa was dressed in an American flag, and had a puppet with the name "Jeff" written on it, reflecting its Civil War context. In this drawing, Santa is also in a sleigh pulled by reindeers.[citation needed] The story that Santa Claus lives at the North Pole may also have been a Nast creation. His Christmas image in the Harper's issue dated 29 December 1866 was a collage of engravings titled Santa Claus and His Works, which included the caption "Santa Claussville, N.P."[37] A color collection of Nast's pictures, published in 1869, had a poem also titled "Santa Claus and His Works" by George P. Webster, who wrote that Santa Claus's home was "near the North Pole, in the ice and snow".[38] The tale had become well known by the 1870s. A boy from Colorado writing to the children's magazine The Nursery in late 1874 said, "If we did not live so very far from the North Pole, I should ask Santa Claus to bring me a donkey."[39] The idea of a wife for Santa Claus may have been the creation of American authors, beginning in the mid-19th century. In 1889, the poet Katharine Lee Bates popularized Mrs. Claus in the poem "Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride". "Is There a Santa Claus?" is the title of an iconic editorial in the 21 September 1897 edition of The New York Sun that became the most reprinted in the U.S. and included the famous reply, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus".[40][41] In Russia, Ded Moroz emerged as a Santa Claus figure around the late 19th century[42] where Christmas for the Eastern Orthodox Church is kept on 7 January. 20th century A man dressed as Santa Claus fundraising for Volunteers of America on the sidewalk of street in Chicago, Illinois, in 1902. He is wearing a mask with a beard attached. L. Frank Baum's The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, a children's book, was published in 1902. Much of Santa Claus's mythos was not firmly established at the time, leaving Baum to give his "Neclaus" (Necile's Little One) a variety of immortal support, a home in the Laughing Valley of Hohaho, and ten reindeer—who could not fly, but leapt in enormous, flight-like bounds. Claus's immortality was earned, much like his title ("Santa"), decided by a vote of those naturally immortal. This work also established Claus's motives: a happy childhood among immortals. When Ak, Master Woodsman of the World, exposes him to the misery and poverty of children in the outside world, Santa strives to find a way to bring joy into the lives of all children, and eventually invents toys as a principal means. Santa later appears in The Road to Oz as an honored guest at Ozma's birthday party, stated to be famous and beloved enough for everyone to bow even before he is announced as "The most Mighty and Loyal Friend of Children, His Supreme Highness – Santa Claus". Rose O'Neill's illustration for the 1903 issue of Puck Images of Santa Claus were conveyed through Haddon Sundblom's depiction of him for The Coca-Cola Company's Christmas advertising in the 1930s.[9][43] The image spawned urban legends that Santa Claus was invented by The Coca-Cola Company or that Santa wears red and white because they are the colors used to promote the Coca-Cola brand.[44] Coca-Cola's competitor Pepsi-Cola used similar Santa Claus paintings in its advertisem*nts in the 1940s and 1950s. Historically, Coca-Cola was not the first soft drink company to utilize the modern image of Santa Claus in its advertising—White Rock Beverages had already used a red and white Santa to sell mineral water in 1915 and then in advertisem*nts for its ginger ale in 1923.[45][46][47] Earlier, Santa Claus had appeared dressed in red and white and essentially in his current form on several covers of Puck magazine in the first few years of the 20th century.[48] Santa Claus portrayed by Nick Tribuzio in 1961 (Kent Studio, Hayward, CA) The image of Santa Claus as a benevolent character became reinforced with its association with charity and philanthropy, particularly by organizations such as the Salvation Army. Volunteers dressed as Santa Claus typically became part of fundraising drives to aid needy families at Christmas time. In 1937, Charles W. Howard, who played Santa Claus in department stores and parades, established the Charles W. Howard Santa School, the oldest continuously-run such school in the world.[49] In some images from the early 20th century, Santa was depicted as personally making his toys by hand in a small workshop like a craftsman. Eventually, the idea emerged that he had numerous elves responsible for making the toys, but the toys were still handmade by each individual elf working in the traditional manner. The 1956 popular song by George Melachrino, "Mrs. Santa Claus", and the 1963 children's book How Mrs. Santa Claus Saved Christmas, by Phyllis McGinley, helped standardize and establish the character and role of Mrs. Claus in the US.[50] Seabury Quinn's 1948 novel Roads draws from historical legends to tell the story of Santa and the origins of Christmas. Other modern additions to the "story" of Santa include Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the 9th and lead reindeer created in 1939 by Robert L. May, a Montgomery Ward copywriter, and immortalized in a 1949 song by Gene Autry. In popular culture Santa on the cover of Puck magazine, v. 58, no. 1501 See also: Santa Claus in film and SantaCon Elves had been portrayed as using assembly lines to produce toys early in the 20th century. That shift was reflected in the modern depiction of Santa's residence—now often humorously portrayed as a fully mechanized production and distribution facility, equipped with the latest manufacturing technology, and overseen by the elves with Santa and Mrs. Claus as executives or managers.[51] An excerpt from a 2004 article, from a supply chain managers' trade magazine, aptly illustrates this depiction: Santa's main distribution center is a sight to behold. At 4,000,000 square feet (370,000 m2), it's one of the world's largest facilities. A real-time warehouse management system (WMS) is of course required to run such a complex. The facility makes extensive use of task interleaving, literally combining dozens of DC activities (putaway, replenishing, order picking, sleigh loading, cycle counting) in a dynamic queue the DC elves have been on engineered standards and incentives for three years, leading to a 12% gain in productivity. The WMS and transportation system are fully integrated, allowing (the elves) to make optimal decisions that balance transportation and order picking and other DC costs. Unbeknownst to many, Santa actually has to use many sleighs and fake Santa drivers to get the job done Christmas Eve, and the transportation management system (TMS) optimally builds thousands of consolidated sacks that maximize cube utilization and minimize total air miles.[52] In 1912, the actor Leedham Bantock became the first actor to be identified as having played Santa Claus in a film. Santa Claus, which he also directed, included scenes photographed in a limited, two-tone color process and featured the use of detailed models.[53][54] Since then many feature films have featured Santa Claus as a protagonist, including Miracle on 34th Street, The Santa Clause and Elf. Santa Claus is also a meetable character at all of the Disney Parks and Resorts during the Holiday season, and can be seen during various parades throughout the parks. His grotto is usually located in Fantasyland. In the cartoon base, Santa has been voiced by several people, including Stan Francis, Mickey Rooney, Ed Asner, John Goodman, and Keith Wickham. Santa has been described as a positive male cultural icon: Santa is really the only cultural icon we have who's male, does not carry a gun, and is all about peace, joy, giving, and caring for other people. That's part of the magic for me, especially in a culture where we've become so commercialized and hooked into manufactured icons. Santa is much more organic, integral, connected to the past, and therefore connected to the future. — TV producer Jonathan Meath who portrays Santa, 2011[55] Norman Corwin's 1938 comic radio play The Plot to Overthrow Christmas, set entirely in rhyme, details a conspiracy of the Devil Mephistopheles and damned figures of history to defeat the good will among men of Christmas, by sending the Roman emperor Nero to the North Pole to assassinate Santa Claus. Through a battle of wits, Santa saves himself by winning Nero over to the joys of Christmas, and gives him a Stradivarius violin. The play was re-produced in 1940 and 1944. Many television commercials, comic strips and other media depict this as a sort of humorous business, with Santa's elves acting as a sometimes mischievously disgruntled workforce, cracking jokes and pulling pranks on their boss. For instance, a Bloom County story from 15 December 1981 through 24 December 1981 has Santa rejecting the demands of PETCO (Professional Elves Toy-Making and Craft Organization) for higher wages, a hot tub in the locker room, and "short broads," with the elves then going on strike. President Reagan steps in, fires all of Santa's helpers, and replaces them with out-of-work air traffic controllers (an obvious reference to the 1981 air traffic controllers' strike), resulting in a riot before Santa vindictively rehires them in humiliating new positions such as his reindeer.[56] In The Sopranos episode, "To Save Us All from Satan's Power", Paulie Gualtieri says he "Used to think Santa and Mrs. Claus were running a sweatshop over there. The original elves were ugly, traveled with Santa to throw bad kids a beatin', and gave the good ones toys." 2009 Liverpool Santa Dash In Kyrgyzstan, a mountain peak was named after Santa Claus, after a Swedish company had suggested the location be a more efficient starting place for present-delivering journeys all over the world, than Lapland. In the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, a Santa Claus Festival was held on 30 December 2007, with government officials attending. 2008 was officially declared the Year of Santa Claus in the country. The events are seen as moves to boost tourism in Kyrgyzstan.[57] The Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of Santa Clauses is held by Thrissur, Kerala, India where on 27 December 2014, 18,112 Santas overtook the previous record. Derry City, Northern Ireland had held the record since 9 September 2007, when a total of 12,965 people dressed up as Santa or Santa's helpers. Prior to that, the record was 3,921, which was set during the Santa Dash event in Liverpool City Centre in 2005.[58] A gathering of Santas in 2009 in Bucharest, Romania attempted to top the world record, but failed with only 3,939 Santas.[59] In professional wrestling, on the 23 December 2019 edition of Monday Night Raw (filmed on 22 December), independent wrestler Bear Bronson dressed up as Santa Claus to win the WWE 24/7 Championship from Akira Tozawa at Columbus Circle in New York during a sightseeing trip. Santa later lost the championship to R-Truth via a roll-up at the Lincoln Center.[60] Like other forms of popular culture, Santa Claus also appears in a few video games.[61] Traditions and rituals Chimneys The Feast of Saint Nicholas by Jan Steen (c. 1665–1668) The tradition of Santa Claus being said to enter dwellings through the chimney is shared by many European seasonal gift-givers. In pre-Christian Norse tradition, Odin would often enter through chimneys and fire holes on the solstice.[citation needed] In the Italian Befana tradition, the gift-giving witch is perpetually covered with soot from her trips down the chimneys of children's homes. In the tale of Saint Nicholas, the saint tossed coins through a window, and, in a later version of the tale, down a chimney when he finds the window locked. In Dutch artist Jan Steen's painting, The Feast of Saint Nicholas, adults and toddlers are glancing up a chimney with amazement on their faces while other children play with their toys. The hearth was held sacred in primitive belief as a source of beneficence, and popular belief had elves and fairies bringing gifts to the house through this portal. Santa's entrance into homes on Christmas Eve via the chimney was made part of American tradition through the poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" where the author described him as an elf.[62] Christmas Eve A man dressed as Santa Claus waves to children from an annual holiday train in Chicago, 2012. In the United States and Canada, children traditionally leave a glass of milk and a plate of cookies intended for Santa to consume; in Britain and Australia, sherry or beer, and mince pies are left instead. In Denmark, Norway and Sweden, it is common for children to leave him rice porridge with sugar and cinnamon instead. In Ireland it is popular to leave Guinness or milk, along with Christmas pudding or mince pies. In Hungary, St. Nicolaus (Mikulás) comes on the night of 5 December and the children get their gifts the next morning. They get sweets in a bag if they were good, and a golden colored birch switch if not. On Christmas Eve "Little Jesus" comes and gives gifts for everyone.[63] In Slovenia, Saint Nicholas (Miklavž) also brings small gifts for good children on the eve of 6 December. Božiček (Christmas Man) brings gifts on the eve of 25 December, and Dedek Mraz (Grandfather Frost) brings gifts in the evening of 31 December to be opened on New Years Day. Hanging up stockings for Santa Claus, Ohio, 1928 New Zealander, British, Australian, Irish, Canadian, and American children also leave a carrot for Santa's reindeer, and are told that if they are not good all year round that they will receive a lump of coal in their stockings, although the actual practice of giving coal is now considered archaic. Children following the Dutch custom for sinterklaas will "put out their shoe" (leave hay and a carrot for his horse in a shoe before going to bed, sometimes weeks before the sinterklaas avond). The next morning they will find the hay and carrot replaced by a gift; often, this is a marzipan figurine. Naughty children were once told that they would be left a roe (a bundle of sticks) instead of sweets, but this practice has been discontinued. After the children have fallen asleep, parents play the role of Santa Claus and leave their gifts under the Christmas tree. Tags on gifts for children are sometimes signed by their parents "From Santa Claus" before the gifts are laid beneath the tree.[64][65][66] A classic American image of Santa Claus. Ho, ho, ho "Ho ho ho" redirects here. For other uses, see Ho ho ho (disambiguation). Ho ho ho is the way that many languages write out how Santa Claus laughs. "Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!" It is the textual rendition of a particular type of deep-throated laugh or chuckle, most associated today with Santa Claus and Father Christmas. The laughter of Santa Claus has long been an important attribute by which the character is identified, but it also does not appear in many non-English-speaking countries. The traditional 1823 Christmas poem A Visit from St. Nicholas relates that Santa has: "a little round belly That shook when he laugh'd, like a bowl full of jelly" Home See also: Santa's workshop § Location The Santa Claus Village in Lapland Santa's House at Jerusalem Old City, St. Peter Street Santa Claus's home is traditionally said to include a residence and a workshop where he is said to create—often with the aid of elves or other supernatural beings—the gifts he is said to deliver to good children at Christmas. Some stories and legends include a village, inhabited by his helpers, surrounding his home and shop. In North American tradition (in the United States and Canada), Santa is said to live at the North Pole, which according to Canada Post lies within Canadian jurisdiction in postal code H0H 0H0[67] (a reference to "ho ho ho", Santa's notable saying, although postal codes starting with H are usually reserved for the island of Montréal in Québec). On 23 December 2008, Jason Kenney, Canada's minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, formally awarded Canadian citizenship status to Santa Claus. "The Government of Canada wishes Santa the very best in his Christmas Eve duties and wants to let him know that, as a Canadian citizen, he has the automatic right to re-enter Canada once his trip around the world is complete," Kenney said in an official statement.[68] There is also a city named North Pole in Alaska where a tourist attraction known as the "Santa Claus House" has been established. The United States Postal Service uses the city's ZIP code of 99705 as their advertised postal code for Santa Claus. A Wendy's in North Pole, AK has also claimed to have a "sleigh fly through".[69] Each Nordic country claims Santa's residence to be within their territory. Norway claims he lives in Drøbak. In Denmark, he is said to live in Greenland (near Uummannaq). In Sweden, the town of Mora has a theme park named Tomteland. The national postal terminal in Tomteboda in Stockholm receives children's letters for Santa. In Finland, Korvatunturi has long been known as Santa's home, and two theme parks, Santa Claus Village and Santa Park are located near Rovaniemi. In Belarus, there is a home of Ded Moroz in Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park.[70] In France, Santa is believed to reside in 1 Chemin des Nuages, Pôle Nord (1 Alley of Clouds, North Pole). The French national postal service has operated a service that allows children to send letters to Père Noël since 1962.[71] In the period before Christmas, any physical letter in the country that is addressed to Santa Claus is sent to a specific location, where responses for the children’s letters are written and sent back to the children.[72] Parades, department stores, and shopping malls See also: Santa's workshop § Santa Claus grottos/department stores Eaton's Santa Claus Parade, 1918, Toronto, Canada. Having arrived at the Eaton's department store, Santa is readying his ladder to climb up onto the building. Representation of Santa Claus in Italy. Actors portraying Santa Claus appear in the weeks before Christmas in department stores or shopping malls, or at parties. The practice of this has been credited[dubious – discuss] to James Edgar, as he started doing this in 1890 in his Brockton, Massachusetts department store.[73] The actor dressed up as Santa is usually helped by other actors (often mall employees) dressed as elves or other creatures of folklore associated with Santa. His function is either to promote the store's image by distributing small gifts to children, or to provide a seasonal experience to children by listening to their wishlist while having them sit on his knee (a practice now under review by some organisations in Britain,[74] and Switzerland[75]). Sometimes a photograph of the child and actor portraying Santa are taken. Having a Santa actor set up to take pictures with children is a ritual that dates back at least to 1918.[76] The area set up for this purpose is festively decorated, usually with a large throne, and is called variously "Santa's Grotto", "Santa's Workshop" or a similar term. In the United States, the most notable of these is the Santa at the flagship Macy's store in New York City—he arrives at the store by sleigh in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on the last float, and his court takes over a large portion of one floor in the store. The Macy's Santa Claus in New York City is often said to be "the real Santa." This was popularized by the 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street with Santa Claus being called Kris Kringle. Essayist David Sedaris is known for the satirical SantaLand Diaries he kept while working as an elf in the Macy's display, which were turned into a famous radio segment and later published. In Canada, malls operated by Oxford Properties established a process by which autistic children could "visit Santa Claus" at the mall without having to contend with crowds.[77] The malls open early to allow entry only to families with autistic children, who have a private visit with the actor portraying Santa Claus. In 2012, the Southcentre Mall in Calgary was the first mall to offer this service.[78] In the United Kingdom, discount store Poundland changes the voice of its self-service checkouts to that of Santa Claus throughout the Christmas retail period.[79] There are schools offering instruction on how to act as Santa Claus. For example, children's television producer Jonathan Meath studied at the International School of Santa Claus and earned the degree Master of Santa Claus in 2006. It blossomed into a second career for him, and after appearing in parades and malls,[80] he appeared on the cover of the American monthly Boston Magazine as Santa.[81] There are associations with members who portray Santa; for example, Mr. Meath was a board member of the international organization called Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas.[82] Due to the c-19 pandemic, many Santa grottos were not operating for the 2020 Christmas season. Due to this, some companies offered video calls for a fee using apps such as Zoom where children could talk to an actor dressed up as Santa Claus at the other end.[83] In 2021, Walt Disney World and Disneyland featured for the first time Black cast members portraying Santa.[84] Letter writing "Letters to Santa" redirects here. For the Muppet television film, see A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa. For the Polish film, see Letters to Santa (film). Writing letters to Santa Claus has been a Christmas tradition for children for many years. These letters normally contain a wishlist of toys and assertions of good behavior. Some social scientists have found that boys and girls write different types of letters. Girls generally write longer but more polite lists and express the nature of Christmas more in their letters than in letters written by boys. Girls also more often request gifts for other people.[85] Many postal services allow children to send letters to Santa Claus. These letters may be answered by postal workers or outside volunteers.[86] Writing letters to Santa Claus has the educational benefits of promoting literacy, computer literacy, and e-mail literacy. A letter to Santa is often a child's first experience of correspondence. Written and sent with the help of a parent or teacher, children learn about the structure of a letter, salutations, and the use of an address and postcode.[87] According to the Universal Postal Union (UPU)'s 2007 study and survey of national postal operations, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has the oldest Santa letter answering effort by a national postal system. The USPS Santa letter answering effort started in 1912 out of the historic James Farley Post Office[88] in New York, and since 1940 has been called "Operation Santa" to ensure that letters to Santa are adopted by charitable organizations, major corporations, local businesses and individuals in order to fulfill the wishes of children.[86] Those seeking a North Pole holiday postmark through the USPS, are told to send their letter from Santa or a holiday greeting card by 10 December to: North Pole Holiday Postmark, Postmaster, 4141 Postmark Dr, Anchorage, AK 99530–9998.[89] In 2006, according to the UPU's 2007 study and survey of national postal operations, France's Postal Service received the most letters for Santa Claus or "Père Noël" with 1,220,000 letters received from 126 countries.[90] France's Postal Service in 2007 specially recruited someone to answer the enormous volume of mail that was coming from Russia for Santa Claus.[86] Other Santa letter processing information, according to the UPU's 2007 study and survey of national postal operations, include:[86] Countries whose national postal operators answer letters to Santa and other end-of-year holiday figures, and the number of letters received in 2006: Germany (500,000), Australia (117,000), Austria (6,000), Bulgaria (500), Canada (1,060,000), Spain (232,000), United States (no figure, as statistics are not kept centrally), Finland (750,000), France (1,220,000), Ireland (100,000), New Zealand (110,000), Portugal (255,000), Poland (3,000), Slovakia (85,000), Sweden (150,000), Switzerland (17,863), Ukraine (5,019), United Kingdom (750,000). In 2006, Finland's national postal operation received letters from 150 countries (representing 90% of the letters received), France's Postal Service from 126 countries, Germany from 80 countries, and Slovakia from 20 countries. In 2007, Canada Post replied to letters in 26 languages and Deutsche Post in 16 languages. Some national postal operators make it possible to send in e-mail messages which are answered by physical mail. All the same, Santa still receives far more letters than e-mail through the national postal operators, proving that children still write letters. National postal operators offering the ability to use an on-line web form (with or without a return e-mail address) to Santa and obtain a reply include Canada Post[91] (on-line web request form in English and French), France's Postal Service (on-line web request form in French),[92][93] and New Zealand Post[94] (on-line web request form in English).[95] In France, by 6 December 2010, a team of 60 postal elves had sent out reply cards in response to 80,000 e-mail on-line request forms and more than 500,000 physical letters.[87] Canada Post has a special postal code for letters to Santa Claus, and since 1982 over 13,000 Canadian postal workers have volunteered to write responses. His address is: Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada, H0H 0H0; no postage is required.[96] (see also: Ho ho ho). (This postal code, in which zeroes are used for the letter "O", is consistent with the alternating letter-number format of all Canadian postal codes.) Sometimes children's charities answer letters in poor communities, or from children's hospitals, and give them presents they would not otherwise receive. From 2002 to 2014, the program replied to approximately "one million letters or more a year, and in total answered more than 24.7 million letters";[97] as of 2015, it responds to more than 1.5 million letters per year, "in over 30 languages, including Braille answering them all in the language they are written".[98] In Britain it is traditional for some to burn the Christmas letters on the fire, magically transporting them by wind to the North Pole.[99] According to the Royal Mail website, Santa's address for letters from British children is: Santa/Father Christmas, Santa's Grotto, Reindeerland, XM4 5HQ[100] In Mexico and other Latin American countries, besides using the mail, sometimes children wrap their letters to a small helium balloon, releasing them into the air so Santa magically receives them.[99] In 2010, the Brazilian National Post Service, "Correios" formed partnerships with public schools and social institutions to encourage children to write letters and make use of postcodes and stamps. In 2009, the Brazilian National Post Service, "Correios" answered almost two million children's letters, and spread some seasonal cheer by donating 414,000 Christmas gifts to some of Brazil's neediest citizens.[87] Through the years, the Finnish Santa Claus (Joulupukki or "Yule Goat") has received over eight million letters. He receives over 600,000 letters every year from over 198 countries with Togo being the most recent country added to the list.[87] Children from Great Britain, Poland and Japan are the busiest writers. The Finnish Santa Claus lives in Korvatunturi, near the Santa Claus Main Post Office in Rovaniemi precisely at the Arctic circle. His mailing address is: Santa Claus' Main Post Office, Santa Claus Village, FIN-96930 Arctic Circle. The post office welcomes 300,000 visitors a year, with 70,000 visitors in December alone.[87] Children can also receive a letter from Santa through a variety of private agencies and organizations, and on occasion public and private cooperative ventures. An example of a public and private cooperative venture is the opportunity for expatriate and local children and parents to receive postmarked mail and greeting cards from Santa during December in the Finnish Embassy in Beijing, People's Republic of China,[101] Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, Finland, and the People's Republic of China Postal System's Beijing International Post Office.[102][103][104] Parents can order a personalized "Santa letter" to be sent to their child, often with a North Pole postmark. The "Santa Letter" market generally relies on the Internet as a medium for ordering such letters rather than retail stores.[undue weight? – discuss] Tracking The Christmas issue of NOAA's Weather Bureau Topics with "Santa Claus" streaking across a weather radar screen, 1958 A number of websites created by various organizations claim to track Santa Claus each year. Some, such as NORAD Tracks Santa, the Google Santa Tracker, the Tracker[105] and the Santa Update Project, have endured. Others, such as the Airservices Australia Tracks Santa Project,[106][107][108] the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport's Tracks Santa Project,[109][110][111] the NASA Tracks Santa Project,[112] and the Bing Maps Platform Tracks Santa Project,[113][114] no longer actively track Santa. 1955 Sears ad with the misprinted telephone number that led to the creation of the NORAD Tracks Santa program The origins of the NORAD Tracks Santa programme began in the United States in 1955, when a Sears Roebuck store in Colorado Springs, Colorado, gave children a number to call a "Santa hotline". The number was mistyped, resulting in children calling the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) on Christmas Eve instead. The Director of Operations, Colonel Harry Shoup, received the first call for Santa and responded by claiming to children that there were signs on the radar that Santa was indeed heading south from the North Pole. A tradition began which continued under the name NORAD Tracks Santa when in 1958 Canada and the United States jointly created the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD).[115][116] This "tracking" can now be done via the Internet and NORAD's website. In the past, many local television stations in the United States and Canada likewise claimed they "tracked Santa Claus" in their own metropolitan areas through the stations' meteorologists. In December 2000, the Weather Channel built upon these local efforts to provide a national Christmas Eve "Santa tracking" effort, called "SantaWatch" in cooperation with NASA, the International Space Station, and Silicon Valley-based new multimedia firm Dreamtime Holdings.[117] In the 21st century, most local television stations in the United States and Canada rely upon outside established "Santa tracking" efforts, such as NORAD Tracks Santa.[118] Many other websites became available year-round, devoted to Santa Claus and purport to keep tabs on his activities in his workshop. Many of these websites also include email addresses or web forms which claim to allow children to send email to Santa Claus. One particular website called was created when a 1997 Canada Post strike prevented Alan Kerr's young niece and nephews from sending their letters to Santa; in a few weeks, over 1,000 emails to Santa were received, and the site had received 1,000 emails a day one year later.[119][120] Some websites, such as Santa's page on Microsoft's former Windows Live Spaces or, have used or still use "bots" or other automated programs to compose and send personalized and realistic replies.[121][122] Microsoft's website has given occasional profane results.[123][124] In addition to providing holiday-themed entertainment, "Santa tracking" websites raise interest in space technology and exploration,[125] serve to educate children in geography[126] and encourage them to take an interest in science.[127] Criticism See also: Christmas controversy Opposition from some Christian denominations Santa Claus has partial Christian roots in Saint Nicholas, particularly in the high church denominations that practice the veneration of him, in addition to other saints. In light of this, the character has sometimes been the focus of controversy over the holiday and its meanings. A number of denominations of Christians have varying concerns about Santa Claus, which range from acceptance to denouncement.[128][129] Some Christians, particularly Calvinists such as the Puritans, disliked the idea of Santa Claus, as well as Christmas in general, believing that the lavish celebrations were not in accordance with their faith.[130] Other nonconformist Christians condemn the materialist focus of contemporary gift giving and see Santa Claus as the symbol of that culture.[131] Condemnation of Christmas was prevalent among the 17th-century English Puritans and Dutch Calvinists who banned the holiday as either pagan or Roman Catholic. The American colonies established by these groups reflected this view. Tolerance for Christmas increased after the Restoration but the Puritan opposition to the holiday persisted in New England for almost two centuries.[132] In the Dutch New Netherland colony, season celebrations focused on New Year's Day. Excerpt from Josiah King's The Examination and Tryal of Father Christmas (1686), published shortly after Christmas was reinstated as a holy day in England; Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C. Following the Restoration of the monarchy and with Puritans out of power in England,[133] the ban on Christmas was satirized in works such as Josiah King's The Examination and Tryal of Old Father Christmas; Together with his Clearing by the Jury (1686).[134] Reverend Paul Nedergaard, a clergyman in Copenhagen, Denmark, attracted controversy in 1958 when he declared Santa to be a "heathen goblin" ("en hedensk trold" in Danish) after Santa's image was used on the annual Christmas stamp ("julemærke") for a Danish children's welfare organization.[135] Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science movement, wrote: "the children should not be taught that Santa Claus has aught to do with this [Christmas] pastime. A deceit or falsehood is never wise. Too much cannot be done towards guarding and guiding well the germinating and inclining thought of childhood. To mould aright the first impressions of innocence, aids in perpetuating purity and in unfolding the immortal model, man in His image and likeness."[136] Opposition under state atheism Under the Marxist–Leninist doctrine of state atheism in the Soviet Union after its foundation in 1917, Christmas celebrations—along with other religious holidays—were prohibited as a result of the Soviet antireligious campaign.[137][138] The League of Militant Atheists encouraged school pupils to campaign against Christmas traditions, among them being Santa Claus and the Christmas tree, as well as other Christian holidays including Easter; the League established an antireligious holiday to be the 31st of each month as a replacement.[139][140] In December 2018, the city management office of Langfang in Hebei province released a statement stating that people caught selling Christmas trees, wreaths, stockings or Santa Claus figures in the city would be punished.[141] Symbol of commercialism In his book Nicholas: The Epic Journey from Saint to Santa Claus, writer Jeremy Seal describes how the commercialization of the Santa Claus figure began in the 19th century. "In the 1820s he began to acquire the recognizable trappings: reindeer, sleigh, bells," said Seal in an interview.[142] "They are simply the actual bearings in the world from which he emerged. At that time, sleighs were how you got about Manhattan." Writing in Mothering, writer Carol Jean-Swanson makes similar points, noting that the original figure of St. Nicholas gave only to those who were needy and that today Santa Claus seems to be more about conspicuous consumption: Our jolly old Saint Nicholas reflects our culture to a T, for he is fanciful, exuberant, bountiful, over-weight, and highly commercial. He also mirrors some of our highest ideals: childhood purity and innocence, selfless giving, unfaltering love, justice, and mercy. (What child has ever received a coal for Christmas?) The problem is that, in the process, he has become burdened with some of society's greatest challenges: materialism, corporate greed, and domination by the media. Here, Santa carries more in his baggage than toys alone![143] In the Czech Republic, a group of advertising professionals started a website against Santa Claus, a relatively recent phenomenon in that country.[144] "Czech Christmases are intimate and magical. All that Santa stuff seems to me like cheap show business," said David König of the Creative Copywriters Club, pointing out that it is primarily an American and British tradition. "I'm not against Santa himself. I'm against Santa in my country only." In the Czech tradition, presents are delivered by Ježíšek, which translates as Baby Jesus. In the United Kingdom, Father Christmas was historically depicted wearing a green cloak.[citation needed] As Father Christmas has been increasingly merged into the image of Santa Claus, that has been changed to the more commonly known red suit.[145] Santa had been portrayed in a red suit in the 19th century by Thomas Nast among others.[146] A law in the U.S. state of Ohio prohibits the usage of Santa Claus or his image to sell alcoholic beverages. The law came to attention when the beer brand Bud Light attempted to use its mascot Spuds MacKenzie in a Santa Claus outfit during a December 1987 ad campaign; Bud Light was forced to stop using the imagery.[147] Controversy about deceiving children See also: Paternalistic deception Psychologists generally differentiate between telling fictional stories that feature Santa Claus and actively deceiving a child into believing that Santa Claus is real. Imaginative play, in which children know that Santa Claus is only a character in a story, but pretend that he is real, just like they pretend that superheroes or other fictional characters are real, is valuable. Actively deceiving a child into believing in Santa Claus's real-world existence, sometimes even to the extent of fabricating false evidence to convince them despite their growing natural doubts, does not result in imaginative play and can promote credulity in the face of strong evidence against Santa Claus's existence.[148][149] Children will eventually know that their parents deceived them.[150] Various psychologists and researchers have wrestled with the ways that young children are convinced of the existence of Santa Claus, and have wondered whether children's abilities to critically weigh real-world evidence may be undermined by their belief in this or other imaginary figures. For example, University of Texas psychology professor Jacqueline Woolley helped conduct a study that found, to the contrary, that children seemed competent in their use of logic, evidence, and comparative reasoning even though they might conclude that Santa Claus or other fanciful creatures were real: The adults they count on to provide reliable information about the world introduce them to Santa. Then his existence is affirmed by friends, books, TV and movies. It is also validated by hard evidence: the half-eaten cookies and empty milk glasses by the tree on Christmas morning. In other words, children do a great job of scientifically evaluating Santa. And adults do a great job of duping them.[151] — Jacqueline Wooley Woolley posited that it is perhaps "kinship with the adult world" that causes children not to be angry that they were lied to for so long.[151] Austin Cline argued the problem is not with length, but with a complicated series of very large lies.[152] Typical objections to presenting Santa Claus as a literally real person, rather than a story, include: that lying is normally bad,[149] that parents intentionally lying to their children promotes distrust,[149] that it promotes selfishness, greed, and materialism,[153] that it associates good behavior with being materially rewarded with presents from Santa Claus,[153] and that tricking children into believing falsehoods interferes with the development of critical thinking.[152][148] With no greater good than having some fun, some have charged that the deception is more about the parents, their short-term happiness in seeing children excited about Santa Claus, and their nostalgic willingness to prolong the age of magical thinking, than it is about the children.[149] Philosopher David Kyle Johnson wrote, "It's a lie, it degrades your parental trustworthiness, it encourages credulity, it does not encourage imagination, and it's equivalent to bribing your kids for good behavior."[154] Others see little harm in the belief in Santa Claus. Psychologist Tamar Murachver said that because it is a cultural, not parental, lie, it does not usually undermine parental trust.[155] The New Zealand Skeptics also see no harm in parents telling their children that Santa is real. Spokesperson Vicki Hyde said, "It would be a hard-hearted parent indeed who frowned upon the innocent joys of our children's cultural heritage. We save our bah humbugs for the things that exploit the vulnerable."[155] Most children do not remain angry or embarrassed about the deception for very long. John Condry of Cornell University interviewed more than 500 children for a study of the issue and found that not a single child was angry at their parents for telling them Santa Claus was real. According to Dr. Condry, "The most common response to finding out the truth was that they felt older and more mature. They now knew something that the younger kids did not".[156] In other studies, a small fraction of children felt betrayed by their parents, but disappointment was a more common response.[149] Some children have reacted strongly, including rejecting the family's religious beliefs on the grounds that if the parents lied about the unprovable existence of Santa Claus, then they might lie about the unprovable existence of God as well.[149] See also iconChristianity portal iconHolidays portal Mythology portal Related figures Amu Nowruz Ayaz Ata — Grandfather Frost in Turkic folklore Badalisc Befana — a friendly witch who delivers gifts to children on 5 January. Belsnickel — a German gift-giver and punisher of naughty children, a.k.a. Kriskringle Companions of Saint Nicholas Ded Moroz — (Father Frost, Russian: Дед Мороз) plays a role similar to Santa Claus Joulupukki — original Santa-Claus from Finland Krampus — in German-speaking Alpine folklore, a horned figure who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved Mikulás — Hungary, Poland, Romania Slovenia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, a figure who brings treats before Christmas Moș Gerilă — name of a character from Romanian communist propaganda Olentzero — Basque character, possibly derived from Roman traditions Saint Nicholas of Myra Saint Basil —who is believed to bring Christmas gifts for children in Greek Orthodox tradition Sinterklaas — Dutch mythical figure The Three Kings — in Spain tradition, gifts for children are brought by the biblical three wise men on 6 January. Tomte — Scandinavian mythical character Yule Goat — Scandinavian Christmas symbol Yule Lads — a group of Icelandic figures who may leave gifts or rotting potatoes in the days before Christmas Other Jack Frost and Old Man Winter — Mythical characters associated with winter Christmas controversy Christmas elf Easter Bunny Flying Santa—a northeastern US tradition of pilots delivering presents to families in remote lighthouses Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas Pancho Claus, a Tex-Mex version of Santa Claus Santa Claus in film Santa Claus, Indiana—a small Midwestern United States town named after the figure, and home to Holiday World amusem*nt park Santa Claus's reindeer SantaCon Tooth fairy Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus References Citations "Santa Claus: History, Legend, & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 10 August 2020. Krulwich, Robert. "How Does Santa Do It?". ABC News. Retrieved 25 December 2015. Calarco, Jessica McCrory (24 December 2020). 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Retrieved 1 December 2010. Santa Claus: The great imposter, Terry Watkins, Dial-the-Truth Ministries. To Santa or Not to Santa, Sylvia Cochran, Families Online Magazine. Kippenberg, Hans G.; Kuiper, Yme B.; Sanders, Andy F. (1 January 1990). Concepts of Person in Religion and Thought. Walter de Gruyter. p. 363. ISBN 978-3110874372. Bowler, Gerry (27 July 2011). Santa Claus: A Biography. Random House. ISBN 978-1551996080. "When Christmas Was Banned – The early colonies and Christmas". Archived from the original on 8 January 2010. "History – Ten Ages of Christmas". BBC. 13 March 2005. Archived from the original on 13 March 2005. Retrieved 21 December 2010. Nissenbaum, chap. 1 Clar, Mimi (October 1959). "Attack on Santa Claus". Western Folklore. 18 (4): 337. doi:10.2307/1497769. JSTOR 1497769. Eddy, Mary Baker (1925). Miscellany, p. 261, in Prose Works other than Science and Health. Trustees under the will of Mary Baker G. Eddy, Boston, USA. Connelly, Mark (2000). Christmas at the Movies: Images of Christmas in American, British and European Cinema. I.B.Tauris. p. 186. ISBN 9781860643972. "A chapter on representations of Christmas in Soviet cinema could, in fact be the shortest in this collection: suffice it to say that there were, at least officially, no Christmas celebrations in the atheist socialist state after its foundation in 1917." Echo of Islam. MIG. 1993. "In the former Soviet Union, fir trees were usually put up to mark New Year's day, following a tradition established by the officially atheist state." Luzer, Daniel (26 November 2013). "What a Real War on Christmas Looks Like". Pacific Standard. Retrieved 12 November 2014. "There were several anti-religious campaigns, the most dramatic of which occurred in the 1920s. According to a piece published by the School of Russian and Asia Studies: In 1925, Christmas was effectively banned under the officially atheist Soviets, and was not to return to Russian lands until 1992. The New Year celebration usurped the traditions of a Christmas Tree (Ёлка), Santa (known in Russian as "Дед Mopoз" or "Grandfather Frost"), and presents. In the Russian tradition, Grandfather Frost's granddaughter, the Snow Maiden (Снегурочка), always accompanies him to help distribute the gifts. Elves are not associated with the holiday. The state prohibited people from selling Christmas trees. There were even festivals, organized by the League of Militant Atheists, specifically to denigrate religious holidays. Their carnivals were inspired by similar events staged by activists after the French Revolution. From 1923 to 1924 and then again from 1929 to 1930 the "Komsomol Christmases" and Easters were basically holiday celebrations of atheism." Ramet, Sabrina Petra (10 November 2005). Religious Policy in the Soviet Union. Cambridge University Press. p. 138. ISBN 9780521022309. "The League sallied forth to save the day from this putative religious revival. Antireligioznik obliged with so many articles that it devoted an entire section of its annual index for 1928 to anti-religious training in the schools. More such material followed in 1929, and a flood of it the next year. It recommended what Lenin and others earlier had explicitly condemned—carnivals, farces, and games to intimidate and purge the youth of religious belief. It suggested that pupils campaign against customs associated with Christmas (including Christmas trees) and Easter. Some schools, the League approvingly reported, staged an anti-religious day on the 31st of each month. Not teachers but the League's local set the programme for this special occasion." "Santa Claus won't be coming to this town, as Chinese officials ban Christmas". South China Morning Post. 18 December 2018. "Christmas is not a recognised holiday in mainland China – where the ruling party is officially atheist – and for many years authorities have taken a tough stance on anyone who celebrates it in public. ... The statement by Langfang officials said that anyone caught selling Christmas trees, wreaths, stockings or Santa Claus figures in the city would be punished. ... While the ban on the sale of Christmas goods might appear to be directed at retailers, it also comes amid a crackdown on Christians practising their religion across the country. On Saturday morning, more than 60 police officers and officials stormed a children’s Bible class in Guangzhou, capital of southern China’s Guangdong province. The incident came after authorities shut down the 1,500-member Zion Church in Beijing in September and Chengdu’s 500-member Early Rain Covenant Church last week. In the case of the latter, about 100 worshippers were snatched from their homes or from the streets in coordinated raids." How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus: One Theory, interview with Jeremy Seal at the St. Nicholas Center. "In defense of Santa Claus". Archived from the original on 26 December 2007. Retrieved 7 September 2016., Carol-Jean Swanson, Mothering, Fall 1992. "Better Watch Out, Better Not Cry". Archived from the original on 20 January 2007. Retrieved 13 December 2007., Hilda Hoy, The Prague Post, 13 December 2006. Santa goes green!;; 26 November 2007; Retrieved 22 December 2007 "Nast, Thomas: "Merry Old Santa Claus" – Encyclopædia Britannica". Archived from the original on 6 April 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2013. "Spuds Can't Promote Beer Dressed as Santa". Associated Press. 2 December 1987. Retrieved 23 November 2012. Johnson, David Kyle. "Say Goodbye to the Santa Claus Lie". Psychology Today. Retrieved 12 December 2018. Lowe, Scott C., ed. (2010). Christmas – Philosophy for Everyone: Better than a Lump of Coal. Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 143–147. ISBN 9781444330908. OCLC 539086689. "We asked five experts: Should I lie to my children about Santa?". Do You Believe in Surnits?, Jaqueline Woolley, The New York Times, 23 December 2006. Santa Claus: Should Parents Perpetuate the Santa Claus Myth?, Austin Cline, Vines, Gail (2011). "The Santa Delusion". New Scientist. 210 (2809): 29. Bibcode:2011NewSc.210Q..29M. doi:10.1016/S0262-4079(11)60920-2. Retrieved 12 December 2018. "Lying To Kids About Santa Can Erode Their Trust, Psychologists Say". Vocativ. 25 November 2016. "How to deal with the 'is Santa real?'". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 7 November 2011. Lawrence Kutner;Parent & Child; New York Times; 21 November 1991; Retrieved 22 December 2007 Bibliography Belk, Russell. 1989. "Materialism with the modern U.S. Christmas". In Interpretive Consumer Research, ed. by Elizabeth C. Hirschman, Provo, UT: Association for Consumer Research, 75–104. Bowler, Gerry, Editor (2004). The World Encyclopedia of Christmas, Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Limited. ISBN 978-0-7710-1535-9 (0-7710-1535-6) Bowler, Gerry, (2007). Santa Claus: A Biography, Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Limited. ISBN 978-0-7710-1668-4 (0-7710-1668-9) Crump, William D. Editor (2006). The Christmas Encyclopedia, 2nd edition, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, ISBN 978-0-7864-2293-7 Nissenbaum, Stephen (1997). The Battle for Christmas, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, ISBN 978-0-679-74038-4 (0-679-74038-4) Further reading Joffe-Walt, Chana (19 December 2012). "Without Magic, Santa Would Need 12 Million Employees". All Things Considered. NPR. Retrieved 20 December 2012. External links Santa Claus at Wikipedia's sister projects Definitions from Wiktionary Media from Commons News from Wikinews Quotations from Wikiquote An article on the History of Santa Claus from the St. Nicholas Center The History of Santa Claus and Father Christmas North Pole Flooded With Letters—MSNBC Research guides for Thomas Nast and Santa Claus at The Morristown & Morris Township Public Library, NJ "The Knickerbockers Rescue Santa Claus: 'Claas Schlaschenschlinger' from James Kirke Paulding's The Book of Saint Nicholas" (1836) NORAD Tracks Santa Google Santa Tracker Tracker vte Christmas Blue Christmas Boxing Day Children's Day Christmas Eve Nochebuena Saint Nicholas Day St. Stephen's Day Sol Invictus Yule In Christianity Biblical Magi Adoration of the Magi Adoration of the Shepherds Advent Angel Gabriel Annunciation Annunciation to the shepherds Baptism of the Lord Bethlehem Christingle Christmastide Epiphany Herod the Great Jesus Joseph Mary Massacre of the Innocents flight into Egypt Nativity Fast Nativity of Jesus in art in later culture Nativity scene Neapolitan Saint Lucy Star of Bethlehem Twelfth Night In folklore Badalisc La Befana Caganer Christkind Grýla Jack Frost Korvatunturi Kallikantzaros Legend of the Christmas Spider Miner's figure Nisse North Pole Old Man Winter Perchta Santa's workshop Tió de Nadal Turoń Vertep Yule Cat Yule Lads Gift-bringers Saint Nicholas Santa Claus Ded Moroz Father Christmas Joulupukki Julemanden Noel Baba Olentzero Père Noël Sinterklaas Others Companions of Saint Nicholas Belsnickel Elves Knecht Ruprecht Krampus Mrs. Claus Père Fouettard Sack Man Santa's reindeer Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Snegurochka Zwarte Piet Traditions Advent calendar Advent candle Advent wreath Boar's Head Feast Candle arches Cards Carols by Candlelight Cavalcade of Magi Crackers Decorations Didukh Events and celebrations Feast of the Seven Fishes Flying Santa Gifts Google Santa Tracker Hampers Las Posadas Letters Lights Lord of Misrule Markets Meals and feasts Midnight Mass Moravian star Nine Lessons and Carols NORAD Tracks Santa Nutcrackers dolls Ornaments Parades list Piñatas Pyramids Räuchermann Seals Secret Santa Spanbaum Szopka Stamps Stockings Tree Twelve Days Wassailing Windows Yule goat Yule log By country Australia Denmark France Germany Nazi Germany Hungary Iceland Indonesia Ireland Italy Mexico New Zealand Norway Philippines Poland Romania Russia Scotland Serbia Sweden Ukraine United States American Civil War Hawaii New Mexico Puritan New England Post-War United States Music Carols list Hit singles in the UK Hit singles in the US Music books Carols for Choirs The Oxford Book of Carols The New Oxford Book of Carols Piae Cantiones Other media In literature novels A Christmas Carol Films (Christmas, Santa) Poetry "Old Santeclaus with Much Delight" "A Visit from St. Nicholas" Television specials Yule Log In modern society Advent Conspiracy Black Friday (partying) Black Friday (shopping) Bronner's Christmas Wonderland Christmas and holiday season Christmas club Christmas creep Christmas Day (Trading) Act 2004 Christmas Lectures Christmas Mountains Christmas truce Controversies Cyber Monday Economics Giving Tuesday Grinch El Gordo Jews and Christmas In July In August NBA games NFL games SantaCon Santa's Candy Castle Scrooge Small Business Saturday Super Saturday Ugly sweaters Virginia O'Hanlon ("Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus") White Christmas Winter festivals WWE Tribute to the Troops Xmas Food and drink Dinner Joulupöytä Julebord Kūčios Réveillon Thirteen desserts Twelve-dish supper Smörgåsbord Wigilia Sweets Candy cane Cake Cookie Cozonac Fruitcake Gingerbread Kutia Makówki Melomakarono Mince pie Pampushka Panettone Pavlova Pecan pie Pumpkin pie Qurabiya Red velvet cake Stollen Szaloncukor Turrón Yule log Soup Menudo Borscht Sauces Bread sauce Cranberry sauce Beverages Apple cider Champurrado Eggnog Kissel Mulled wine Smoking Bishop Ponche crema Dumplings Hallaca Pierogi Tamale Varenyky Meat and fish Carp Gefilte fish Ham Roast goose Romeritos Turkey Stuffing Tourtière (meat pie) Category icon Christianity portal Commons vte Forbes Fictional 15 2002 Santa Claus Richie Rich Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks Scrooge McDuck Thurston Howell III Willy Wonka Bruce Wayne Lex Luthor J. R. Ewing Auric Goldfinger C. Montgomery Burns Charles Foster Kane Cruella de Vil Gordon Gekko Jay Gatsby 2005 Santa Claus Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks Richie Rich Lex Luthor C. Montgomery Burns Scrooge McDuck Jed Clampett Bruce Wayne Thurston Howell III Willy Wonka Arthur Bach Ebenezer Scrooge Lara Croft Cruella de Vil Lucius Malfoy 2006 Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks C. Montgomery Burns Scrooge McDuck Richie Rich Jed Clampett Mr. Monopoly Bruce Wayne Tony Stark Prince Abakaliki of Nigeria Thurston Howell III Willy Wonka Lucius Malfoy Tony Montana Lara Croft Mario 2007 Scrooge McDuck Ming the Merciless Richie Rich Mom Jed Clampett C. Montgomery Burns Carter Pewterschmidt Bruce Wayne Thurston Howell III Tony Stark Fake Steve Jobs Gomez Addams Willy Wonka Lucius Malfoy Princess Peach 2008 Uncle Sam Scrooge McDuck Richie Rich Gordon Gekko Jabba the Hutt Ebenezer Scrooge Tony Stark Thurston Howell III Bruce Wayne Adrian Veidt Jed Clampett Artemis Fowl II C. Montgomery Burns Lara Croft Mr. Monopoly 2010 Carlisle Cullen Scrooge McDuck Richie Rich Tony Stark Jed Clampett Adrian Veidt Bruce Wayne Tooth fairy Thurston Howell III Sir Topham Hatt Artemis Fowl II C. Montgomery Burns Chuck Bass Jay Gatsby Lucille Bluth 2011 Scrooge McDuck Carlisle Cullen Artemis Fowl II Richie Rich Jed Clampett Tony Stark Smaug Bruce Wayne Mr. Monopoly Arthur Bach Jo Bennett C. Montgomery Burns Chuck Bass Gordon Gekko Jeffrey Lebowski 2012 Smaug Flintheart Glomgold Carlisle Cullen Jed Clampett Tony Stark Richie Rich Charles Foster Kane Bruce Wayne Forrest Gump Mr. Monopoly Lisbeth Salander Tywin Lannister C. Montgomery Burns Robert Crawley Jo Bennett 2013 Scrooge McDuck Smaug Carlisle Cullen Tony Stark Charles Foster Kane Bruce Wayne Richie Rich Christian Grey Tywin Lannister C. Montgomery Burns Walden Schmidt Lara Croft Mr. Monopoly Mary Crawley Jay Gatsby vte WWE 24/7 Champions 2010s Titus O'Neil Robert Roode R-Truth Elias Jinder Mahal Drake Maverick Heath Slater Cedric Alexander EC3 Pat Patterson Gerald Brisco Kelly Kelly Candice Michelle Alundra Blayze Ted DiBiase Mike Kanellis Maria Kanellis The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) Rob Stone Bo Dallas Enes Kanter Mayor Glenn Jacobs Carmella Marshmello Tamina Sunil Singh Samir Singh Michael Giaccio Kyle Busch Akira Tozawa Santa Claus Mike Rome Mojo Rawley 2020s Riddick Moss Rob Gronkowski Shelton Benjamin Drew Gulak Erik Tucker Gran Metalik Lince Dorado The Gobbledy Gooker Angel Garza Alicia Fox Peter Rosenberg Doug Flutie Bad Bunny Joseph Average Reginald/Reggie Corey Graves Byron Saxton Dana Brooke (current) Nikki A. S. H. Doudrop Alexa Bliss WWE 24/7 Champions Christmas merry festive Santa Claus Saint Nicholas Kris Kringle elves jolly reindeer carols caroling carolers mistletoe frankincense myrrh nativity Xmas yuletide tinsel stocking presents fruitcake chimney Jesus birth family candy pinecone spirit tidings tradition Rudolph sleigh holiday holly ornaments Scrooge sled snowball St. Nicks snowman rejoice Father Christmas Christmas Eve Christmas tree Jack Frost Santa's helpers Santa's workshop Christmas carol Christmas card Frosty the Snowman December 25 sleigh bells gingerbread house North Pole plum pudding season's greetings Holiday Gift Guide: These Christmas Gifts Are Topping Everyone’s Wish Lists From stocking stuffers to statement pieces, we've rounded up our favorite gifts to give this holiday season By Tim Chan, Brandt Ranj, Oscar Hartzog, John Lonsdale, Sage Anderson December 14, 2021 Products featured are independently selected by our editorial team and we may earn a commission from purchases made from our links You don’t need somebody’s wish list to pick out a memorable gift for them — you just need a little inspiration. From thoughtful treats and best-selling products to big-ticket splurges, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite things to give this holiday season. We’ve found things for every type of person too — and every price point. Here are our editors’ picks for the best Christmas gifts to buy online this year. new apple airpods Photo : azn Apple AirPods (3rd Generation) Apple just dropped a new version of the AirPods, and the re-designed earbuds are sure to appear on many Christmas lists. Among the new AirPods updates is spatial audio, longer-lasting battery, adaptive EQ and a new design that’s closer to the AirPods Pro. While they don’t have the active noise cancellation offered in the AirPods Pro, these new buds are excellent for easy, everyday use (think: commuting, exercising, working, etc.). Purchase: $169.99 at azn SINGSATION All-In-One Karaoke System Photo : azn SINGSATION All-In-One Karaoke System If karaoke wasn’t already popular enough pre-pandemic, the months of quarantine made it an almost essential activity to keep us occupied — and sane. And while karaoke bars may be opening up again, there’s nothing quite like having friends over for a singing sesh at home. We like this karaoke machine from SINGSATION, which gets you a microphone, mic, stand, device holder and a control panel with 10 different vocal effects, plus sound effects and lighting effects too. Pair your phone or tablet to the system, pull up your favorite tunes and you’re good to go — all night long. Purchase: $129.99 on record player modern Photo : U-Turn Audio U-Turn Orbit Plus Turntable Vinyl is back, which means its time to (re-)invest in a turntable. This Orbit Plus from U-Turn is easy to set up right out of the box, coming with or without a built-in preamp. Once plugged in, either to powered speakers or a receiver you’ll get solid sound quality and consistent speeds. We also think the minimalist look lends itself well to gifting, as it should look great in any living room or den. Purchase: $329 at U-Turn Audio massage gun theragun Photo : azn Theragun Prime Whether you’re shopping for a professional athlete or casual runner, consider gifting a Theragun. The best-selling massager uses percussive therapy for deep tissue muscle relief, alleviating fatigue, soreness and stress. Thanks to a specialized brushless motor, the device is whisper-quiet for massaging while watching TV or working (and not bothering your family or roommates. Users can also adjust the massager between five speeds and four different massage heads. Purchase: $299 at azn Photo : Hatch Hatch Restore Sponsored For everyone who stays up doomscrolling through Twitter past their bedtime, or chronic “snooze” alarm-hitters in the morning, Hatch Restore’s alarm clock is the perfect gift. At night, its soft-glow reading light (no harsh blue light here) and soothing sounds and meditations prepare you for sleep. Then, the custom Sunrise Alarm gently wakes you up without the harsh jolt of your smartphone alarm. Give the gift of a good night’s sleep (and a refreshing wakeup) with this calming clock. Purchase: $129.99 at Hatch iRobot Roomba 694 Photo : azn iRobot Roomba 694 If you’re getting someone their first robot vacuum, and want one from a trusted name, we recommend iRobot’s Roomba 694. It uses a three-stage cleaning system and multiple brushes to diligently clean hard wood, tile, and carpet floors, including dust that’s accumulated around the edges of your rooms. If its sensors detect a lot of dirt in a particular area, the 694 will focus on it before moving onto a different spot. It’ll recommend different cleaning modes and a recurring schedule based on different events like allergy season, or your dog is shedding. Hook it up to azn’s Alexa or Google Assistant for totally hands-free scheduling. The Roomba 694 can last up to 90 minutes per charge, so it can clean multiple rooms before heading back to its dock. Purchase: $199 on azn Molekule Air Mini Photo : Molekule Molekule Air Mini The Molekule Air Mini is the best air purifier to give as a gift for apartments and smaller spaces, as it’s remarkably quiet with a 30-decibel “Silent Mode.” Whether or not you’re in allergy season, we love that the PECO filters use nanotechnology to destroy the widest range of pollutants possible. Another added bonus is that the Air Mini just got FDA-cleared for the destruction of viruses and bacteria, and can inactivate up to 99.99% of H1N1 and coroirus (bovine/porcine) strains. Connect to the iPhone app, choose your fan speeds, and track your filter’s status. This air purifier packs a lot into a small package, proving that less is more. Purchase: $199 on sony headphones noise cancelling Photo : azn Sony Extra Bass Noise-Cancelling Headphones Headphones are a safe bet when it comes to gifting because almost everyone can use a nice pair of cans. This year, we’re reaching for Sony’s new WH-XB910N wireless headphones. They’re very similar to Sony’s flagship WH-1000XM4s, boasting active noise-cancellation, a lightweight, comfortable build, 30 hours of battery and stellar sound quality. But Sony has also improved bass quality with the WH-XB910N headphones. Need proof? Put the cans in “extra bass” mode using the Sony headphones app for thumping, deep sound. This feature is especially good for any hip-hop fans, lending that low-end quality that’s often lost while listening to rap with headphones. Purchase: $248 at azn Photo : azn Fluance Ai61 You don’t need to be an audiophile to appreciate the Fluance’s Ai61 powered bookshelf speakers. The classy-looking cabinets make them look good on a desk or as part of an entertainment center, and the sound they make is pure ear candy, with deep bass, smooth midrange, and shimmering highs. Because they’re powered speakers, the Ai61s can be used with a turntable without a stereo receiver. They can also be hooked up to a computer, TV, or high-resolution audio player using a cable. Finally, the Ai61s support Bluetooth for wireless streaming. If you can only get one audio-related gift for your favorite music fan, Fluance’s Ai61s are a strong choice. Purchase: $299.99 at azn Photo : LEGO LEGO Ideas Fender Stratocaster Set Sponsored LEGO sets have been a go-to holiday gift for decades, but the company has recently gone above and beyond to release its most creative ones yet. Our favorite is LEGO’s 1,074-piece Fender Stratocaster set, which allows you to build the iconic guitar — complete with whammy bar — and an amp to go with it. Naturally, the set also comes with a buildable FX pedal for when your LEGO figures need to add a little crunch to their tunes. The attention to detail here is amazing, from the foldable guitar stand to the ultra-realistic amp hardware. If you’re shopping for a musician, or anyone who loves building things, this is the gift to give. Purchase: $99.99 at LEGO Photo : VAVA VAVA 4K Ultra Short Throw Laser TV Swap your bulky TV for this VAVA Ultra Short Throw projector and watch your shows and movies in a whole new way. The sleek-looking unit throws up a display of up to 150 inches, to create a massive viewing space on a blank wall or onto a screen (not included). Picture-quality is sharp, with vivid colors and good contrasts, and the projector is compatible with the latest 4K content, making it great for sports, gaming, movies and more. Set up everything in minutes and control settings easily with the included remote. When it comes to chic and capabale portable projectors, the VAVA 4K delivers on all fronts. Purchase: $2499.99 on Photo : Redbubble Music Fandom Merch Sponsored Whether your gift recipient is a metal head, or just wants a present that screams “we blast Punk Goes Christmas in this house,” Redbubble has thousands of different designs to help transform any music fan’s space for the holiday season. If you like skeletons and disco, you can absolutely find a disco skeleton shirt. If you like cozy throw pillows and KISS, they have it. Designs are often available as stocking stuffers or bigger presents (i.e. stickers vs. comforters), making your gift as unique as the person you gift it to. Purchase: Holiday Gift Guide at Redbubble Photo : azn De’Longhi Dinamica Plus Automatic Espresso Machine Few things bring people joy like a fresh cup of coffee in the morning. This Christmas, upgrade your coffee ritual by swapping your French press or generic K-cup machine for this fully-automated espresso machine from De’Longhi. While espresso machines can oftentimes seem intimidating to use, this one does all the work for you, with a built-in grinder, milk frother and colorful display panel that orders up to16 different drinks at the touch of a button. The Dinamica Plus makes everything from lattes and cappuccinos to iced coffees and flat whites. You can even set up a personalized profile (kind of like a Netflix account) so all your favorite drinks are ready for you when you turn the machine on. Speaking of turning it on: unlike other espresso machines, which can take a long time to warm up, the Dinamica Plus heats up in seconds and is ready to churn out multiple drinks on command. Everything sets up easily too. Need more convincing? De’Longhi recently unveiled a new celebrity ambassador for the Dinamica Plus – none other than Brad Pitt. Purchase: $1499.95 at Photo : Facebook Facebook Portal Go Sponsored Facebook’s Portal Go is its first battery-powered smart-home device, and it streamlines the process of making video calls between households. The portable device lets you initiate or receive live video calls from Zoom, WhatsApp or Messenger. Its smart camera automatically follows you around, so you’ll always stay in frame, which makes it easier and more engaging to video chat with active participants like children. Starting and connecting to calls can be done hands-free by saying “Hey Portal” or “Alexa.” connecting the Portal to an azn Alexa device. Plus, a physical privacy shutter can be activated when the device isn’t being used. When you’re not catching up with friends and family, the Portal Go can be used as a wireless speaker, allowing you to stream music from services like Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, and Deezer. You’re also able to stream video from Plex, CBS News, and Redbull TV. If you’re shopping for someone who keeps mentioning they’d like to stay in touch more, Facebook’s Portal Go is the ideal gift. Purchase: $199 at Portal Photo : azn Musician Tees If know of a certain band that your giftee can’t stop listening to, check out azn’s extensive collection of musician tees for a thoughtful gift. The e-commerce giant just launched the Artist’s Merch Shop which stocks officially licensed gear from a wide range of musical artists. From Doja Cat to Aretha Franklin to Bob Dylan, there’s something for every music lover. Purchase: Artist Merch at azn Photo : Crowd Cow Crowd Cow Delivery SPONSORED If you have someone on your list who’s a fan of cooking and grilling, you’ll want to upgrade their plate this holiday season with a delivery from Crowd Cow. The site sources sustainably-raised meat and fresh seafood from family-owned farms and producers across the country, and then delivers everything to your door quickly and safely. We love ordering Crowd Cow’s thick-cut bacon — perfect for holiday brunch or Christmas Day breakfast. The bacon comes from Pederson’s Family Farms in Texas, where they’ve been making their famous uncured bacon for 30 years. For a limited time, buy one pack of bacon and get one free pound of heritage ground pork too – great for scrambles, burgers and bolognese. Purchase: $7.06+ at Want to add to your delivery? Use the promo code GIFT21 to get up to $30 off your gift purchase of $150 or more. Shop at Photo : Skylight Skylight Calendar One of the easiest ways to keep in touch with family is through a Skylight Frame ($159 at, which lets you email photos to a digital picture frame so memories are always close at bay. This season, the company adds even more functionality to its popular frames with the Skylight Calendar, a digital planning tool that lets you track schedules, assign to-dos and chores, coordinate meals, plan travel and more. The frame syncs to all your apps (think Outlook, Gmail, etc.) and lets you personalize your display based on date, activity and the person viewing it. A bonus: the Skylight Calendar also functions as a digital photo frame, so you’ll still be able to see and receive pictures in addition to staying organized. Purchase: $149.99+ at Photo : L.L. Bean L.L. Bean Washable Wool Blanket Blankets are a staple of holiday gifting for good reason. High-quality examples, such as this wool blanket from L.L. Bean, are easy to throw around the house for some extra coziness (and decor points) during the winter. This one from L.L. Bean, showcasing a rustic look, is made of 100% heirloom-quality wool that’s soft, durable and, most notably, machine washable. That means you can use it around the house without worrying about spills, or even take it camping. Purchase: $209 at L.L. Bean Photo : VIZIO VIZIO M-Series 4K TV Sponsored VIZIO’s line of big-screen TVs are an easy way to give the gift of 4K to upgrade someone’s viewing experience. They haven’t quite experienced a movie or played a video game with such high-intensity until they’ve cast the action onto a VIZIO TV, which delivers crisp, vivid images and contrasts — even in the dark. VIZIO’s M-series TV is your best bet — a premium quantum LED set capable of generating more than a billion colors on your screen. What that means: more life-like content and graphics across a slim and sophisticated display. See latest VIZIO deals and pricing here. Photo : azn Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Wireless Speaker This Beosound A1 Bluetooth speaker from Bang & Olufsen is one of our favorite portable speakers currently on the market. As expected from the Danish brand, it delivers on two fronts: sound quality and design. These two elements actually work together, as the modern domed shape disperses sound uniformly in all directions for room-filling audio quality. It’s also dust and water-resistant, lightweight at 1.23 pounds and lasts 18 hours on one charge, making transportation very easy. Purchase: $219 at azn Photo : Death & Co. Death & Co. “Welcome Home” co*cktail Book The team behind celebrated New York bar Death & Co. are back with their third book, which arms at-home bartenders with easy co*cktail recipes and entertaining tips to upgrade their hosting game. Presented in an easy-to-follow format with stunning full-color photos, the signature drinks include low-ABV and non-alcoholic co*cktails too, so there is truly something for every taste and lifestyle. With 600+ recipes in this book, you have 600 reasons to never serve a basic vodka soda again. Purchase: $33.99 on Photo : Oculus Oculus Quest 2 Sponsored Shopping for a gamer who’s hard to please? The Oculus Quest 2 will blow their mind. This is an independant VR headset, which means it doesn’t need to be plugged into a computer to work. Don’t worry, it’s still powerful enough to offer engrossing gaming experiences, and its game library continues to grow with marquee titles like Resident Evil 4 VR. Oculus also offers the ability to connect the Oculus Quest 2 to a computer to use the headset with PC-only VR games. Setting it up is easy, but requires a Facebook account. You should be up and running in about 10 minutes. The Quest 2 can play any previous- generation Oculus Quest game, so the game library has hundreds of titles already. Purchase: $299 at Oculus Photo : GameStop New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe Sponsored Need a gift for a gamer? Look no further than GameStop. The store has an incredible selection of games, consoles, and accessories, and is currently offering free same-day delivery on all orders over $49 where available. The store is also running an incredible pre-holiday promotion wherein hundreds of games are up to 40% off. That includes some first-party Nintendo games, which are almost never on sale. We’re recommending the excellent New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe for that reason. If you’re worried about potential shipping delays, GameStop also offers digital gift cards, which can be redeemed both online and in-store. Purchase: From $39.99 at GameStop Photo : Tempo Tempo Studio Now that the home gym excitement has settled a bit, a few pieces of workout equipment are clear winners. Tempo is one of them. The multi-purpose exercise device uses an AI monitor to check your form while you follow pre-recorded or live coached lessons on the large touchscreen. Making use of included dumbbells and bars (all of which pack neatly into a lower shelf), these lessons are equal parts fun and effective, keeping us motivated and entertained throughout the workout. Plus, unlike some home gym equipment, Tempo can fit in almost any room thanks to its compact build (it’s about the size of an easel). Purchase: $2195 at Tempo Photo : Courtesy Dr. Martens Dr. Martens 2976 Bex Smooth Leather Chelsea Boots Sponsored Everyone remembers how cool it felt to lace up their leather Docs for the first time. And this holiday season, if you really want to wow that special someone on your shopping list this year, you’d be hard-pressed to find more functional, stylish boots than this Bex Chelsea pair. The standard Chelsea boot design gets remixed here, and they feature a smooth leather upper, along with a sturdy Goodyear welt construction for durability and long-lasting wear. We love this style of boot for traveling, when we want to dress up our outfit, or, well … it’s tough to think of somewhere we wouldn’t wear them. Purchase: $160 at Dr. Martens Photo : Our Place Always Pan This Always Pan from Our Place will look familiar to anyone whose TikTok algorithm gives them cooking content. Promising to replace eight traditional pieces of cookware, the non-stick pan can braise, sear, steam, strain, saute, fry or boil — plus it boasts Instagram-ready looks in 10 muted colors. This versatility makes it great for beginner cooks (think, recent college graduates) or pros looking to see if the pan lives up to the hype. Purchase: $145 at Our Place Photo : Shinesty Shinesty Ultimate Holiday Package Sponsored It’s been a long year and there’s no better way to lighten the mood than with a pack of holiday-themed underwear from Shinesty. The site is a treasure trove of novelty tops, pants, underwear and accessories for men and women, with everything from classic prints and patterns to more adult-themed fare (think underwear with names like “50 Shades of Santa” and ahem, “The Third Leg”). Pick your poison (or presents if you will) with this “Ultimate Holiday Package,” which lets you choose three of Shinesty’s “Ball Hammock” boxers paired with a tube of their “Happy Nuts” comfort cream (essential to help prevent odors and chafing). Everything is packaged up in a Christmas-themed box that’s ready for gifting. Purchase: $82.99 at Photo : The Home Depot Woodmoore Battery Artificial Christmas Wreath Sponsored If you’re interested in replacing old decorations, or upping the ante to become the most festive-looking house on your block, the first place you should shop is The Home Depot. The store has thousands of indoor and outdoor decorations in stock, and is currently offering free, fast shipping on many of them. The Home Depot’s selection is big enough that we’re confident it’ll be your one-stop-shop for decorations this year. Plus, you have the option to place an order online and pick it up in-store the same day if the items you want are in stock. While The Home Depot’s options are virtually limetless, we recommend starting with this wreath, which is the perfect accent piece for the inside or outside of your home. It’s also one of the easiest decorations to put up and take down, and works whether you own or rent your place. Purchase: $49.98 at The Home Depot Photo : azn Complete Dune Series Set Denis Villeneuve’s Dune has proven to be one of the first post-pandemic box office successes, sparking renewed interest in the original series by Frank Herbert. The six-book saga, initially published in 1965, centers on the mythic hero Paul Atreides as he traverses a shockingly imaginative sci-fi world. It’s a gripping hero’s journey, but Dune also motivates discussions about capitalism and environmentalism that still feel eerily relevant over fifty years after its writing. Purchase: $74.99 at azn Photo : Courtesy New Balance New Balance Reflective Impact Run Winter Jacket Sponsored For the runner who doesn’t let a little cold and snow get in the way of their training, this stylishly high-tech jacket from New Balance checks all the winter layer boxes. No matter if they’re a marathoner or just like jogging around the neighborhood, it’s a piece that will keep them warm with every step. Thanks to its wind-resistant exterior, it blocks that cold, winter chill without a problem to let you focus on your route. The dropped rear panel of the jacket and neck coverage, meantime, help offer a little more protection on the coldest of mornings. Runners will especially love that for all the warmth it provides, it never feels too tight to wear. But what really makes it an essential running jacket? The reflective details throughout that ensure you’ll stay safe out on the road, no matter the time of day. Purchase: $174.99 at New Balance Photo : Courtesy Crocs Crocs Classic Lined Clogs Sponsored The best slippers to wear around the house? You won’t find anything more comfortable to gift this year than these cozy Crocs. While the brand changed the slip-on game with its best-selling Classic Clogs, Crocs made sure that your feet are covered all winter long with this soft lined version. Thanks to their lightweight Croslite foam and adjustable heel strap, they’re a good fit for wearing indoors around the house and running errands alike. Just try not to look too jealous once the person on your list slides into them for the first time. Purchase: $59.99 at Crocs Photo : Rad Power RadRover 6 Plus E-Bike The latest from Rad Power Bikes, a trusted, Seattle-based direct-to-consumer brand that’s known for high-quality, affordable and dependable products is the beefy-yet-sleek RadRover 6 Plus. It may seem intimidating at first — with its fat tires and weighty frame — but it actually means it’s more stable and makes it easier to go anywhere. Curbs and gravel? No problem. And you’ll never tire of juicing it to conquer steep hills and other irksome terrain. Whether for commuting or exercise (or an excuse to head off the beaten path for a few hours), you won’t find an easier, stylish or more fun way to ride this year. Purchase: $1999 on Photo : MasterClass MasterClass Membership Since its foundation in 2014, MasterClass has burgeoned into a hub of education with perhaps the most impressive teachers in the world. Boasting more than 100 courses in 11 categories, each course is taught by well-known experts: Gordon Ramsey Teaches Cooking, James Cameron Teaches Filmmaking, and Alicia Keys Teaches Songwriting and Production to name just a few. But MasterClass is also prime for gifting. You can buy a loved one a digital membership — which provides access to all of the platform’s courses — and they’ll receive the gift through email. In other words, there’s no need for any physical shopping or gift wrapping. Purchase: $180 per year at MasterClass Photo : Courtesy adidas adidas Ultraboost 21 COLD.RDY Shoes Sponsored Slippery, icy sidewalks just met their footwear match this season. adidas gives its runner’s-favorite Ultraboost kicks the ultimate cold-weather treatment with the 21 COLD.RDY sneakers. Perfect for the all-year-long runner you’re shopping for, the cushioned shoes are outfitted with an upper that’s fully insulated to keep your feet nice and dry, while the Continental WinterGrip rubber outsole keeps your feet secure, even on slick terrain. Along with their wintertime-ready design, they offer the signature energy kick you sometimes need to get through the rest of your run. Bonus: adidas even used Primegreen recycled materials to build part of the sneakers. Pair them with a warm adidas hoodie, and consider your holiday shopping wrapped up. Purchase: $190 at adidas Photo : Allbirds Allbirds Trail Runners SWT Allbirds has taken the footwear market by storm with a simple innovation: wool sneakers. Besides being unbelievably comfortable, the natural fabric absorbs sweat, regulates temperature and resists water. This yields versatile performance during commutes or exercise, and lets you rock Allbirds without socks. Plus, you can toss them in the wash when they get dirty or need sanitizing. The brand’s original Wool Runners are fantastic (for yourself or a lucky giftee), but right now we’re eyeing Allbirds’ new Trail Runners SWT. The shoes are great for hiking, running or camping with a grippy sole and plenty of cushioning, and, in typical Allbirds fashion, they’re good looking too. Purchase: $138 at Allbirds Photo : Gillette Gillette Heated Razor Sponsored Gillette’s Heated Razor Kit should be near the top of your holiday shopping list if you’re looking for a great gift for a guy in your life. The kit includes a heated razor — which can be adjusted between 109 and 122 degreed Fahernheit — two blades, and a wireless charging stand. Every piece of the razor, from its aluminum zinc handle to the stainless steel warming bar that evenly distributes heat. Gillette says to expect the razor to get six uses per charge, but battery life won’t be an issue if it’s returned to its stand every night. This is one of the few gifts that the guy on your list will use and appreciate every single day. Purchase: $150 at Gillette Photo : Home Chef Home Chef Sponsored Home Chef delivers several fast and low-prep options to get dinner on the table faster than you can say “takeout”. It’s a great gift for novice home chefs, or anyone who needs a break from the weeknight meal-prepping slog. You’ll get easy-to-follow recipe cards and fresh ingredients delivered, with options for 6-12 servings per week. Right now, get $90 off your first three orders, no promo code needed, and become someone’s mealtime savior this holiday season. Purchase: $9.99+/serving at Home Chef Photo : Everlane Everlane Grade-A Cashmere Crew Sweater Want to really treat that special someone on your shopping list this year? Give them the gift of 100% Grade-A cashmere with this stylish sweater from Everlane. Thanks to its classic style softness and warmth, don’t be shocked if the recipient decides to put it on and wear it right out of the box. After all, that’s what we’d do. To check out more gift ideas from Everlane, can shop all of its new arrivals right from its site here. Purchase: $140 at Everlane Photo : Backcountry Yeti Rambler 10oz Wine Tumbler Covd lockdowns made us realize the power of a great insulated tumbler — specifically for “walktails” around the neighborhood and other outdoor beverages (i.e. when open container rules are not in our favor). This Yeti Rambler is about as good as insulated tumblers get with a strong seal that keeps beverages at the right temperature for hours. It’s also easy to sip on thanks to a splash-proof magnet lid that’s opened with one click. Purchase: $19.99+ at YETI Photo : Vans Slip-On Sneakers White slip-on Vans recently saw a 7,800% spike in sales due to Squid Game, which sees contestants wearing a very similar pair of sneakers as part of their uniform for the deadly competition. But the spike has reminded us that white Vans Slip-Ons are just great shoes. They’re stylish, easy to wear with anything, and very comfortable. Needless to say, they also make an easy gift for stylish loved ones (or Squid Game fans). Purchase: $54.95 at Photo : Proflowers Proflowers Winter Whispers Bouquet Sponsored Giving flowers as a gift is easy (and chic!), especially when they’re from Proflowers. The site has an incredible assortment of fresh, long-lasting blooms, ranging from handmade wreaths, to holiday centerpieces, to this “Winter Whispers” bouquet, which puts a sophisticated and modern twist on festive florals. The delightful bundle includes white larkspur blossoms, burgundy snapdragons and Israeli Ruscus, all sourced from family-owned growers (some of which have been part of the Proflowers network for more than 20 years). Everything is boxed and delivered quickly and conveniently — as soon as next-day and to more than 125 countries around the world. Purchase: Winter Whispers Bouquet, $40+ on Photo : Timex Q Timex Reissue Diver Watch Timex has been pumping out some incredible watches lately by indulging our love for the sixties and seventies timepieces. Take this Q Timex 1979 reissue: it’s a re-make of a classic diver that’s stylish enough to hang with watches ten times its price. It also comes in a range of colorways, and makes a great gift for watch aficionados and fashionistas alike. Purchase: $179 at Timex Photo : Nordstrom Diptyque Feu de Bois/Wood Fire Candle You can’t go wrong with gifting a great candle. If you’re going that route, give your loved one, friend or colleague the best of the best: Diptyque. The French brand is famous for premium scents and a unique formula that lasts much longer than most candles. You also get to choose between a variety of sizes and vessel colors when buying. Purchase: $38 at Nordstrom Photo : lululemon lululemon Textured Tech Pant Sponsored Pants built for training and running? If you know someone who just reaches into into their closet and throws on any old sweats like Rocky to hit the stairs, get them these versatile lululemon pants. The durable fabric is abrasion-resistant, but can also stretch four ways for comfort. If you’re worried about how it can stand up to tougher HIIT sessions, it also wicks sweat like no one’s business. Zippered pockets keep your phone, keys, and cards secure. Purchase: $128 at lululemon Photo : Traeger Grills Traeger Ironwood 885 Pellet Grill Chefs and barbecue masters have a new favorite toy: pellet grills. These specialized grills use a hopper system to steadily burn wood pellets at a desired speed, allowing grillers to slow-smoke meats and vegetables for hours. We’ve been loving this Traeger Ironwood 885 pellet grill, which has easily cooked everything from smoked salmon to flavorful veggies. One of the Ironwood’s key features is a massive 885-square-inch cooking space, which can fit ten whole chickens or seven racks of ribs. The hopper is very large too with room for 20 pounds of pellets, and the grill can be monitored from anywhere using Traeger’s smartphone app. Purchase: $1599.99 on Photo : StockX PlayStation 5 Due to supply chain shortages and overwhelming demand, many gamers are still waiting to get their hands on Playstation’s latest console, the PS5. Needless to say, if you’re shopping for any gamer or tech geek, a PS5 is probably the best gift you can give — you’ll just need to go through trustworthy re-sale sites like StockX. The PS5 is a clear upgrade from the previous generation, solving problems like fan noise while improving performance. Plus, there are already plenty of excellent games to load up. Purchase: $740 at StockX Photo : REI Leatherman FREE P4 Multitool Everyone can (and will) use a great multitool — be it for serious DIY work, camping or simple picnicking. That’s why we love the idea of gifting this top-of-the-line Leatherman. Coming from Leatherman’s FREE line, the P4 multitool boasts 21 tools packed into a compact 4.25-inch design. All of the tools — from the knife to the saw to screwdrivers — use a magnetic locking system for easy and safe opening/closing action. Purchase: $139.95 at REI Photo : Backcountry Patagonia 55L Black Hole Duffel Bag This Black Hole duffel bag from Patagonia has become our go-to for just about every adventure. Made using ripstop fabric, the bag can be dropped, scraped or carried through the rain without a problem. Its 55-liter capacity is great for weekend jaunts or longer trips, and you get multiple carrying options with drop handles and removable backpack straps. If you’re shopping for any outdoorsmen or travel lovers, this is something they’ll certainly appreciate. Purchase: $139 at Backcountry Photo : Baggu Baggu Duck Tote Bag Baggu has become one of the most beloved brands for simple, stylish everyday bags. The brand’s classic Duck tote bag is one of their best offerings, making a great choice for traveling or grocery shopping, or for carrying daily essentials (laptop, books, headphones, etc). You’ve got plenty of carrying options thanks to drop handles and an adjustable shoulder strap, while the bag’s taped seams and quality recycled cotton canvas construction make it durable enough for daily bumps and scrapes. Purchase: $34 at Photo : azn Kindle Paperwhite The new Kindle Paperwhite is the best e-reader we’ve ever tested, and the perfect gift for a bookworm. This model has a larger, 6.8-inch display, up to 10 weeks of battery life, and enough storage to hold hundreds of books. It’s also waterproof, and has a backlit screen that makes it easier to read in the dark. We recommend pairing the device with a gift subscription to Kindle Unlimited, a reading service that offers free access to a library of over one million books. Purchase: $139.99 at azn Photo : azn BenQ GV30 Know a movie buff? Blow their mind by gifting them BenQ’s GV30, a portable HD projector that can create a screen over 100-inches wide. The projector creates a crisp, vibrant image, and has a 2.1-channel audio system that provides surprisingly rich sound. The GV30 runs on Android, which means you can stream your favorite shows and movies without plugging in a streaming device.It also has an HDMI input, so you can plug in a game console with no problems. BenQ’s GV30 is a gift nobody expects, but anyone would appreciate. Purchase: $599 at azn Photo : Elevated Craft Elevated Craft co*cktail Shaker No bar cart is complete without Elevated Craft’s co*cktail Shaker. It features an airtight screw-top design that guarantees a well-balanced mix and perfect pour every single time. The top also functions as a jigger, with measurements etched onto the side. Every piece of this 28 ounce co*cktail shaker has been meticulously designed to help you deliver deliver flawless drinks without much effort. If you know anyone who likes making mixed drinks at home, this should be the only gift you consider. Purchase: $69.99 at azn Photo : Nanoleaf Nanoleaf Lines Nanoleaf’s Lines are the coolest smart lights we’ve seen in years, and allow you to make a custom-designed light fixture in your room. The lights connect together like Lego bricks, so you can fit them around any object — think framed art, a computer monitor, or hanging instrument. 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Christmas Also called Noël, Nativity, Xmas Observed by Christians, many non-Christians[1][2] Type Christian, cultural Significance Commemoration of the nativity of Jesus Celebrations Gift-giving, family and other social gatherings, symbolic decoration, feasting etc. Observances Church services Date December 25 (Western Christianity and part of the Eastern churches) January 7 (O.S. Dec. 25) (Most Oriental Orthodox and part of the Eastern Orthodox churches) January 6 (Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian Evangelical Church) January 19 (O.S. Jan. 6) (Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem) Frequency Annual Related to Christmastide, Christmas Eve, Advent, Annunciation, Epiphany, Baptism of the Lord, Nativity Fast, Nativity of Christ, Old Christmas, Yule, St. Stephen's Day, Boxing Day Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25[a] as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.[2][3][4] A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is preceded by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night.[5] Christmas Day is a public holiday in many countries,[6][7][8] is celebrated religiously by a majority of Christians,[9] as well as culturally by many non-Christians,[1][10] and forms an integral part of the holiday season organized around it. The traditional Christmas narrative recounted in the New Testament, known as the Nativity of Jesus, says that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in accordance with messianic prophecies.[11] When Joseph and Mary arrived in the city, the inn had no room and so they were offered a stable where the Christ Child was soon born, with angels proclaiming this news to shepherds who then spread the word.[12] There are different hypotheses regarding the date of Jesus' birth and in the early fourth century, the church fixed the date as December 25.[b][13][14][15] This corresponds to the traditional date of the winter solstice on the Roman calendar.[16] It is exactly nine months after Annunciation on March 25, also the date of the spring equinox. Most Christians celebrate on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar, which has been adopted almost universally in the civil calendars used in countries throughout the world. However, part of the Eastern Christian Churches celebrate Christmas on December 25 of the older Julian calendar, which currently corresponds to January 7 in the Gregorian calendar. For Christians, believing that God came into the world in the form of man to atone for the sins of humanity, rather than knowing Jesus' exact birth date, is considered to be the primary purpose in celebrating Christmas.[17][18][19] The celebratory customs associated in various countries with Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian, Christian, and secular themes and origins.[20] Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving; completing an Advent calendar or Advent wreath; Christmas music and caroling; viewing a Nativity play; an exchange of Christmas cards; church services; a special meal; and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, garlands, wreaths, mistletoe, and holly. In addition, several closely related and often interchangeable figures, known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, and Christkind, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their own body of traditions and lore.[21] Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses. Over the past few centuries, Christmas has had a steadily growing economic effect in many regions of the world. Etymology The English word "Christmas" is a shortened form of "Christ's Mass". The word is recorded as Crīstesmæsse in 1038 and Cristes-messe in 1131.[22] Crīst (genitive Crīstes) is from Greek Khrīstos (Χριστός), a translation of Hebrew Māšîaḥ (מָשִׁיחַ), "Messiah", meaning "anointed";[23][24] and mæsse is from Latin missa, the celebration of the Eucharist.[25] The form Christenmas was also used during some periods, but is now considered archaic and dialectal.[26] The term derives from Middle English Cristenmasse, meaning "Christian mass".[27] Xmas is an abbreviation of Christmas found particularly in print, based on the initial letter chi (Χ) in Greek Khrīstos (Χριστός) ("Christ"), although some style guides discourage its use.[28] This abbreviation has precedent in Middle English Χρ̄es masse (where "Χρ̄" is an abbreviation for Χριστός).[27] Other names In addition to "Christmas", the holiday has had various other English names throughout its history. The Anglo-Saxons referred to the feast as "midwinter",[29][30] or, more rarely, as Nātiuiteð (from Latin nātīvitās below).[29][31] "Nativity", meaning "birth", is from Latin nātīvitās.[32] In Old English, Gēola (Yule) referred to the period corresponding to December and January, which was eventually equated with Christian Christmas.[33] "Noel" (also "Nowel" or "Nowell", as in "The First Nowell") entered English in the late 14th century and is from the Old French noël or naël, itself ultimately from the Latin nātālis (diēs) meaning "birth (day)".[34] Nativity Main article: Nativity of Jesus The gospels of Luke and Matthew describe Jesus as being born in Bethlehem to the Virgin Mary. In the book of Luke, Joseph and Mary traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census, and Jesus was born there and placed in a manger.[35] Angels proclaimed him a savior for all people, and shepherds came to adore him. The book of Matthew adds that the magi followed a star to Bethlehem to bring gifts to Jesus, born the king of the Jews. King Herod ordered the massacre of all the boys less than two years old in Bethlehem, but the family fled to Egypt and later returned to Nazareth.[36] History See also: Date of birth of Jesus Eastern Orthodox icon of the birth of Christ by Saint Andrei Rublev, 15th century Nativity of Christ, medieval illustration from the Hortus deliciarum of Herrad of Landsberg (12th century) Adoration of the Shepherds (1622) by Gerard van Honthorst depicts the nativity of Jesus The nativity sequences included in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke prompted early Christian writers to suggest various dates for the anniversary.[37] Although no date is indicated in the gospels, early Christians connected Jesus to the Sun through the use of such phrases as "Sun of righteousness."[37][38] The Romans marked the winter solstice on December 25.[16] The first recorded Christmas celebration was in Rome on December 25, AD 336.[39] In the 3rd century, the date of the nativity was the subject of great interest. Around AD 200, Clement of Alexandria wrote: There are those who have determined not only the year of our Lord's birth, but also the day; and they say that it took place in the 28th year of Augustus, and in the 25th day of [the Egyptian month] Pachon [May 20] ... Further, others say that He was born on the 24th or 25th of Pharmuthi [April 20 or 21].[40] Various factors contributed to the selection of December 25 as a date of celebration: it was the date of the winter solstice on the Roman calendar and it was nine months after March 25, the date of the vernal equinox and a date linked to the conception of Jesus (celebrated as the Feast of the Annunciation).[41] Christmas played a role in the Arian controversy of the fourth century. After this controversy ran its course, the prominence of the holiday declined for a few centuries. The feast regained prominence after 800 when Charlemagne was crowned emperor on Christmas Day. In Puritan England, Christmas was banned, with Puritans considering it a Catholic invention and also associating the day with drunkenness and other misbehaviour.[42] It was restored as a legal holiday in England in 1660 when Puritan legislation was declared null and void, but it remained disreputable in the minds of some.[43] In the early 19th century, Christmas festivities and services became widespread with the rise of the Oxford Movement in the Church of England that emphasized the centrality of Christmas in Christianity and charity to the poor,[44] along with Washington Irving, Charles Dickens, and other authors emphasizing family, children, kind-heartedness, gift-giving, and Santa Claus (for Irving),[44] or Father Christmas (for Dickens).[45] Introduction At the time of the 2nd century, the "earliest church records" indicate that "Christians were remembering and celebrating the birth of the Lord", an "observance [that] sprang up organically from the authentic devotion of ordinary believers."[46] Though Christmas did not appear on the lists of festivals given by the early Christian writers Irenaeus and Tertullian,[22] the Chronograph of 354 records that a Christmas celebration took place in Rome eight days before the calends of January.[47] This section was written in AD 336, during the brief pontificate of Pope Mark.[48] In the East, the birth of Jesus was celebrated in connection with the Epiphany on January 6.[49][50] This holiday was not primarily about the nativity, but rather the baptism of Jesus.[51] Christmas was promoted in the East as part of the revival of Orthodox Christianity that followed the death of the pro-Arian Emperor Valens at the Battle of Adrianople in 378. The feast was introduced in Constantinople in 379, in Antioch by John Chrysostom towards the end of the fourth century,[50] probably in 388, and in Alexandria in the following century.[52] Calculation hypothesis Further information: Chronology of Jesus Mosaic in Mausoleum M in the pre-fourth-century necropolis under St Peter's Basilica in Rome, interpreted by some as Jesus represented as Christus Sol (Christ the Sun).[53] The calculation hypothesis suggests that an earlier holiday, the Annunciation, held on March 25 became associated with the Incarnation.[54] Christmas was then calculated as nine months later. The calculation hypothesis was proposed by French writer Louis duch*esne in 1889.[55][56] The Bible in Luke 1:26 records the annunciation to Mary to be at the time when Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist, was in her sixth month of pregnancy (cf. Nativity of Saint John the Baptist).[57][58] The ecclesiastical holiday was created in the seventh century and was assigned to be celebrated on March 25; this date is nine months before Christmas, in addition to being the traditional date of the equinox.[58] It is unrelated to the Quartodeciman, which had been forgotten by this time.[59] Forgotten by everyone except the Jews, of course, who continued to observe Passover; also a Quartodeciman feast. Early Christians celebrated the life of Jesus on a date considered equivalent to 14 Nisan (Passover) on the local calendar. Because Passover was held on the 14th of the month, this feast is referred to as the Quartodeciman. All the major events of Christ's life, especially the passion, were celebrated on this date. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul mentions Passover, presumably celebrated according to the local calendar in Corinth.[60] Tertullian (d. 220), who lived in Latin-speaking North Africa, gives the date of passion celebration as March 25.[61] The date of the passion was moved to Good Friday in 165 when Pope Soter created Easter by reassigning the Resurrection to a Sunday. According to the calculation hypothesis, the celebration of the Quartodeciman continued in some areas and the feast became associated with Incarnation.[62] The calculation hypothesis is considered academically to be "a thoroughly viable hypothesis", though not certain.[63] It was a traditional Jewish belief that great men were born and died on the same day, so lived a whole number of years, without fractions: Jesus was therefore considered to have been conceived on March 25, as he died on March 25, which was calculated to have coincided with 14 Nisan.[64] A passage in Commentary on the Prophet Daniel (204) by Hippolytus of Rome identifies December 25 as the date of the nativity. This passage is generally considered a late interpolation. But the manuscript includes another passage, one that is more likely to be authentic, that gives the passion as March 25.[65] In 221, Sextus Julius Africanus (c. 160 – c. 240) gave March 25 as the day of creation and of the conception of Jesus in his universal history. This conclusion was based on solar symbolism, with March 25 the date of the equinox. As this implies a birth in December, it is sometimes claimed to be the earliest identification of December 25 as the nativity. However, Africanus was not such an influential writer that it is likely he determined the date of Christmas.[66] The treatise De solstitia et aequinoctia conceptionis et nativitatis Domini nostri Iesu Christi et Iohannis Baptistae, pseudepigraphically attributed to John Chrysostom and dating to the early fourth century,[67][68] also argued that Jesus was conceived and crucified on the same day of the year and calculated this as March 25.[69][70] This anonymous tract also states: "But Our Lord, too, is born in the month of December ... the eight before the calends of January [25 December] ..., But they call it the 'Birthday of the Unconquered'. Who indeed is so unconquered as Our Lord...? Or, if they say that it is the birthday of the Sun, He is the Sun of Justice."[22] Solstice date hypothesis December 25 was considered the date of the winter solstice in the Roman calendar,[16][71] though actually it occurred on the 23rd or 24th at that time.[72] A late fourth-century sermon by Saint Augustine explains why this was a fitting day to celebrate Christ's nativity: "Hence it is that He was born on the day which is the shortest in our earthly reckoning and from which subsequent days begin to increase in length. He, therefore, who bent low and lifted us up chose the shortest day, yet the one whence light begins to increase."[73] Linking Jesus to the Sun was supported by various Biblical passages. Jesus was considered to be the "Sun of righteousness" prophesied by Malachi: "Unto you shall the sun of righteousness arise, and healing is in his wings."[38] Such solar symbolism could support more than one date of birth. An anonymous work known as De Pascha Computus (243) linked the idea that creation began at the spring equinox, on March 25, with the conception or birth (the word nascor can mean either) of Jesus on March 28, the day of the creation of the sun in the Genesis account. One translation reads: "O the splendid and divine providence of the Lord, that on that day, the very day, on which the sun was made, March 28, a Wednesday, Christ should be born".[22][74] In the 17th century, Isaac Newton, who, coincidentally, was born on December 25, argued that the date of Christmas may have been selected to correspond with the solstice.[75] Conversely, according to Steven Hijmans of the University of Alberta, "It is cosmic symbolism ... which inspired the Church leadership in Rome to elect the southern solstice, December 25, as the birthday of Christ, and the northern solstice as that of John the Baptist, supplemented by the equinoxes as their respective dates of conception."[76] History of religions hypothesis See also: Saturnalia The rival "History of Religions" hypothesis suggests that the Church selected December 25 date to appropriate festivities held by the Romans in honor of the Sun god Sol Invictus.[54] This cult was established by Aurelian in 274. An explicit expression of this theory appears in an annotation of uncertain date added to a manuscript of a work by 12th-century Syrian bishop Jacob Bar-Salibi. The scribe who added it wrote: It was a custom of the Pagans to celebrate on the same 25 December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and revelries, the Christians also took part. Accordingly, when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnised on that day.[77] In 1743, German Protestant Paul Ernst Jablonski argued Christmas was placed on December 25 to correspond with the Roman solar holiday Dies Natalis Solis Invicti and was therefore a "paganization" that debased the true church.[78] However, it has been also argued that, on the contrary, the Emperor Aurelian, who in 274 instituted the holiday of the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, did so partly as an attempt to give a pagan significance to a date already important for Christians in Rome.[79] Hermann Usener[80] and others[22] proposed that the Christians chose this day because it was the Roman feast celebrating the birthday of Sol Invictus. Modern scholar S. E. Hijmans, however, states that "While they were aware that pagans called this day the 'birthday' of Sol Invictus, this did not concern them and it did not play any role in their choice of date for Christmas."[76] Moreover, Thomas J. Talley holds that the Roman Emperor Aurelian placed a festival of Sol Invictus on December 25 in order to compete with the growing rate of the Christian Church, which had already been celebrating Christmas on that date first.[81] In the judgement of the Church of England Liturgical Commission, the History of Religions hypothesis has been challenged[82] by a view based on an old tradition, according to which the date of Christmas was fixed at nine months after March 25, the date of the vernal equinox, on which the Annunciation was celebrated.[69] Adam C. English, Professor of Religion at Campbell University, writes:[46] We have evidence from the second century, less than fifty years after the close of the New Testament, that Christians were remembering and celebrating the birth of the Lord. It is not true to say that the observance of the nativity was imposed on Christians hundreds of years later by imperial decree or by a magisterial church ruling. The observance sprang up organically from the authentic devotion of ordinary believers.[46] With regard to a December religious feast of the deified Sun (Sol), as distinct from a solstice feast of the birth (or rebirth) of the astronomical sun, Hijmans has commented that "while the winter solstice on or around December 25 was well established in the Roman imperial calendar, there is no evidence that a religious celebration of Sol on that day antedated the celebration of Christmas".[83] "Thomas Talley has shown that, although the Emperor Aurelian's dedication of a temple to the sun god in the Campus Martius (C.E. 274) probably took place on the 'Birthday of the Invincible Sun' on December 25, the cult of the sun in pagan Rome ironically did not celebrate the winter solstice nor any of the other quarter-tense days, as one might expect."[84] The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought remarks on the uncertainty about the order of precedence between the religious celebrations of the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun and of the birthday of Jesus, stating that the hypothesis that December 25 was chosen for celebrating the birth of Jesus on the basis of the belief that his conception occurred on March 25 "potentially establishes 25 December as a Christian festival before Aurelian's decree, which, when promulgated, might have provided for the Christian feast both opportunity and challenge".[85] Relation to concurrent celebrations Many popular customs associated with Christmas developed independently of the commemoration of Jesus' birth, with some claiming that certain elements have origins in pre-Christian festivals that were celebrated by pagan populations who were later converted to Christianity. The prevailing atmosphere of Christmas has also continually evolved since the holiday's inception, ranging from a sometimes raucous, drunken, carnival-like state in the Middle Ages,[86] to a tamer family-oriented and children-centered theme introduced in a 19th-century transformation.[87][88] The celebration of Christmas was banned on more than one occasion within certain groups, such as the Puritans and Jehovah's Witnesses (who do not celebrate birthdays in general), due to concerns that it was too unbiblical.[89][42][90] Prior to and through the early Christian centuries, winter festivals were the most popular of the year in many European pagan cultures. Reasons included the fact that less agricultural work needed to be done during the winter, as well as an expectation of better weather as spring approached.[91] Celtic winter herbs such as mistletoe and ivy, and the custom of kissing under a mistletoe, are common in modern Christmas celebrations in the English-speaking countries. The pre-Christian Germanic peoples—including the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse—celebrated a winter festival called Yule, held in the late December to early January period, yielding modern English yule, today used as a synonym for Christmas.[92] In Germanic language-speaking areas, numerous elements of modern Christmas folk custom and iconography may have originated from Yule, including the Yule log, Yule boar, and the Yule goat.[93][92] Often leading a ghostly procession through the sky (the Wild Hunt), the long-bearded god Odin is referred to as "the Yule one" and "Yule father" in Old Norse texts, while other gods are referred to as "Yule beings".[94] On the other hand, as there are no reliable existing references to a Christmas log prior to the 16th century, the burning of the Christmas block may have been an early modern invention by Christians unrelated to the pagan practice.[95] In eastern Europe also, old pagan traditions were incorporated into Christmas celebrations, an example being the Koleda,[96] which was incorporated into the Christmas carol. Post-classical history The Nativity, from a 14th-century Missal; a liturgical book containing texts and music necessary for the celebration of Mass throughout the year In the Early Middle Ages, Christmas Day was overshadowed by Epiphany, which in western Christianity focused on the visit of the magi. But the medieval calendar was dominated by Christmas-related holidays. The forty days before Christmas became the "forty days of St. Martin" (which began on November 11, the feast of St. Martin of Tours), now known as Advent.[86] In Italy, former Saturnalian traditions were attached to Advent.[86] Around the 12th century, these traditions transferred again to the Twelve Days of Christmas (December 25 – January 5); a time that appears in the liturgical calendars as Christmastide or Twelve Holy Days.[86] The prominence of Christmas Day increased gradually after Charlemagne was crowned Emperor on Christmas Day in 800. King Edmund the Martyr was anointed on Christmas in 855 and King William I of England was crowned on Christmas Day 1066. The coronation of Charlemagne on Christmas of 800 helped promote the popularity of the holiday By the High Middle Ages, the holiday had become so prominent that chroniclers routinely noted where various magnates celebrated Christmas. King Richard II of England hosted a Christmas feast in 1377 at which 28 oxen and 300 sheep were eaten.[86] The Yule boar was a common feature of medieval Christmas feasts. Caroling also became popular, and was originally performed by a group of dancers who sang. The group was composed of a lead singer and a ring of dancers that provided the chorus. Various writers of the time condemned caroling as lewd, indicating that the unruly traditions of Saturnalia and Yule may have continued in this form.[86] "Misrule"—drunkenness, promiscuity, gambling—was also an important aspect of the festival. In England, gifts were exchanged on New Year's Day, and there was special Christmas ale.[86] Christmas during the Middle Ages was a public festival that incorporated ivy, holly, and other evergreens.[97] Christmas gift-giving during the Middle Ages was usually between people with legal relationships, such as tenant and landlord.[97] The annual indulgence in eating, dancing, singing, sporting, and card playing escalated in England, and by the 17th century the Christmas season featured lavish dinners, elaborate masques, and pageants. In 1607, King James I insisted that a play be acted on Christmas night and that the court indulge in games.[98] It was during the Reformation in 16th–17th-century Europe that many Protestants changed the gift bringer to the Christ Child or Christkindl, and the date of giving gifts changed from December 6 to Christmas Eve.[99] Modern history 17th and 18th centuries Following the Protestant Reformation, many of the new denominations, including the Anglican Church and Lutheran Church, continued to celebrate Christmas.[100] In 1629, the Anglican poet John Milton penned On the Morning of Christ's Nativity, a poem that has since been read by many during Christmastide.[101][102] Donald Heinz, a professor at California State University, states that Martin Luther "inaugurated a period in which Germany would produce a unique culture of Christmas, much copied in North America."[103] Among the congregations of the Dutch Reformed Church, Christmas was celebrated as one of the principal evangelical feasts.[104] However, in 17th century England, some groups such as the Puritans strongly condemned the celebration of Christmas, considering it a Catholic invention and the "trappings of popery" or the "rags of the Beast".[42] In contrast, the established Anglican Church "pressed for a more elaborate observance of feasts, penitential seasons, and saints' days. The calendar reform became a major point of tension between the Anglican party and the Puritan party."[105] The Catholic Church also responded, promoting the festival in a more religiously oriented form. King Charles I of England directed his noblemen and gentry to return to their landed estates in midwinter to keep up their old-style Christmas generosity.[98] Following the Parliamentarian victory over Charles I during the English Civil War, England's Puritan rulers banned Christmas in 1647.[42][106] Protests followed as pro-Christmas rioting broke out in several cities and for weeks Canterbury was controlled by the rioters, who decorated doorways with holly and shouted royalist slogans.[42] The book, The Vindication of Christmas (London, 1652), argued against the Puritans, and makes note of Old English Christmas traditions, dinner, roast apples on the fire, card playing, dances with "plow-boys" and "maidservants", old Father Christmas and carol singing.[107] During the ban, semi-clandestine religious services marking Christ's birth continued to be held, and people sang carols in secret.[43] The Examination and Tryal of Old Father Christmas, (1686), published after Christmas was reinstated as a holy day in England The Restoration of King Charles II in 1660 ended the ban, and Christmas was again freely celebrated in England.[43] Many Calvinist clergymen disapproved of Christmas celebration. As such, in Scotland, the Presbyterian Church of Scotland discouraged the observance of Christmas, and though James VI commanded its celebration in 1618, attendance at church was scant.[108] The Parliament of Scotland officially abolished the observance of Christmas in 1640, claiming that the church had been "purged of all superstitious observation of days".[109] Whereas in England, Wales and Ireland Christmas Day is a common law holiday, having been a customary holiday since time immemorial, it was not until 1871 that it was designated a bank holiday in Scotland.[110] Following the Restoration of Charles II, Poor Robin's Almanack contained the lines: "Now thanks to God for Charles return, / Whose absence made old Christmas mourn. / For then we scarcely did it know, / Whether it Christmas were or no."[111] The diary of James Woodforde, from the latter half of the 18th century, details the observance of Christmas and celebrations associated with the season over a number of years.[112] As in England, Puritans in Colonial America staunchly opposed the observation of Christmas.[90] The Pilgrims of New England pointedly spent their first December 25th in the New World working normally.[90] Puritans such as Cotton Mather condemned Christmas both because scripture did not mention its observance and because Christmas celebrations of the day often involved boisterous behavior.[113][114] Many non-Puritans in New England deplored the loss of the holidays enjoyed by the laboring classes in England.[115] Christmas observance was outlawed in Boston in 1659.[90] The ban on Christmas observance was revoked in 1681 by English governor Edmund Andros, but it was not until the mid-19th century that celebrating Christmas became fashionable in the Boston region.[116] At the same time, Christian residents of Virginia and New York observed the holiday freely. Pennsylvania German Settlers, pre-eminently the Moravian settlers of Bethlehem, Nazareth and Lititz in Pennsylvania and the Wachovia Settlements in North Carolina, were enthusiastic celebrators of Christmas. The Moravians in Bethlehem had the first Christmas trees in America as well as the first Nativity Scenes.[117] Christmas fell out of favor in the United States after the American Revolution, when it was considered an English custom.[118] George Washington attacked Hessian (German) mercenaries on the day after Christmas during the Battle of Trenton on December 26, 1776, Christmas being much more popular in Germany than in America at this time. With the atheistic Cult of Reason in power during the era of Revolutionary France, Christian Christmas religious services were banned and the three kings cake was renamed the "equality cake" under anticlerical government policies.[119][120] 19th century Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present. From Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, 1843. In the early-19th century, writers imagined Tudor Christmas as a time of heartfelt celebration. In 1843, Charles Dickens wrote the novel A Christmas Carol, which helped revive the "spirit" of Christmas and seasonal merriment.[87][88] Its instant popularity played a major role in portraying Christmas as a holiday emphasizing family, goodwill, and compassion.[44] Dickens sought to construct Christmas as a family-centered festival of generosity, linking "worship and feasting, within a context of social reconciliation."[121] Superimposing his humanitarian vision of the holiday, in what has been termed "Carol Philosophy",[122] Dickens influenced many aspects of Christmas that are celebrated today in Western culture, such as family gatherings, seasonal food and drink, dancing, games, and a festive generosity of spirit.[123] A prominent phrase from the tale, "Merry Christmas", was popularized following the appearance of the story.[124] This coincided with the appearance of the Oxford Movement and the growth of Anglo-Catholicism, which led a revival in traditional rituals and religious observances.[125] The Queen's Christmas tree at Windsor Castle, published in the Illustrated London News, 1848 The term Scrooge became a synonym for miser, with "Bah! Humbug!" dismissive of the festive spirit.[126] In 1843, the first commercial Christmas card was produced by Sir Henry Cole.[127] The revival of the Christmas Carol began with William Sandys's "Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern" (1833), with the first appearance in print of "The First Noel", "I Saw Three Ships", "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen", popularized in Dickens' A Christmas Carol. In Britain, the Christmas tree was introduced in the early 19th century by the German-born Queen Charlotte. In 1832, the future Queen Victoria wrote about her delight at having a Christmas tree, hung with lights, ornaments, and presents placed round it.[128] After her marriage to her German cousin Prince Albert, by 1841 the custom became more widespread throughout Britain.[129] An image of the British royal family with their Christmas tree at Windsor Castle created a sensation when it was published in the Illustrated London News in 1848. A modified version of this image was published in Godey's Lady's Book, Philadelphia in 1850.[130][131] By the 1870s, putting up a Christmas tree had become common in America.[130] In America, interest in Christmas had been revived in the 1820s by several short stories by Washington Irving which appear in his The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. and "Old Christmas". Irving's stories depicted harmonious warm-hearted English Christmas festivities he experienced while staying in Aston Hall, Birmingham, England, that had largely been abandoned,[132] and he used the tract Vindication of Christmas (1652) of Old English Christmas traditions, that he had transcribed into his journal as a format for his stories.[98] A Norwegian Christmas, 1846 painting by Adolph Tidemand In 1822, Clement Clarke Moore wrote the poem A Visit From St. Nicholas (popularly known by its first line: Twas the Night Before Christmas).[133] The poem helped popularize the tradition of exchanging gifts, and seasonal Christmas shopping began to assume economic importance.[134] This also started the cultural conflict between the holiday's spiritual significance and its associated commercialism that some see as corrupting the holiday. In her 1850 book The First Christmas in New England, Harriet Beecher Stowe includes a character who complains that the true meaning of Christmas was lost in a shopping spree.[135] While the celebration of Christmas was not yet customary in some regions in the U.S., Henry Wadsworth Longfellow detected "a transition state about Christmas here in New England" in 1856. "The old puritan feeling prevents it from being a cheerful, hearty holiday; though every year makes it more so."[136] In Reading, Pennsylvania, a newspaper remarked in 1861, "Even our presbyterian friends who have hitherto steadfastly ignored Christmas—threw open their church doors and assembled in force to celebrate the anniversary of the Savior's birth."[136] The First Congregational Church of Rockford, Illinois, "although of genuine Puritan stock", was 'preparing for a grand Christmas jubilee', a news correspondent reported in 1864.[136] By 1860, fourteen states including several from New England had adopted Christmas as a legal holiday.[137] In 1875, Louis Prang introduced the Christmas card to Americans. He has been called the "father of the American Christmas card".[138] On June 28, 1870, Christmas was formally declared a United States federal holiday.[139] 20th century The Christmas Visit. Postcard, c.1910 During the First World War and particularly (but not exclusively)[140] in 1914, a series of informal truces took place for Christmas between opposing armies. The truces, which were organised spontaneously by fighting men, ranged from promises not to shoot shouted at a distance in order to ease the pressure of war for the day to friendly socializing, gift giving and even sport between enemies.[141] These incidents became a well known and semi-mythologised part of popular memory.[142] They have been described as a symbol of common humanity even in the darkest of situations and used to demonstrate to children the ideals of Christmas.[143] Up to the 1950s in the UK, many Christmas customs were restricted to the upper classes and better-off families. The mass of the population had not adopted many of the Christmas rituals that later became general. The Christmas tree was rare. Christmas dinner might be beef or goose – certainly not turkey. In their stockings children might get an apple, orange, and sweets. Full celebration of a family Christmas with all the trimmings only became widespread with increased prosperity from the 1950s.[144] National papers were published on Christmas Day until 1912. Post was still delivered on Christmas Day until 1961. League football matches continued in Scotland until the 1970s while in England they ceased at the end of the 1950s.[145][146] Under the state atheism of the Soviet Union, after its foundation in 1917, Christmas celebrations—along with other Christian holidays—were prohibited in public.[147] During the 1920s, '30s, and '40s, the League of Militant Atheists encouraged school pupils to campaign against Christmas traditions, such as the Christmas tree, as well as other Christian holidays, including Easter; the League established an antireligious holiday to be the 31st of each month as a replacement.[148] At the height of this persecution, in 1929, on Christmas Day, children in Moscow were encouraged to spit on crucifixes as a protest against the holiday.[149] Instead, the importance of the holiday and all its trappings, such as the Christmas tree and gift-giving, was transferred to the New Year.[150] It was not until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 that the persecution ended and Orthodox Christmas became a state holiday again for the first time in Russia after seven decades.[151] European History Professor Joseph Perry wrote that likewise, in Nazi Germany, "because Nazi ideologues saw organized religion as an enemy of the totalitarian state, propagandists sought to deemphasize—or eliminate altogether—the Christian aspects of the holiday" and that "Propagandists tirelessly promoted numerous Nazified Christmas songs, which replaced Christian themes with the regime's racial ideologies."[152] As Christmas celebrations began to be held around the world even outside traditional Christian cultures in the 20th century, some Muslim-majority countries subsequently banned the practice of Christmas, claiming it undermines Islam.[153] Observance and traditions Further information: Christmas traditions and Observance of Christmas by country Christmas at the Annunciation Church in Nazareth, 1965. Photo by Dan Hadani. Christmas at the Annunciation Church in Nazareth, 1965 Dark brown – countries that do not recognize Christmas on December 25 or January 7 as a public holiday. Light brown – countries that do not recognize Christmas as a public holiday, but the holiday is given observance. Many Christians attend church services to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.[154] Christmas Day is celebrated as a major festival and public holiday in countries around the world, including many whose populations are mostly non-Christian. In some non-Christian areas, periods of former colonial rule introduced the celebration (e.g. Hong Kong); in others, Christian minorities or foreign cultural influences have led populations to observe the holiday. Countries such as Japan, where Christmas is popular despite there being only a small number of Christians, have adopted many of the secular aspects of Christmas, such as gift-giving, decorations, and Christmas trees. Among countries with a strong Christian tradition, a variety of Christmas celebrations have developed that incorporate regional and local cultures. Church attendance Christmas Day (inclusive of its vigil, Christmas Eve), is a Festival in the Lutheran Churches, a holy day of obligation in the Roman Catholic Church, and a Principal Feast of the Anglican Communion. Other Christian denominations do not rank their feast days but nevertheless place importance on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day, as with other Christian feasts like Easter, Ascension Day, and Pentecost.[155] As such, for Christians, attending a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day church service plays an important part in the recognition of the Christmas season. Christmas, along with Easter, is the period of highest annual church attendance. A 2010 survey by LifeWay Christian Resources found that six in ten Americans attend church services during this time.[156] In the United Kingdom, the Church of England reported an estimated attendance of 2.5 million people at Christmas services in 2015.[157] Decorations Main article: Christmas decoration A typical Neapolitan presepe or presepio, or Nativity scene. Local crèches are renowned for their ornate decorations and symbolic figurines, often mirroring daily life. Nativity scenes are known from 10th-century Rome. They were popularised by Saint Francis of Assisi from 1223, quickly spreading across Europe.[158] Different types of decorations developed across the Christian world, dependent on local tradition and available resources, and can vary from simple representations of the crib to far more elaborate sets – renowned manger scene traditions include the colourful Kraków szopka in Poland,[159] which imitate Kraków's historical buildings as settings, the elaborate Italian presepi (Neapolitan, Genoese and Bolognese),[160][161][162][163] or the Provençal crèches in southern France, using hand-painted terracotta figurines called santons.[164] In certain parts of the world, notably Sicily, living nativity scenes following the tradition of Saint Francis are a popular alternative to static crèches.[165][166][167] The first commercially produced decorations appeared in Germany in the 1860s, inspired by paper chains made by children.[168] In countries where a representation of the Nativity scene is very popular, people are encouraged to compete and create the most original or realistic ones. Within some families, the pieces used to make the representation are considered a valuable family heirloom.[169] The traditional colors of Christmas decorations are red, green, and gold.[170][171] Red symbolizes the blood of Jesus, which was shed in his crucifixion; green symbolizes eternal life, and in particular the evergreen tree, which does not lose its leaves in the winter; and gold is the first color associated with Christmas, as one of the three gifts of the Magi, symbolizing royalty.[172] The official White House Christmas tree for 1962, displayed in the Entrance Hall and presented by John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie. The Christmas tree was first used by German Lutherans in the 16th century, with records indicating that a Christmas tree was placed in the Cathedral of Strassburg in 1539, under the leadership of the Protestant Reformer, Martin Bucer.[173][174] In the United States, these "German Lutherans brought the decorated Christmas tree with them; the Moravians put lighted candles on those trees."[175][176] When decorating the Christmas tree, many individuals place a star at the top of the tree symbolizing the Star of Bethlehem, a fact recorded by The School Journal in 1897.[177][178] Professor David Albert Jones of Oxford University writes that in the 19th century, it became popular for people to also use an angel to top the Christmas tree in order to symbolize the angels mentioned in the accounts of the Nativity of Jesus.[179] The Christmas tree is considered by some as Christianisation of pagan tradition and ritual surrounding the Winter Solstice, which included the use of evergreen boughs, and an adaptation of pagan tree worship;[180] according to eighth-century biographer Æddi Stephanus, Saint Boniface (634–709), who was a missionary in Germany, took an ax to an oak tree dedicated to Thor and pointed out a fir tree, which he stated was a more fitting object of reverence because it pointed to heaven and it had a triangular shape, which he said was symbolic of the Trinity.[181] The English language phrase "Christmas tree" is first recorded in 1835[182] and represents an importation from the German language.[180][183][184] On Christmas, the Christ Candle in the center of the Advent wreath is traditionally lit in many church services. Since the 16th century, the poinsettia, a native plant from Mexico, has been associated with Christmas carrying the Christian symbolism of the Star of Bethlehem; in that country it is known in Spanish as the Flower of the Holy Night.[185][186] Other popular holiday plants include holly, mistletoe, red amaryllis, and Christmas cactus.[187] Other traditional decorations include bells, candles, candy canes, stockings, wreaths, and angels. Both the displaying of wreaths and candles in each window are a more traditional Christmas display.[188] The concentric assortment of leaves, usually from an evergreen, make up Christmas wreaths and are designed to prepare Christians for the Advent season. Candles in each window are meant to demonstrate the fact that Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the ultimate light of the world.[189] Christmas lights and banners may be hung along streets, music played from speakers, and Christmas trees placed in prominent places.[190] It is common in many parts of the world for town squares and consumer shopping areas to sponsor and display decorations. Rolls of brightly colored paper with secular or religious Christmas motifs are manufactured for the purpose of wrapping gifts. In some countries, Christmas decorations are traditionally taken down on Twelfth Night.[191] Nativity play Main article: Nativity play Children in Oklahoma reenact a Nativity play For the Christian celebration of Christmas, the viewing of the Nativity play is one of the oldest Christmastime traditions, with the first reenactment of the Nativity of Jesus taking place in A.D. 1223.[192] In that year, Francis of Assisi assembled a Nativity scene outside of his church in Italy and children sung Christmas carols celebrating the birth of Jesus.[192] Each year, this grew larger and people travelled from afar to see Francis' depiction of the Nativity of Jesus that came to feature drama and music.[192] Nativity plays eventually spread throughout all of Europe, where they remain popular. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day church services often came to feature Nativity plays, as did schools and theatres.[192] In France, Germany, Mexico and Spain, Nativity plays are often reenacted outdoors in the streets.[192] Music and carols Main article: Christmas music Christmas carolers in Jersey The earliest extant specifically Christmas hymns appear in fourth-century Rome. Latin hymns such as "Veni redemptor gentium", written by Ambrose, Archbishop of Milan, were austere statements of the theological doctrine of the Incarnation in opposition to Arianism. "Corde natus ex Parentis" ("Of the Father's love begotten") by the Spanish poet Prudentius (d. 413) is still sung in some churches today.[193] In the 9th and 10th centuries, the Christmas "Sequence" or "Prose" was introduced in North European monasteries, developing under Bernard of Clairvaux into a sequence of rhymed stanzas. In the 12th century the Parisian monk Adam of St. Victor began to derive music from popular songs, introducing something closer to the traditional Christmas carol. Christmas carols in English appear in a 1426 work of John Awdlay who lists twenty five "caroles of Cristemas", probably sung by groups of 'wassailers', who went from house to house.[194] Child singers in Bucharest, 1841 The songs now known specifically as carols were originally communal folk songs sung during celebrations such as "harvest tide" as well as Christmas. It was only later that carols began to be sung in church. Traditionally, carols have often been based on medieval chord patterns, and it is this that gives them their uniquely characteristic musical sound. Some carols like "Personent hodie", "Good King Wenceslas", and "In dulci jubilo" can be traced directly back to the Middle Ages. They are among the oldest musical compositions still regularly sung. "Adeste Fideles" (O Come all ye faithful) appears in its current form in the mid-18th century. The singing of carols initially suffered a decline in popularity after the Protestant Reformation in northern Europe, although some Reformers, like Martin Luther, wrote carols and encouraged their use in worship. Carols largely survived in rural communities until the revival of interest in popular songs in the 19th century. The 18th-century English reformer Charles Wesley understood the importance of music to worship. In addition to setting many psalms to melodies, he wrote texts for at least three Christmas carols. The best known was originally entitled "Hark! How All the Welkin Rings", later renamed "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing".[195] Hark! The Herald Angels Sing 1:52 Performed by the U.S. Army Band Chorus Problems playing this file? See media help. Completely secular Christmas seasonal songs emerged in the late 18th century. The Welsh melody for "Deck the Halls" dates from 1794, with the lyrics added by Scottish musician Thomas Oliphant in 1862, and the American "Jingle Bells" was copyrighted in 1857. Other popular carols include "The First Noel", "God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen", "The Holly and the Ivy", "I Saw Three Ships", "In the Bleak Midwinter", "Joy to the World", "Once in Royal David's City" and "While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks".[196] In the 19th and 20th centuries, African American spirituals and songs about Christmas, based in their tradition of spirituals, became more widely known. An increasing number of seasonal holiday songs were commercially produced in the 20th century, including jazz and blues variations. In addition, there was a revival of interest in early music, from groups singing folk music, such as The Revels, to performers of early medieval and classical music. One of the most ubiquitous festive songs is "We Wish You a Merry Christmas", which originates from the West Country of England in the 1930s.[197] Radio has covered Christmas music from variety shows from the 1940s and 1950s, as well as modern-day stations that exclusively play Christmas music from late November through December 25.[198] Hollywood movies have featured new Christmas music, such as "White Christmas" in Holiday Inn and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.[198] Traditional carols have also been included in Hollywood films, such as "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing" in It's a Wonderful Life (1946), and "Silent Night" in A Christmas Story.[198] Traditional cuisine Christmas dinner setting A special Christmas family meal is traditionally an important part of the holiday's celebration, and the food that is served varies greatly from country to country. Some regions have special meals for Christmas Eve, such as Sicily, where 12 kinds of fish are served. In the United Kingdom and countries influenced by its traditions, a standard Christmas meal includes turkey, goose or other large bird, gravy, potatoes, vegetables, sometimes bread and cider. Special desserts are also prepared, such as Christmas pudding, mince pies, Christmas cake, Panettone and Yule log cake.[199][200] Traditional Christmas meal in Central Europe is fried carp or other fish.[201] Cards Main article: Christmas card A 1907 Christmas card with Santa and some of his reindeer Christmas cards are illustrated messages of greeting exchanged between friends and family members during the weeks preceding Christmas Day. The traditional greeting reads "wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year", much like that of the first commercial Christmas card, produced by Sir Henry Cole in London in 1843.[202] The custom of sending them has become popular among a wide cross-section of people with the emergence of the modern trend towards exchanging E-cards.[203][204] Christmas cards are purchased in considerable quantities and feature artwork, commercially designed and relevant to the season. The content of the design might relate directly to the Christmas narrative, with depictions of the Nativity of Jesus, or Christian symbols such as the Star of Bethlehem, or a white dove, which can represent both the Holy Spirit and Peace on Earth. Other Christmas cards are more secular and can depict Christmas traditions, mythical figures such as Santa Claus, objects directly associated with Christmas such as candles, holly, and baubles, or a variety of images associated with the season, such as Christmastide activities, snow scenes, and the wildlife of the northern winter.[205] Some prefer cards with a poem, prayer, or Biblical verse; while others distance themselves from religion with an all-inclusive "Season's greetings".[206] Commemorative stamps Main article: Christmas stamp A number of nations have issued commemorative stamps at Christmastide. Postal customers will often use these stamps to mail Christmas cards, and they are popular with philatelists. These stamps are regular postage stamps, unlike Christmas seals, and are valid for postage year-round. They usually go on sale sometime between early October and early December and are printed in considerable quantities. Gift giving Main article: Christmas gift Christmas gifts under a Christmas tree The exchanging of gifts is one of the core aspects of the modern Christmas celebration, making it the most profitable time of year for retailers and businesses throughout the world. On Christmas, people exchange gifts based on the Christian tradition associated with Saint Nicholas,[207] and the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh which were given to the baby Jesus by the Magi.[208][209] The practice of gift giving in the Roman celebration of Saturnalia may have influenced Christian customs, but on the other hand the Christian "core dogma of the Incarnation, however, solidly established the giving and receiving of gifts as the structural principle of that recurrent yet unique event", because it was the Biblical Magi, "together with all their fellow men, who received the gift of God through man's renewed participation in the divine life."[210] Gift-bearing figures Main article: List of Christmas and winter gift-bringers by country A number of figures are associated with Christmas and the seasonal giving of gifts. Among these are Father Christmas, also known as Santa Claus (derived from the Dutch for Saint Nicholas), Père Noël, and the Weihnachtsmann; Saint Nicholas or Sinterklaas; the Christkind; Kris Kringle; Joulupukki; tomte/nisse; Babbo Natale; Saint Basil; and Ded Moroz. The Scandinavian tomte (also called nisse) is sometimes depicted as a gnome instead of Santa Claus. Saint Nicholas, known as Sinterklaas in the Netherlands, is considered by many to be the original Santa Claus[211] The best known of these figures today is red-dressed Santa Claus, of diverse origins. The name Santa Claus can be traced back to the Dutch Sinterklaas, which means simply Saint Nicholas. Nicholas was a 4th-century Greek bishop of Myra, a city in the Roman province of Lycia, whose ruins are 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from modern Demre in southwest Turkey.[212][213] Among other saintly attributes, he was noted for the care of children, generosity, and the giving of gifts. His feast day, December 6, came to be celebrated in many countries with the giving of gifts.[99] Saint Nicholas traditionally appeared in bishop's attire, accompanied by helpers, inquiring about the behaviour of children during the past year before deciding whether they deserved a gift or not. By the 13th century, Saint Nicholas was well known in the Netherlands, and the practice of gift-giving in his name spread to other parts of central and southern Europe. At the Reformation in 16th–17th-century Europe, many Protestants changed the gift bringer to the Christ Child or Christkindl, corrupted in English to Kris Kringle, and the date of giving gifts changed from December 6 to Christmas Eve.[99] The modern popular image of Santa Claus, however, was created in the United States, and in particular in New York. The transformation was accomplished with the aid of notable contributors including Washington Irving and the German-American cartoonist Thomas Nast (1840–1902). Following the American Revolutionary War, some of the inhabitants of New York City sought out symbols of the city's non-English past. New York had originally been established as the Dutch colonial town of New Amsterdam and the Dutch Sinterklaas tradition was reinvented as Saint Nicholas.[214] Current tradition in several Latin American countries (such as Venezuela and Colombia) holds that while Santa makes the toys, he then gives them to the Baby Jesus, who is the one who actually delivers them to the children's homes, a reconciliation between traditional religious beliefs and the iconography of Santa Claus imported from the United States. In South Tyrol (Italy), Austria, Czech Republic, Southern Germany, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, and Switzerland, the Christkind (Ježíšek in Czech, Jézuska in Hungarian and Ježiško in Slovak) brings the presents. Greek children get their presents from Saint Basil on New Year's Eve, the eve of that saint's liturgical feast.[215] The German St. Nikolaus is not identical with the Weihnachtsmann (who is the German version of Santa Claus / Father Christmas). St. Nikolaus wears a bishop's dress and still brings small gifts (usually candies, nuts, and fruits) on December 6 and is accompanied by Knecht Ruprecht. Although many parents around the world routinely teach their children about Santa Claus and other gift bringers, some have come to reject this practice, considering it deceptive.[216] Multiple gift-giver figures exist in Poland, varying between regions and individual families. St Nicholas (Święty Mikołaj) dominates Central and North-East areas, the Starman (Gwiazdor) is most common in Greater Poland, Baby Jesus (Dzieciątko) is unique to Upper Silesia, with the Little Star (Gwiazdka) and the Little Angel (Aniołek) being common in the South and the South-East. Grandfather Frost (Dziadek Mróz) is less commonly accepted in some areas of Eastern Poland.[217][218] It is worth noting that across all of Poland, St Nicholas is the gift giver on the Saint Nicholas Day on December 6. Date according to Julian calendar Some jurisdictions of the Eastern Orthodox Church, including those of Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Jerusalem, mark feasts using the older Julian calendar. As of 2022, there is a difference of 13 days between the Julian calendar and the modern Gregorian calendar, which is used internationally for most secular purposes. As a result, December 25 on the Julian calendar currently corresponds to January 7 on the calendar used by most governments and people in everyday life. Therefore, the aforementioned Orthodox Christians mark December 25 (and thus Christmas) on the day that is internationally considered to be January 7.[219] However, following the Council of Constantinople in 1923,[220] other Orthodox Christians, such as those belonging to the jurisdictions of Constantinople, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Antioch, Alexandria, Albania, Cyprus, Finland, and the Orthodox Church in America, among others, began using the Revised Julian calendar, which at present corresponds exactly to the Gregorian calendar.[221] Therefore, these Orthodox Christians mark December 25 (and thus Christmas) on the same day that is internationally considered to be December 25. A further complication is added by the fact that the Armenian Apostolic Church continues the original ancient Eastern Christian practice of celebrating the birth of Christ not as a separate holiday, but on the same day as the celebration of his baptism (Theophany), which is on January 6. This is a public holiday in Armenia, and it is held on the same day that is internationally considered to be January 6, because since 1923 the Armenian Church in Armenia has used the Gregorian calendar.[222] However, there is also a small Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which maintains the traditional Armenian custom of celebrating the birth of Christ on the same day as Theophany (January 6), but uses the Julian calendar for the determination of that date. As a result, this church celebrates "Christmas" (more properly called Theophany) on the day that is considered January 19 on the Gregorian calendar in use by the majority of the world.[223] In summary, there are four different dates used by different Christian groups to mark the birth of Christ, given in the table below. Listing Church or section Date Calendar Gregorian date Note Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem January 6 Julian calendar January 19 Correspondence between Julian January 6 and Gregorian January 19 holds until 2100; in the following century the difference will be one day more.[citation needed] Armenian Apostolic Church, Armenian Evangelical Church January 6 Gregorian calendar January 6 Eastern Orthodox Church jurisdictions, including those of Constantinople, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Antioch, Alexandria, Albania, Cyprus, Finland, and the Orthodox Church in America. Also, the Ancient Church of the East and Syriac Orthodox Church. December 25 Revised Julian calendar December 25 Revised Julian calendar was agreed at the 1923 Council of Constantinople.[220] Although it follows the Julian calendar, the Ancient Church of the East decided on 2010 to celebrate Christmas according to the Gregorian calendar date. Other Eastern Orthodox: Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Macedonia, Belarus, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Jerusalem. Also, some Byzantine Rite Catholics and Byzantine Rite Lutherans. December 25 Julian calendar January 7 Correspondence between Julian December 25 and Gregorian January 7 of the following year holds until 2100; from 2101 to 2199 the difference will be one day more.[citation needed] Coptic Orthodox Church Koiak 29 or 28 (corresponding to Julian December 25) Coptic calendar January 7 After the Coptic insertion of a leap day in what for the Julian calendar is August (September in Gregorian), Christmas is celebrated on Koiak 28 in order to maintain the exact interval of nine 30-day months and 5 days of the child's gestation.[citation needed] Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (sole date), Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church (sole date), and P'ent'ay (Ethiopian-Eritrean Evangelical) Churches (primary date) Tahsas 29 or 28 (corresponding to Julian December 25) Ethiopian Calendar January 7 After the Ethiopian and Eritrean insertion of a leap day in what for the Julian calendar is August (September in Gregorian), Christmas (also called Liddet or Gena, also Ledet or Genna[224]) is celebrated on Tahsas 28 in order to maintain the exact interval of nine 30-day months and 5 days of the child's gestation.[225] Most Protestants (P'ent'ay/Evangelicals) in the diaspora have the option of choosing the Ethiopian calendar (Tahsas 29/January 7) or the Gregorian calendar (December 25) for religious holidays, with this option being used when the corresponding eastern celebration is not a public holiday in the western world (with most diaspora Protestants celebrating both days).[citation needed] Most Western Christian Churches, most Eastern Catholic churches and civil calendars. Also, the Assyrian Church of the East. December 25 Gregorian calendar December 25 The Assyrian Church of the East adopted the Gregorian calendar on 1964. Economy Main article: Economics of Christmas Christmas decorations at the Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris, France. The Christmas season is the busiest trading period for retailers. Christmas market in Jena, Germany Christmas is typically a peak selling season for retailers in many nations around the world. Sales increase dramatically as people purchase gifts, decorations, and supplies to celebrate. In the United States, the "Christmas shopping season" starts as early as October.[226][227] In Canada, merchants begin advertising campaigns just before Halloween (October 31), and step up their marketing following Remembrance Day on November 11. In the UK and Ireland, the Christmas shopping season starts from mid-November, around the time when high street Christmas lights are turned on.[228][229] In the United States, it has been calculated that a quarter of all personal spending takes place during the Christmas/holiday shopping season.[230] Figures from the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that expenditure in department stores nationwide rose from $20.8 billion in November 2004 to $31.9 billion in December 2004, an increase of 54 percent. In other sectors, the pre-Christmas increase in spending was even greater, there being a November–December buying surge of 100 percent in bookstores and 170 percent in jewelry stores. In the same year employment in American retail stores rose from 1.6 million to 1.8 million in the two months leading up to Christmas.[231] Industries completely dependent on Christmas include Christmas cards, of which 1.9 billion are sent in the United States each year, and live Christmas Trees, of which 20.8 million were cut in the U.S. in 2002.[232] For 2019, the average US adult was projected to spend $920 on gifts alone.[233] In the UK in 2010, up to £8 billion was expected to be spent online at Christmas, approximately a quarter of total retail festive sales.[229] Each year (most notably 2000) money supply in US banks is increased for Christmas shopping In most Western nations, Christmas Day is the least active day of the year for business and commerce; almost all retail, commercial and institutional businesses are closed, and almost all industries cease activity (more than any other day of the year), whether laws require such or not. In England and Wales, the Christmas Day (Trading) Act 2004 prevents all large shops from trading on Christmas Day. Similar legislation was approved in Scotland in 2007. Film studios release many high-budget movies during the holiday season, including Christmas films, fantasy movies or high-tone dramas with high production values to hopes of maximizing the chance of nominations for the Academy Awards.[234] One economist's analysis calculates that, despite increased overall spending, Christmas is a deadweight loss under orthodox microeconomic theory, because of the effect of gift-giving. This loss is calculated as the difference between what the gift giver spent on the item and what the gift receiver would have paid for the item. It is estimated that in 2001, Christmas resulted in a $4 billion deadweight loss in the U.S. alone.[235][236] Because of complicating factors, this analysis is sometimes used to discuss possible flaws in current microeconomic theory. Other deadweight losses include the effects of Christmas on the environment and the fact that material gifts are often perceived as white elephants, imposing cost for upkeep and storage and contributing to clutter.[237] Controversies Main article: Christmas controversies Further information: Persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union, Kirchenkampf, Antireligious campaigns in China, and Christmas in Puritan New England A 1931 edition of the Soviet magazine Bezbozhnik, published by the League of Militant Atheists, depicting an Orthodox Christian priest being forbidden to take home a tree for the celebration of Christmastide, which was banned under the Marxist–Leninist doctrine of state atheism.[238] Christmas has at times been the subject of controversy and attacks from various sources, both Christian and non-Christian. Historically, it was prohibited by Puritans during their ascendency in the Commonwealth of England (1647–1660), and in Colonial New England where the Puritans outlawed the celebration of Christmas in 1659 on the grounds that Christmas was not mentioned in Scripture and therefore violated the Reformed regulative principle of worship.[239][240] The Parliament of Scotland, which was dominated by Presbyterians, passed a series of acts outlawing the observance of Christmas between 1637 and 1690; Christmas Day did not become a public holiday in Scotland until 1958.[241][242][243] Today, some conservative Reformed denominations such as the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland and the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America likewise reject the celebration of Christmas based on the regulative principle and what they see as its non-Scriptural origin.[244][245] Christmas celebrations have also been prohibited by atheist states such as the Soviet Union[246] and more recently majority Muslim states such as Somalia, Tajikistan and Brunei.[247] Some Christians and organizations such as Pat Robertson's American Center for Law and Justice cite alleged attacks on Christmas (dubbing them a "war on Christmas").[248] Such groups claim that any specific mention of the term "Christmas" or its religious aspects is being increasingly censored, avoided, or discouraged by a number of advertisers, retailers, government (prominently schools), and other public and private organizations. One controversy is the occurrence of Christmas trees being renamed Holiday trees.[249] In the U.S. there has been a tendency to replace the greeting Merry Christmas with Happy Holidays, which is considered inclusive at the time of the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah,[250] Kwanzaa, and Humanlight. In the U.S. and Canada, where the use of the term "Holidays" is most prevalent, opponents have denounced its usage and avoidance of using the term "Christmas" as being politically correct.[251][252][253] In 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Lynch v. Donnelly that a Christmas display (which included a Nativity scene) owned and displayed by the city of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, did not violate the First Amendment.[254] American Muslim scholar Abdul Malik Mujahid has said that Muslims must treat Christmas with respect, even if they disagree with it.[255] The government of the People's Republic of China officially espouses state atheism,[256] and has conducted antireligious campaigns to this end.[257] In December 2018, officials raided Christian churches just prior to Christmastide and coerced them to close; Christmas trees and Santa Clauses were also forcibly removed.[258][259] See also iconChristianity portal iconHolidays portal Christmas in July – Second Christmas celebration Christmas Peace – Finnish tradition Christmas Sunday – Sunday after Christmas List of Christmas films List of Christmas novels Little Christmas – Alternative title for 6 January Nochebuena Mawlid – Birthday of Muhammad Twin Holy Birthdays – Baháʼí religious observance Yaldā Night – Persian festival Christmas by medium – Christmas represented in different media Notes Several branches of Eastern Christianity that use the Julian calendar also celebrate on December 25 according to that calendar, which is now January 7 on the Gregorian calendar. Armenian Churches observed the nativity on January 6 even before the Gregorian calendar originated. Most Armenian Christians use the Gregorian calendar, still celebrating Christmas Day on January 6. Some Armenian churches use the Julian calendar, thus celebrating Christmas Day on January 19 on the Gregorian calendar, with January 18 being Christmas Eve. Some regions also celebrate primarily on December 24, rather than December 25. English, Adam C. (October 14, 2016). Christmas: Theological Anticipations. Wipf and Stock Publishers. p. 70. ISBN 978-1-4982-3933-2. "According to Luke 1:26, Gabriel's annunciation to Mary took place in the "sixth month" of Elizabeth's pregnancy. That is, Mary conceives sixth months after Elizabeth. Luke repeats the uniqueness of the timing in verse 26. Counting six months from September 24 we arrive at March 25, the most likely date for the annunciation and conception of Mary. Nine months hence takes us to December 25, which turns out to be a surprisingly reasonable date for the birthday [of Jesus]. Someone might object that the birth could not have occurred in midwinter because it would have been too cold for shepherds in the fields keeping watch by night (Luke 2:8). Not so. In Palestine, the months of November through February mark the rainy season, the only time of the year sheep might find fresh green grass to graze. During the other ten months of the year, animals must content themselves on dry straw. So, the suggestion that shepherds might have stayed out in the fields with their flocks in late December, at the peak of the rainy season, is not only reasonable, it is most certain. ... And so, besides considering the timing of the conception, we must take note of the earliest church records. We have evidence from the second century, less than fifty years after the close of the New Testament, that Christians were remembering and celebrating the birth of the Lord. It is not true to say that the observance of the nativity was imposed on Christians hundreds of years later by imperial decree or by a magisterial church ruling. The observance sprang up organically from the authentic devotion of ordinary believers. This in itself is important. But, besides the fact that early Christians did celebrate the incarnation of the Lord, we should make note that they did not agree upon a set date for the observance. There was no one day on which all Christians celebrated Christmas in the early church. Churches in different regions celebrated the nativity on different days. The late second-century Egyptian instructor of Christian disciples, Clement of Alexandria, reported that some believers in his area observed the twenty-fourth or twenty-fifth day of the Egyptian month of Parmuthi (the month that corresponds to the Hebrew month of Nisan—approximately May 20). The Basilidian Christians held to the eleventh or fifteen of Tubi (January 6 and 10). Clement made his own computations by counting backward from the death of Emperor Commodus, the son of Marcus Aurelius. By this method he deduced a birthdate of November 18. Other Alexandrian and Egyptian Christians adopted January 4 or 5. In so doing, they replaced the Alexandrian celebration of the birth of Aion, Time, with the birth of Christ. The regions of Nicomedia, Syria, and Caesarea celebrated Christ's birthday on Epiphany, January 6. ... According to researcher Susan Roll, the Chronograph or Philocalian Calendar is the earliest authentic document to place the birth of Jesus on December 25. ... And we should remember that although the Chronograph provides the first record of December 25, the custom of venerating the Lord's birth on that day was most likely established well before its publication. That is to say, December 25 didn't originate with the Chronograph. It must have counted as common knowledge, at least in Rome, to warrant its inclusion in the Chronograph. Soon after this time, we find other church fathers such John Chrysostom, Augustine, Jerome, and Leo confirming the twenty-fifth as the traditional date of celebration." References "Christmas as a Multi-Faith Festival" (PDF). BBC Learning English. December 29, 2005. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 1, 2008. Retrieved September 30, 2008. "In the U.S., Christmas Not Just for Christians". Gallup, Inc. December 24, 2008. Archived from the original on November 16, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2012. "The Global Religious Landscape | Christians". Pew Research Center. December 18, 2012. Archived from the original on March 10, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2014. "Christmas Strongly Religious For Half in U.S. Who Celebrate It". Gallup, Inc. December 24, 2010. Archived from the original on December 7, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2012. Forbes, Bruce David (October 1, 2008). Christmas: A Candid History. University of California Press. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-520-25802-0. "In 567 the Council of Tours proclaimed that the entire period between Christmas and Epiphany should be considered part of the celebration, creating what became known as the twelve days of Christmas, or what the English called Christmastide. On the last of the twelve days, called Twelfth Night, various cultures developed a wide range of additional special festivities. The variation extends even to the issue of how to count the days. If Christmas Day is the first of the twelve days, then Twelfth Night would be on January 5, the eve of Epiphany. If December 26, the day after Christmas, is the first day, then Twelfth Night falls on January 6, the evening of Epiphany itself. After Christmas and Epiphany were in place, on December 25 and January 6, with the twelve days of Christmas in between, Christians slowly adopted a period called Advent, as a time of spiritual preparation leading up to Christmas." Canadian Heritage – Public holidaysArchived November 24, 2009, at the Wayback Machine – Government of Canada. Retrieved November 27, 2009. 2009 Federal Holidays Archived January 16, 2013, at the Wayback Machine – U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Retrieved November 27, 2009. Bank holidays and British Summer time Archived May 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine – HM Government. Retrieved November 27, 2009. Ehorn, Lee Ellen; Hewlett, Shirely J.; Hewlett, Dale M. (September 1, 1995). December Holiday Customs. Lorenz Educational Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-4291-0896-6. Nick Hytrek, "Non-Christians focus on secular side of Christmas" Archived November 14, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, Sioux City Journal, November 10, 2009. Retrieved November 18, 2009. Crump, William D. (September 15, 2001). The Christmas Encyclopedia (3 ed.). McFarland. p. 39. ISBN 9780786468270. "Christians believe that a number of passages in the Bible are prophecies about future events in the life of the promised Messiah or Jesus Christ. Most, but not all, of those prophecies are found in the Old Testament ... Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2): "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Juda, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."" Tucker, Ruth A. (2011). Parade of Faith: A Biographical History of the Christian Church. Zondervan. p. 23. ISBN 9780310206385. "According to gospel accounts, Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great, thus sometime before 4 BCE. The birth narrative in Luke's gospel is one of the most familiar passages in the Bible. Leaving their hometown of Nazareth, Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem to pay taxes. Arriving late, they find no vacancy at the inn. They are, however, offered a stable, most likely a second room attached to a family dwelling where animals were sheltered—a room that would offer some privacy from the main family room for cooking, eating, and sleeping. This "city of David" is the little town of Bethlehem of Christmas-carol fame, a starlit silhouette indelibly etched on Christmas cards. No sooner was the baby born than angels announced the news to shepherds who spread the word." Corinna Laughlin, Michael R. Prendergast, Robert C. Rabe, Corinna Laughlin, Jill Maria Murdy, Therese Brown, Mary Patricia Storms, Ann E. Degenhard, Jill Maria Murdy, Ann E. Degenhard, Therese Brown, Robert C. Rabe, Mary Patricia Storms, Michael R. Prendergast, Sourcebook for Sundays, Seasons, and Weekdays 2011: The Almanac for Pastoral Liturgy Archived April 7, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, LiturgyTrainingPublications, 2010, p. 29. "The Chronography of 354 AD. Part 12: Commemorations of the Martyrs" Archived November 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, The Tertullian Project. 2006. Retrieved November 24, 2011. Roll, Susan K. (1995). Toward the Origins of Christmas. Peeters Publishers. p. 133. ISBN 9789039005316. Hale Bradt (2004). Astronomy Methods (PDF). p. 69. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 20, 2018.. Roll, p. 87 These two references say that March 25 was the equinox, and Roll refers to a work called De Solstitiis et Aequinoctiis which gives December 25 as the solstice. However, at the time of Julius Caesar the winter solstice was actually on the 23rd or 24th. The Liturgical Year. Thomas Nelson. November 3, 2009. ISBN 978-1-4185-8073-5. Retrieved April 2, 2009. "Christmas is not really about the celebration of a birth date at all. It is about the celebration of a birth. The fact of the date and the fact of the birth are two different things. The calendrical verification of the feast itself is not really that important ... What is important to the understanding of a life-changing moment is that it happened, not necessarily where or when it happened. The message is clear: Christmas is not about marking the actual birth date of Jesus. It is about the Incarnation of the One who became like us in all things but sin (Hebrews 4:15) and who humbled Himself "to the point of death-even death on a cross" (Phil. 2:8). Christmas is a pinnacle feast, yes, but it is not the beginning of the liturgical year. It is a memorial, a remembrance, of the birth of Jesus, not really a celebration of the day itself. We remember that because the Jesus of history was born, the Resurrection of the Christ of faith could happen." "The Christmas Season". CRI / Voice, Institute. Archived from the original on April 7, 2009. Retrieved April 2, 2009. "The origins of the celebrations of Christmas and Epiphany, as well as the dates on which they are observed, are rooted deeply in the history of the early church. There has been much scholarly debate concerning the exact time of the year when Jesus was born, and even in what year he was born. Actually, we do not know either. The best estimate is that Jesus was probably born in the springtime, somewhere between the years of 6 and 4 BC, as December is in the middle of the cold rainy season in Bethlehem, when the sheep are kept inside and not on pasture as told in the Bible. The lack of a consistent system of timekeeping in the first century, mistakes in later calendars and calculations, and lack of historical details to cross-reference events have led to this imprecision in fixing Jesus' birth. This suggests that the Christmas celebration is not an observance of a historical date, but a commemoration of the event in terms of worship." The School Journal, Volume 49. Harvard University. 1894. Retrieved April 2, 2009. "Throughout the Christian world the 25th of December is celebrated as the birthday of Jesus Christ. There was a time when the churches were not united regarding the date of the joyous event. Many Christians kept their Christmas in April, others in May, and still others at the close of September, till finally December 25 was agreed upon as the most appropriate date. The choice of that day was, of course, wholly arbitrary, for neither the exact date not the period of the year at which the birth of Christ occurred is known. For purposes of commemoration, however, it is unimportant whether the celebration shall fall or not at the precise anniversary of the joyous event." West's Federal Supplement. West Publishing Company. 1990. "While the Washington and King birthdays are exclusively secular holidays, Christmas has both secular and religious aspects." "Poll: In a changing nation, Santa endures". Associated Press. December 22, 2006. Archived from the original on December 26, 2018. Retrieved December 24, 2018. Martindale, Cyril Charles (1908). "Christmas". The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Schoenborn, Christoph (1994). God's human face: the Christ-icon. p. 154. ISBN 978-0-89870-514-0. Galey, John (1986). Sinai and the Monastery of St. Catherine. p. 92. ISBN 978-977-424-118-5. "Christmas | Origin, Definition, Traditions, History, & Facts | Britannica". Retrieved December 22, 2021. Christenmas, n., Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved December 12. "Christmas" in the Middle English Dictionary. Archived January 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Griffiths, Emma (December 22, 2004). "Why get cross about Xmas?". BBC News. Archived from the original on November 11, 2011. Retrieved December 12, 2011. Hutton, Ronald (2001). The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780192854483. "Midwinter" in Bosworth & Toller. Archived January 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Serjeantson, Mary Sidney (1968). A History of Foreign Words in English. "Online Etymology Dictionary". Archived from the original on January 13, 2012. Retrieved December 13, 2011. Yule Archived January 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved December 12. Online Etymology Dictionary, Noel, accessed January 3, 2022 "Biblical literature" Archived April 26, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Web. January 22, 2011. Guzik, David (December 8, 2015). "Matthew Chapter 2". Enduring Word. Retrieved December 25, 2020. Hijmans, S.E., Sol: The Sun in the Art and Religions of Rome, 2009, p. 584. Malachi 4:2. "Christmas and its cycle". New Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3 (2nd ed.). Catholic University of America Press. 2002. pp. 550–557. McGowan, Andrew, How December 25 Became Christmas Archived December 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Bible History Daily, February 12, 2016. Melton, J. Gordon (2011). Religious Celebrations: An Encyclopedia of Holidays, Festivals, Solemn Observances, and Spiritual Commemorations [2 volumes]: An Encyclopedia of Holidays, Festivals, Solemn Observances, and Spiritual Commemorations. ABC-CLIO. p. 39. ISBN 978-1-59884-206-7. "The March 25 date, which tied together the beginning of Mary's pregnancy and the incarnation of God in Jesus as occurring nine months before Christmas (December 25), supplied the rationale for setting the beginning of the ecclesiastical and legal year. ... Both the Anglicans and the Lutherans have continued to observe the March 25 date for celebrating the Annunciation." Durston, Chris (December 1985). "Lords of Misrule: The Puritan War on Christmas 1642–60". History Today. Vol. 35, no. 12. pp. 7–14. Archived from the original on March 10, 2007. "When Christmas carols were banned". BBC. Retrieved March 11, 2022. Rowell, Geoffrey (December 1993). "Dickens and the Construction of Christmas". History Today. 43 (12). Archived from the original on December 29, 2016. Retrieved December 28, 2016. "There is no doubt that A Christmas Carol is first and foremost a story concerned with the Christian gospel of liberation by the grace of God, and with incarnational religion which refuses to drive a wedge between the world of spirit and the world of matter. Both the Christmas dinners and the Christmas dinner-carriers are blessed; the cornucopia of Christmas food and feasting reflects both the goodness of creation and the joy of heaven. It is a significant sign of a shift in theological emphasis in the nineteenth century from a stress on the Atonement to a stress on the Incarnation, a stress which found outward and visible form in the sacramentalism of the Oxford Movement, the development of richer and more symbolic forms of worship, the building of neo-Gothic churches, and the revival and increasing centrality of the keeping of Christmas itself as a Christian festival. ... In the course of the century, under the influence of the Oxford Movement's concern for the better observance of Christian festivals, Christmas became more and more prominent. By the later part of the century cathedrals provided special services and musical events, and might have revived ancient special charities for the poor – though we must not forget the problems for large: parish-church cathedrals like Manchester, which on one Christmas Day had no less than eighty couples coming to be married (the signing of the registers lasted until four in the afternoon). The popularity of Dickens' A Christmas Carol played a significant part in the changing consciousness of Christmas and the way in which it was celebrated. The popularity of his public readings of the story is an indication of how much it resonated with the contemporary mood, and contributed to the increasing place of the Christmas celebration in both secular and religious ways that was firmly established by the end of the nineteenth century." Ledger, Sally; Furneaux, Holly, eds. (2011). Charles Dickens in Context. Cambridge University Press. p. 178. ISBN 978-0-19-513886-3. Retrieved December 25, 2020. English, Adam C. (October 14, 2016). Christmas: Theological Anticipations. Wipf and Stock Publishers. pp. 70–71. ISBN 978-1-4982-3933-2. The manuscript reads, VIII kal. Ian. natus Christus in Betleem Iudeae. ("The Chronography of 354 AD. Part 12: Commemorations of the Martyrs Archived November 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine," The Tertullian Project. 2006.) "Depositio Martyrum". New Catholic Encyclopedia. The last name in the Martyrum is Pope Sylvester I (d. 335); the inclusion of Pope Mark (d. 336) and Julius I (d. 352) is clearly a later addition. Wainwright, Geoffrey; Westerfield Tucker, Karen Beth, eds. (2005). The Oxford History of Christian Worship. Oxford University Press. p. 65. ISBN 978-0-19-513886-3. Retrieved February 3, 2012. Roy, Christian (2005). Traditional Festivals: A Multicultural Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 146. ISBN 978-1-57607-089-5. Archived from the original on January 11, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2012. Pokhilko, Hieromonk Nicholas. "History of Epiphany". Archived from the original on September 23, 2016. Retrieved December 27, 2017. Hastings, James; Selbie, John A., eds. (2003). Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics. Vol. 6. Kessinger Publishing Company. pp. 603–604. ISBN 978-0-7661-3676-2. Archived from the original on November 22, 2018. Retrieved February 3, 2012. Kelly, Joseph F., The Origins of Christmas, Liturgical Press, 2004, pp. 67–69. Bradshaw, Paul F., "Christmas" Archived January 9, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, The New SCM Dictionary of Liturgy of Worship, Hymns Ancient and Modern Ltd., 2002. Roll, pp. 88–90. duch*esne, Louis, Les Origines du Culte Chrétien, Paris, 1902, 262 ff. Andrew McGowan. "How December 25 Became Christmas". Bible Review & Bible History Daily. Biblical Archaeology Society. Archived from the original on December 14, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2011. English, Adam C. (October 14, 2016). Christmas: Theological Anticipations. Wipf and Stock Publishers. p. 70. ISBN 978-1-4982-3933-2. "According to Luke 1:26, Gabriel's annunciation to Mary took place in the "sixth month" of Elizabeth's pregnancy. That is, Mary conceives sixth months after Elizabeth. Luke repeats the uniqueness of the timing in verse 26. Counting six months from September 24 we arrive at March 25, the most likely date for the annunciation and conception of Mary. Nine months hence takes us to December 25, which turns out to be a surprisingly reasonable date for the birthday [of Jesus]." Bonneau, Normand (1998). The Sunday Lectionary: Ritual Word, Paschal Shape. Liturgical Press. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-8146-2457-9. "The Roman Church celebrates the annunciation of March 25 (the Roman calendar equivalent to the Jewish fourteenth Nisan); hence Jesus' birthday occurred nine months later on December 25. This computation matches well with other indications in Luke's gospel. Christians conjectured that the priest Zechariah was serving in the temple on the Day of Atonement, roughly at the autumnal equinox, when the angel announced to him the miraculous conception of John the Baptist. At her annunciation, Mary received news that Elizabeth was in her sixth month. Sixth months after the autumnal equinox means that Mary conceived Jesus at the vernal equinox (March 25). If John the Baptist was conceived at the autumnal equinox, he was born at the summer solstice nine months later. Thus even to this day the liturgical calendar commemorates John's birth on June 24. Finally, John 3:30, where John the Baptist says of Jesus: "He must increase, but I must decrease," corroborates this tallying of dates. For indeed, after the birth of Jesus at the winter solstice the days increase, while after the birth of John at the summer solstice the days decrease." "Annunciation", New Catholic Encyclopedia 2nd edition, 2003, Catholic University of America Press. 1 Corinthians 5:7–8: "Our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the festival..." Tally, pp. 2–4. Roll, p. 87. "Christology - The Arian controversy | Britannica". Retrieved December 23, 2021. Roll (1995), p. 88 Collinge, William J. (2012). Historical Dictionary of Catholicism. ISBN 9780810857551. Archived from the original on December 31, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2014. Hippolytus and December 25th as the date of Jesus' birth Archived September 13, 2018, at the Wayback Machine, Roll (1995), p. 87. Kelly, Joseph F. (2004). The Origins of Christmas. Liturgical Press. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-8146-2984-0. Online here [1] Archived February 19, 2017, at the Wayback Machine. Pearse, Roger (December 26, 2019). "Some notes on "De solstitiis et aequinoctis" (CPL 2277)". Roger Pearse. Retrieved April 9, 2021. Roll, Susan K. (1995). Towards the Origin of Christmas. Kok Pharos Publishing. p. 97, cf. note 173. ISBN 978-90-390-0531-6. Archived from the original on April 9, 2021. Retrieved April 9, 2021. Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press, 2005, ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), article "Christmas". Senn, Frank C. (2012). Introduction to Christian Liturgy. ISBN 9781451424331. Archived from the original on December 31, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2014. "Bruma", Seasonal Festivals of the Greeks and Romans Pliny the Elder, Natural History, 18:59 (paragraph 220 in Latin) In a space of four yeaers, the solstice occurs latest in the Julian Calendar in the year before a leap year. In 2019, it occurred on the 22nd in the Gregorian Calendar, or December 9 in the Julian, at 4:19 AM, according to Earth's Seasons Equinoxes, Solstices, Perihelion, and Aphelion Archived October 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. The number of days betwwen successive winter solstices varied from 365.242883 to 365.242740 between the year 1 BC and AD 2000, according to Meeus, J.; Savoie, D. (1992). "The history of the tropical year". Journal of the British Astronomical Association. 102 (1): 40–42. Bibcode:1992JBAA..102...40M.. Therefore, the average value over the last 2000 years has been 365.24281 days, 0.00719 days less than an average Julian year. This means the solstice was 2000×0.00719=14.38 days later, that is, on December 23 in the middle of the day.A hundred years earlier it would have been on the 24th. Augustine, Sermon 192 Archived November 25, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. Roll, Susan K. (1995). Towards the Origin of Christmas. Kok Pharos Publishing. p. 82, cf. note 115. ISBN 978-90-390-0531-6. Archived from the original on December 31, 2015. Retrieved December 25, 2013. Newton, Isaac, Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John Archived September 18, 2012, at the Wayback Machine (1733). Ch. XI. A sun connection is possible because Christians considered Jesus to be the "Sun of righteousness" prophesied in Malachi 4:2: "But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall." Hijmans, S.E., Sol, the sun in the art and religions of Rome, 2009, p. 595. ISBN 978-90-367-3931-3 Archived May 10, 2013, at the Wayback Machine (cited in Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries, Ramsay MacMullen. Yale:1997, p. 155). "Christmas Archived August 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine", Encarta. 2009-10-31. Roll, Susan K. (1995). Toward the Origins of Christmas. Peeters Publishers. p. 130. ISBN 9789039005316. Archived from the original on November 2, 2015. Retrieved June 20, 2015. Tighe, William J. (2003). "Calculating Christmas". Touchstone. 16 (10). Archived from the original on December 11, 2008. Retrieved November 17, 2008. Hermann Usener, Das Weihnachtsfest. In: Religionsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen, part 1. Second edition. Verlag von Max Cohen & Sohn, Bonn 1911. (Note that the first edition, 1889, doesn't have the discussion of Natalis Solis Invicti); also Sol Invictus (1905). Talley, Thomas J. (1991). The Origins of the Liturgical Year. Liturgical Press. pp. 88–91. ISBN 978-0-8146-6075-1. Retrieved December 27, 2016. "Although this view is still very common, it has been seriously challenged" – Church of England Liturgical Commission, The Promise of His Glory: Services and Prayers for the Season from All Saints to Candlemas (Church House Publishing 1991 ISBN 978-0-71513738-3) quoted in "The Date of Christmas and Epiphany" Archived April 6, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Hijmans, S.E. (2009). The Sun in the Art and Religions of Rome. p. 588. ISBN 978-90-367-3931-3. Archived from the original on May 10, 2013. Michael Alan Anderson, Symbols of Saints: Theology, ritual, and kinship in music for John the Baptist and St. Anne (1175–1563) The University of Chicago, UMI / ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, Ann Arbor 2008, pp. 42–46, ISBN 978-0-54956551-2. Tucker, Karen B. Westerfield (2000). "Christmas". In Hastings, Adrian; Mason, Alistair; Pyper, Hugh (eds.). The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought. Oxford University Press. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-19-860024-4. Murray, Alexander, "Medieval Christmas" Archived December 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, History Today, December 1986, 36 (12), pp. 31 – 39. Standiford, Les (2008). The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits. Crown. ISBN 978-0-307-40578-4. Minzesheimer, Bob (December 22, 2008). "Dickens' classic 'Christmas Carol' still sings to us". USA Today. Archived from the original on November 6, 2009. Retrieved April 30, 2010. Neal, Daniel (1822). The History of the Puritans. William Baynes and Son. p. 193. "They disapproved of the observation of sundry of the church-festivals or holidays, as having no foundation in Scripture, or primitive antiquity." Barnett, James Harwood (1984). The American Christmas: A Study in National Culture. Ayer Publishing. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-405-07671-8. "Christmas – An Ancient Holiday" Archived May 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, The History Channel, 2007. Simek (2007:379). Coffman, Elesha. "Why December 25?" Archived September 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Christian History & Biography, Christianity Today, 2000. Simek (2010:180, 379–380). Weiser, Franz Xaver (1958). Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs. Harcourt. "Koliada". Encyclopediaof* Retrieved November 19, 2012. McGreevy, Patrick. "Place in the American Christmas," (JSTOR Archived December 15, 2018, at the Wayback Machine), Geographical Review, Vol. 80, No. 1. January 1990, pp. 32–42. Retrieved September 10, 2007. Restad, Penne L. (1995). Christmas in America: a History. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-510980-1. Forbes, Bruce David, Christmas: a candid history, University of California Press, 2007, ISBN 0-520-25104-0, pp. 68–79. Lowe, Scott C. (January 11, 2011). Christmas. John Wiley & Sons. p. 226. ISBN 978-1-4443-4145-4. Shawcross, John T. (January 1, 1993). John Milton. University Press of Kentucky. p. 249. ISBN 978-0-8131-7014-5. "Milton was raised an Anglican, trained to become an Anglican minister, and remained an Anglican through the signing of the subscription books of Cambridge University in both 1629 and 1632, which demanded an allegiance to the state church and its Thirty-nine Articles." Browne, Sammy R. A Brief Anthology of English Literature, Volume 1. p. 412. ISBN 978-1-105-70569-4. "His father had wanted him to practice law but Milton considered writing poetry his life's work. At 21 years old, he wrote a poem, "On the morning of Christ's Nativity," a work that is still widely read during Christmas." Heinz, Donald (2010). Christmas: Festival of Incarnation. Fortress Press. p. 94. ISBN 978-1-4514-0695-5. Old, Hughes Oliphant (2002). Worship: Reformed According to Scripture. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-664-22579-7. "Within a few years the Reformed church calendar was fairly well established. The heart of it was the weekly observance of the resurrection on the Lord's Day. Instead of liturgical seasons being observed, "the five evangelical feast days" were observed: Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost. They were chosen because they were understood to mark the essential stages in the history of salvation." Old, Hughes Oliphant (2002). Worship: Reformed According to Scripture. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-664-22579-7. Carl Philipp Emanuel Nothaft (October 2011). "From Sukkot to Saturnalia: The Attack on Christmas in Sixteenth-Century Chronological Scholarship". Journal of the History of Ideas. 72 (4): 504–505. JSTOR 41337151. "However, when Thomas Mocket, rector of Gilston in Hertfordshire, decried such vices in a pamphlet to justify the parliamentary 'ban' of Christmas, effective since June 1647..." Sandys, William (1852). Christmastide: its history, festivities and carols. London: John Russell Smith. pp. 119–120. Chambers, Robert (1885). Domestic Annals of Scotland, p. 211. "Act dischairging the Yule vacance". The Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707. (in Middle Scots). St Andrews: University of St Andrews and National Archives of Scotland. Archived from the original on May 19, 2012. Retrieved February 29, 2012. Anon (May 22, 2007). "Bank Holiday Fact File" (PDF). TUC press release. TUC. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 3, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2010. Miall, Anthony & Peter (1978). The Victorian Christmas Book. Dent. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-460-12039-5. Woodforde, James (1978). The Diary of a Country Parson 1758–1802. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-281241-4. Mather, Cotton (December 25, 1712). Grace defended. A censure on the ungodliness, by which the glorious grace of God, is too commonly abused. A sermon preached on the twenty fifth day of December, 1712. Containing some seasonable admonitions of piety. And concluded, with a brief dissertation on that case, whether the penitent thief on the cross, be an example of one repenting at the last hour, and on such a repentance received unto mercy? (Speech). Boston, Massachusetts: B. Green, for Samuel Gerrish. Retrieved August 12, 2022. Stephen W. Nissenbaum, "Christmas in Early New England, 1620-1820: Puritanism, Popular Culture, and the Printed Word", Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society 106:1:79 (January 1, 1996) Innes, Stephen (1995). Creating the Commonwealth: The Economic Culture of Puritan New England. W.W. Norton & Company. p. 145. ISBN 978-0-393-03584-1. Marling, Karal Ann (2000). Merry Christmas!: Celebrating America's Greatest Holiday. Harvard University Press. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-674-00318-7. Smith Thomas, Nancy (2007). Moravian Christmas in the South. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-8078-3181-6. Andrews, Peter (1975). Christmas in Colonial and Early America. United States: World Book Encyclopedia, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7166-2001-3. Christmas in France. World Book Encyclopedia. 1996. p. 35. ISBN 978-0-7166-0876-9. "Carols were altered by substituting names of prominent political leaders for royal characters in the lyrics, such as the Three Kings. Church bells were melted down for their bronze to increase the national treasury, and religious services were banned on Christmas Day. The cake of kings, too, came under attack as a symbol of royalty. It survived, however, for a while with a new name—the cake of equality." Mason, Julia (December 21, 2015). "Why Was Christmas Renamed 'Dog Day' During the French Revolution?". HistoryBuff. Archived from the original on November 1, 2016. Retrieved November 18, 2016. "How did people celebrate the Christmas during the French Revolution? In white-knuckled terror behind closed doors. Anti-clericalism reached its apex on 10 November 1793, when a Fête de la Raison was held in honor of the Cult of Reason. Churches across France were renamed "Temples of Reason" and the Notre Dame was "de-baptized" for the occasion. The Commune spared no expense: "The first festival of reason, which took place in Notre Dame, featured a fabricated mountain, with a temple of philosophy at its summit and a script borrowed from an opera libretto. At the sound of Marie-Joseph Chénier's Hymne à la Liberté, two rows of young women, dressed in white, descended the mountain, crossing each other before the 'altar of reason' before ascending once more to greet the goddess of Liberty." As you can probably gather from the above description, 1793 was not a great time to celebrate Christmas in the capital." Hutton, Ronald (February 15, 2001). The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-157842-7. Forbes, Bruce David (October 1, 2008). Christmas: A Candid History. --University of California Press. p. 62. ISBN 978-0-520-25802-0. "What Dickens did advocate in his story was "the spirit of Christmas". Sociologist James Barnett has described it as Dickens's "Carol Philosophy", which "combined religious and secular attitudes toward to celebration into a humanitarian pattern. It excoriated individual selfishness and extolled the virtues of brotherhood, kindness, and generosity at Christmas. ... Dickens preached that at Christmas men should forget self and think of others, especially the poor and the unfortunate." The message was one that both religious and secular people could endorse." Kelly, Richard Michael, ed. (2003). A Christmas Carol. Broadview Press. pp. 9, 12. ISBN 978-1-55111-476-7. Cochrane, Robertson. Wordplay: origins, meanings, and usage of the English language. University of Toronto Press, 1996, p. 126, ISBN 0-8020-7752-8. Hutton, Ronald, The Stations of the Sun: The Ritual Year in England. 1996. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 113. ISBN 0-19-285448-8. Joe L. Wheeler. Christmas in My Heart, Volume 10, p. 97. Review and Herald Pub Assoc, 2001. ISBN 0-8280-1622-4. Earnshaw, Iris (November 2003). "The History of Christmas Cards". Inverloch Historical Society Inc. Archived from the original on May 26, 2016. Retrieved July 25, 2008. The Girlhood of Queen Victoria: a selection from Her Majesty's diaries, p. 61. Longmans, Green & Co., 1912. University of Wisconsin. Lejeune, Marie Claire. Compendium of symbolic and ritual plants in Europe, p.550. University of Michigan ISBN 90-77135-04-9. Shoemaker, Alfred Lewis. (1959) Christmas in Pennsylvania: a folk-cultural study. Edition 40. pp. 52, 53. Stackpole Books 1999. ISBN 0-8117-0328-2. Godey's Lady's Book, 1850. Godey's copied it exactly, except he removed the Queen's tiara, and Prince Albert's moustache, to remake the engraving into an American scene. Kelly, Richard Michael (ed.) (2003), A Christmas Carol, p. 20. Broadview Literary Texts, New York: Broadview Press, ISBN 1-55111-476-3. Moore's poem transferred the genuine old Dutch traditions celebrated at New Year in New York, including the exchange of gifts, family feasting, and tales of "sinterklass" (a derivation in Dutch from "Saint Nicholas", from whence comes the modern "Santa Claus") to Christmas.The history of Christmas: Christmas history in America Archived April 19, 2018, at the Wayback Machine, 2006. "Americans Celebrate Christmas in Diverse Ways" Archived December 10, 2006, at the Wayback Machine,, November 26, 2006. First Presbyterian Church of Watertown "Oh ... and one more thing" December 11, 2005 Archived February 25, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Restad, Penne L. (1995), Christmas in America: a History, Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 96. ISBN 0-19-510980-5. "Christian church of God – history of Christmas". Archived from the original on December 19, 2010. Retrieved February 24, 2011. Meggs, Philip B. A History of Graphic Design. 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p 148 ISBN 0-471-29198-6. Jacob R. Straus (November 16, 2012). "Federal Holidays: Evolution and Current Practices" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2014. Crossland, David (December 22, 2021). "Truces weren't just for 1914 Christmas". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved December 24, 2021. Baxter, Keven (December 24, 2021). "Peace for a day: How soccer brought a brief truce to World War I on Christmas Day 1914". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021. Retrieved December 24, 2021. "The Real Story of the Christmas Truce". Imperial War Museums. Retrieved December 24, 2021. "Christmas Truce 1914". BBC School Radio. Retrieved December 24, 2021. Weightman, Gavin; Humphries, Steve (1987). Christmas Past. London: Sidgwick and Jackson. p. 31. ISBN 9780283995316. Harding, Patrick (2003). The Xmas Files: Facts Behind the Myths and Magic of Christmas. London: Metro Publishing. "When was the last time football matches in Britain were played on Christmas Day?". The Guardian. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 23, 2014. Connelly, Mark (2000). Christmas at the Movies: Images of Christmas in American, British and European Cinema. I.B.Tauris. p. 186. ISBN 978-1-86064-397-2. "A chapter on representations of Christmas in Soviet cinema could, in fact be the shortest in this collection: suffice it to say that there were, at least officially, no Christmas celebrations in the atheist socialist state after its foundation in 1917." Ramet, Sabrina Petra (November 10, 2005). Religious Policy in the Soviet Union. Cambridge University Press. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-521-02230-9. "The League sallied forth to save the day from this putative religious revival. Antireligioznik obliged with so many articles that it devoted an entire section of its annual index for 1928 to anti-religious training in the schools. More such material followed in 1929, and a flood of it the next year. It recommended what Lenin and others earlier had explicitly condemned—carnivals, farces, and games to intimidate and purge the youth of religious belief. It suggested that pupils campaign against customs associated with Christmas (including Christmas trees) and Easter. Some schools, the League approvingly reported, staged an anti-religious day on the 31st of each month. Not teachers but the League's local set the programme for this special occasion." Zugger, Christopher Lawrence (2001). Catholics of the Soviet Empire from Lenin Through Stalin. Syracuse University Press. p. 210. ISBN 978-0-8156-0679-6. "As observed by Nicholas Brianchaninov, writing in 1929–1930, after the NEP and just as the worst of collectivization was beginning, the Soviets deemed it necessary to drive into the heads of the people the axiom that religion was the synthesis of everything most harmful to humanity. It must be presented as the enemy of man and society, of life and learning, of progress. ... In caricatures, articles, Bezbozhnik, Antireligioznik, League of Militant Atheists propaganda and films. School courses [were give] on conducting the struggle against religion (how to profane a church, break windows, objects of piety). The young, always eager to be with the latest trend, often responded to such propaganda. In Moscow in 1929 children were brought to spit on the crucifixes at Christmas. Priests in Tiraspol diocese were sometimes betrayed by their own young parishioners, leading to their imprisonment and even death, and tearing their families apart." Tamkin, Emily (December 30, 2016). "How Soviets Came to Celebrate New Year's Like Christmas (and Why Russians Still Do)". Foreign Policy. Foreign Policy. Retrieved January 6, 2022. Goldberg, Carey (January 7, 1991). "A Russian Christmas—Better Late Than Never: Soviet Union: Orthodox Church celebration is the first under Communists. But, as with most of Yeltsin's pronouncements, the holiday stirs a controversy". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved November 22, 2014. "For the first time in more than seven decades, Christmas—celebrated today by Russian Orthodox Christians—is a full state holiday across Russia's vast and snowy expanse. As part of Russian Federation President Boris N. Yeltsin's ambitious plan to revive the traditions of Old Russia, the republic's legislature declared last month that Christmas, long ignored under atheist Communist ideology, should be written back into the public calendar. "The Bolsheviks replaced crosses with hammers and sickles," said Vyacheslav S. Polosin, head of the Russian legislature's committee on religion. "Now they are being changed back."" Perry, Joseph (December 24, 2015). "How the Nazis co-opted Christmas: A history of propaganda". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on January 6, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016. "Somalia joins Brunei by banning Christmas celebrations 'to protect Islam'". The Daily Telegraph. December 24, 2015. Archived from the original on May 29, 2018. Retrieved April 4, 2018. Jespersen, Knud J. V. (June 21, 2011). A History of Denmark. Macmillan International Higher Education. p. 91. ISBN 9780230344174. "It is quite normal to go to church on Christmas Eve, and many people like to celebrate a christening or wedding in church. The Church is especially important at the end of a life; by far the majority of funerals are still conducted in a church by a minister." "2018 Worship and Music Planning Calendar". The United Methodist Church. 2018. Retrieved December 9, 2018. Stetzer, Ed (December 14, 2015). "What Is Church Attendance Like During Christmastime? New Data From LifeWay Research". Christianity Today. Archived from the original on January 29, 2018. Retrieved December 9, 2018. Bingham, John (October 27, 2016). "British families only attend church at Christmas, new figures suggest". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on December 27, 2017. Retrieved December 24, 2017. Collins, Ace, Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas, Zondervan, (2003), ISBN 0-310-24880-9 p.47. Internet Archive Susan Topp Weber, Nativities of the World, Gibbs Smith, 2013 "Alla scoperta dei cinque presepi più belli di Bologna | Nuok". January 24, 2013. Archived from the original on December 27, 2013. Retrieved December 25, 2013. "Presepi in Liguria: provincia di Genova, Tigullio -sito di Paolino". Archived from the original on December 27, 2013. Retrieved December 25, 2013. "Holidays at the Museums: Carnegie Museum of Natural History". November 26, 2013. Archived from the original on December 27, 2013. Retrieved December 25, 2013. Bershad, David; Carolina Mangone, The Christian Travelers Guide to Italy, Zondervan, 2001. "The Provençal Nativity Scene". Archived from the original on September 14, 2012. Retrieved December 25, 2013. Seaburg, Carl, Celebrating Christmas: An Anthology, iUniverse, 2003. Bowler, Gerry, The World Encyclopedia of Christmas, Random House LLC, 2012. Carol King (December 24, 2012). "A Christmas Living Nativity Scene in Sicily". Italy Magazine. Archived from the original on December 26, 2013. Retrieved December 25, 2013. Collins p. 83. These Strange German Ways. Edelweiss Publishing Company. 1989. p. 122. Nowak, Claire (December 23, 2019). "The Real Reason Why Christmas Colors Are Green and Red". Reader's Digest. Retrieved December 18, 2020. Norris, Rebecca (October 29, 2019). "Here's the History Behind Why Red and Green Are the Traditional Christmas Colors". Country Living. Retrieved December 18, 2020. Collins, Ace (April 1, 2010). Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas. Zondervan. ISBN 978-0-310-87388-4. Retrieved December 2, 2010. Senn, Frank C. (2012). Introduction to Christian Liturgy. Fortress Press. p. 118. ISBN 9781451424331. "The Christmas tree as we know it seemed to emerge in Lutheran lands in Germany in the sixteenth century. Although no specific city or town has been identified as the first to have a Christmas tree, records for the Cathedral of Strassburg indicate that a Christmas tree was set up in that church in 1539 during Martin Bucer's superintendency." "The Christmas Tree". Lutheran Spokesman. 29–32. 1936. "The Christmas tree became a widespread custom among German Lutherans by the eighteenth century." Kelly, Joseph F. (2010). The Feast of Christmas. Liturgical Press. p. 94. ISBN 9780814639320. "German Lutherans brought the decorated Christmas tree with them; the Moravians put lighted candles on those trees." Blainey, Geoffrey (October 24, 2013). A Short History of Christianity. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 418. ISBN 9781442225909. "Many Lutherans continued to set up a small fir tree as their Christmas tree, and it must have been a seasonal sight in Bach's Leipzig at a time when it was virtually unknown in England, and little known in those farmlands of North America where Lutheran immigrants congregated." Mandryk, DeeAnn (October 25, 2005). Canadian Christmas Traditions. James Lorimer & Company. p. 67. ISBN 9781554390984. "The eight-pointed star became a popular manufactured Christmas ornament around the 1840s and many people place a star on the top of their Christmas tree to represent the Star of Bethlehem." Wells, Dorothy (1897). "Christmas in Other Lands". The School Journal. 55: 697–8. "Christmas is the occasional of family reunions. Grandmother always has the place of honor. As the time approaches for enjoying the tree, she gathers her grandchildren about her, to tell them the story of the Christ child, with the meaning of the Christ child, with the meaning of the Christmas tree; how the evergreen is meant to represent the life everlasting, the candle lights to recall the light of the world, and the star at the top of the tree is to remind them of the star of Bethlehem." Jones, David Albert (October 27, 2011). Angels. Oxford University Press. p. 24. ISBN 9780191614910. "The same ambiguity is seen in that most familiar of angels, the angel on top of the Christmas tree. This decoration, popularized in the nineteenth century, recalls the place of the angels in the Christmas story (Luke 2.9–18)." van Renterghem, Tony. When Santa was a shaman. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1995. ISBN 1-56718-765-X. Fritz Allhoff, Scott C. Lowe (2010). Christmas. John Wiley & Sons. "His biographer, Eddius Stephanus, relates that while Boniface was serving as a missionary near Geismar, Germany, he had enough of the locals' reverence for the old gods. Taking an axe to an oak tree dedicated to Norse god Thor, Boniface chopped the tree down and dared Thor to zap him for it. When nothing happened, Boniface pointed out a young fir tree amid the roots of the oak and explained how this tree was a more fitting object of reverence as it pointed towards the Christian heaven and its triangular shape was reminiscent of the Christian trinity." Harper, Douglas, Christ Archived May 9, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001. "The Chronological History of the Christmas Tree". The Christmas Archives. Archived from the original on December 21, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2007. "Christmas Tradition – The Christmas Tree Custom". Fashion Era. Archived from the original on December 18, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2007. Hewitson, Carolyn (2013). Festivals. Routledge. ISBN 9781135057060. "It is said to resemble the star of Bethlehem. The Mexicans call it the flower of the Holy Night, but usually it is called poinsettia after the man who introduced it to America, Dr Joel Poinsett." "The Legends and Traditions of Holiday Plants". Archived from the original on January 22, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2016. "StackPath". Retrieved December 23, 2020. "Germany's Advent wreath tradition, and how to make one of your own". Stripes Europe. November 21, 2019. Retrieved December 23, 2020. "Liturgical Year: Symbolic Lights and Fires of Christmas (Activity)". Catholic Culture. Archived from the original on January 13, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2011. Murray, Brian. "Christmas lights and community building in America," History Matters, Spring 2006. Archived June 29, 2010, at the Wayback Machine "Epiphany: Should Christmas decorations come down on 6 January?". BBC News. January 6, 2017. Retrieved December 23, 2020. Collins, Ace (2010). Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas. Zondervan. pp. 139–141. ISBN 9780310873884. Miles, Clement, Christmas customs and traditions, Courier Dover Publications, 1976, ISBN 0-486-23354-5, p. 32. Miles, Clement, Christmas customs and traditions, Courier Dover Publications, 1976, pp. 47–48 Dudley-Smith, Timothy (1987). A Flame of Love. London: Triangle/SPCK. ISBN 978-0-281-04300-2. Thomas, John; Talhaiarn; Thomas Oliphant (1862). Welsh melodies: with Welsh and English poetry. London: Addison, Hollier and Lucas. p. 139. OCLC 63015609. Byrne, Eugene (December 24, 2019). "Arguably most famous Christmas song was written by a Bristolian". BristolLive. Retrieved November 6, 2020. Smolko, Joanna (February 4, 2012). "Christmas music". Grove Music Online. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.A2227990. Broomfield, Andrea (2007), Food and Cooking in Victorian England: A History, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007, pp. 149–150. Muir, Frank (1977), Christmas customs & traditions, Taplinger Pub. Co., 1977, p. 58. "Carp for Christmas: the odd Central European tradition explained". Kafkadesk. December 9, 2018. "Christmas card sold for record price" Archived February 5, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, BBC News. Retrieved October 28, 2011. Schaverien, Anna (June 19, 2021). "E-Cards Are Back, Thanks to the Pandemic". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 28, 2021. Retrieved November 13, 2021. "It's time to mail your holiday cards — if you can find any". NBC News. Retrieved November 13, 2021. "History of Christmas - Part 2". The Note Pad | Stationery & Party Etiquette Blog by American Stationery. November 28, 2012. Retrieved December 22, 2021. Pruitt, Sarah. "The War of Words behind 'Happy Holidays'". HISTORY. Retrieved December 24, 2020. Collins, Ace (April 20, 2010). Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas. Zondervan. p. 17. ISBN 9780310873884. Retrieved April 10, 2012. "The legend of St. Nicholas, who became the bishop of Myra in the beginning of the fourth century, is the next link in the Christmas-gift chain. Legend has it that during his life the priest rode across Asia Minor bestowing gifts upon poor children." Trexler, Richard (May 23, 1997). The Journey of the Magi: Meanings in History of a Christian Story. Princeton University Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-0691011264. Archived from the original on December 31, 2015. Retrieved April 10, 2012. "This exchange network of ceremonial welcome was mirrored in a second reciprocity allowing early Christians to imagine their own magi: the phenomenon of giving gifts." Collins, Ace (April 20, 2010). Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas. Zondervan. p. 17. ISBN 9780310873884. Retrieved April 10, 2012. "Most people today trace the practice of giving gifts on Christmas Day to the three gifts that the Magi gave to Jesus." Berking, Helmuth (March 30, 1999). Sociology of Giving. SAGE Publications. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-85702-613-2. "For the Enlightenment educationalist, gift-giving turned out to be a relic of a pagan custom, namely, the Roman Saturnalia. After the introduction of the Julian calendar in Rome, the 25th of December became the day of Sol invictus when people greeted the winter solstice. It was the day of the Sun's rebirth, and it was the day of the Christmas festivities – although it was only in the year 336 AD that it appears to have become established as the day of Jesus's birth (see Pannenberg 1989: 57). The Eastern Church adopted this date even later, towards the end of the 4th century, having previously regarded the 6th of January as the day of gift-giving, as it still is in the Italian community of Befana. The winter solstice was a time of festivity in every traditional culture, and the Christian Christmas probably took its place within this mythical context of the solar cult. Its core dogma of the Incarnation, however, solidly established the giving and receiving of gifts as the structural principle of that recurrent yet unique event. 'Children were given presents as the Jesus child received gifts from the magi or kings who came from afar to adore him. But in reality it was they, together with all their fellow men, who received the gift of God through man's renewed participation in the divine life' (ibid.: 61)." Seward, Pat; Lal, Sunandini Arora (2006). Netherlands. Marshall Cavendish. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-7614-2052-1. "Until quite recently, the celebrations focused solely on Saint Nicholas, or Sinterklaas (SIN-ter-klahs), as the Dutch call him. ... Interestingly, the American Santa Claus was born out of the Dutch Sinterklaas." Domenico, Roy Palmer (2002). The regions of Italy: a reference guide to history and culture. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-313-30733-1. "Saint Nicholas (Bishop of Myra) replaced Sabino as the patron saint of the city... A Greek from what is now Turkey, he lived in the early fourth century." Collins, Ace (2009). Stories Behind Men of Faith. Zondervan. p. 121. ISBN 978-0-310-56456-0. Retrieved June 20, 2015. "Nicholas was born in the Greek city of Patara around 270 AD. The son of a businessman named Theophanes and his wife, Nonna, the child's earliest years were spent in Myra... As a port on the Mediterranean Sea, in the middle of the sea lanes that linked Egypt, Greece and Rome, Myra was a destination for traders, fishermen, and merchant sailors. Spawned by the spirit of both the city's Greek heritage and the ruling Roman government, cultural endeavors such as art, drama, and music were mainstays of everyday life." Jona Lendering (November 20, 2008). "Saint Nicholas, Sinterklaas, Santa Claus". Archived from the original on May 13, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2011. "St. Basil (330–379)". 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"Marta Patiño, The Puritan Ban on Christmas". Archived from the original on March 1, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2011. Christmas in the Colonies[,28804,186850618685081868518,00.html Archived December 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Time. Retrieved December 25, 2011. Todd, Margo (2002). The Culture of Protestantism in Early Modern Scotland. Yale University Press. p. 187. ISBN 978-0-300-09234-9. Daniels, Bruce Colin (1995). Puritans at Play: Leisure and Recreation in Colonial New England. Macmillan, p. 89, ISBN 978-0-31216124-8 Roark, James; Johnson, Michael; Cohen, Patricia; Stage, Sarah; Lawson, Alan; Hartmann, Susan (2011). Understanding the American Promise: A History, Volume I: To 1877. Bedford/St. Martin's. p. 91. "Puritans mandated other purifications of what they considered corrupt English practices. They refused to celebrate Christmas or Easter because the Bible did not mention either one." "The Regulative Principle of Worship". Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland. Retrieved April 12, 2022. "Those who adhere to the Regulative Principle by singing exclusively the psalms, refusing to use musical instruments, and rejecting "Christmas", "Easter" and the rest, are often accused of causing disunity among the people of God. The truth is the opposite. The right way to move towards more unity is to move to exclusively Scriptural worship. Each departure from the worship instituted in Scripture creates a new division among the people of God. Returning to Scripture alone to guide worship is the only remedy." Minutes of Session of 1905. Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America. 1905. p. 130. "WHEREAS, There is a growing tendency in Protestant Churches, and to some extent in our own, to observe days and ceremonies, as Christmas and Easter, that are without divine authority; we urge our people to abstain from all such customs as are popish in their origin and injurious as lending sacredness to rites that come from paganism; that ministers keep before the minds of the people that only institutions that are Scriptural and of Divine appointment should be used in the worship of God." Goldberg, Carey (January 7, 1991). "A Russian Christmas—Better Late Than Never: Soviet Union: Orthodox Church Celebration Is the First Under Communists. But, as with Most of Yeltsin's Pronouncements, the Holiday Stirs a Controversy". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2016. Woolf, Nicky (December 24, 2015). "Christmas celebrations banned in Somalia, Tajikistan and Brunei". The Guardian. Archived from the original on August 26, 2016. Retrieved August 10, 2016. "ACLJ, Christmas laws". Archived from the original on December 25, 2013. Retrieved December 25, 2013. Christmas controversy article – Muslim Canadian Congress.[dead link] Feder, Don, "In the culture, Christmas morphs into holiday" Archived April 12, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, Jewish World Review, December 13, 2000. "The Brits Have It Right: Forget Happy Holidays, Just Wish People Merry Christmas". The Guardian. London. August 11, 2016. Archived from the original on December 21, 2016. Retrieved December 11, 2016. Jankowski, Paul (August 11, 2016). "Is Saying 'Merry Christmas' Politically Correct? Who Cares?". Forbes. Archived from the original on August 7, 2017. Retrieved August 22, 2017. "If We Can't Say 'Merry Christmas' in Canada, Multiculturalism Failed". HuffPost. August 11, 2016. Archived from the original on September 29, 2016. Retrieved August 11, 2016. "Lynch vs. Donnelly". 1984. Archived from the original on February 16, 2006. Retrieved April 12, 2006. Mujahid, Abdul Malik. "Treating Christmas with respect Archived April 5, 2017, at the Wayback Machine," Sound Vision. Dillon, Michael (2001). Religious Minorities and China. Minority Rights Group International. Buang, Sa'eda; Chew, Phyllis Ghim-Lian (May 9, 2014). Muslim Education in the 21st Century: Asian Perspectives. Routledge. p. 75. ISBN 9781317815006. "Subsequently, a new China was found on the basis of Communist ideology, i.e. atheism. Within the framework of this ideology, religion was treated as a 'contorted' world-view and people believed that religion would necessarily disappear at the end, along with the development of human society. A series of anti-religious campaigns was implemented by the Chinese Communist Party from the early 1950s to the late 1970s. As a result, in nearly 30 years between the beginning of the 1950s and the end of the 1970s, mosques (as well as churches and Chinese temples) were shut down and Imams involved in forced 're-education'." "Alarm over China's Church crackdown". BBC. December 18, 2018. Archived from the original on January 5, 2019. Retrieved January 11, 2019. "Among those arrested are a prominent pastor and his wife, of the Early Rain Covenant Church in Sichuan. Both have been charged with state subversion. And on Saturday morning, dozens of police raided a children's Bible class at Rongguili Church in Guangzhou. One Christian in Chengdu told the BBC: "I'm lucky they haven't found me yet." China is officially atheist, though says it allows religious freedom." "Santa Claus won't be coming to this town, as Chinese officials ban Christmas". South China Morning Post. December 18, 2018. Archived from the original on January 12, 2019. Retrieved January 11, 2019. "Christmas is not a recognised holiday in mainland China – where the ruling party is officially atheist – and for many years authorities have taken a tough stance on anyone who celebrates it in public. ... The statement by Langfang officials said that anyone caught selling Christmas trees, wreaths, stockings or Santa Claus figures in the city would be punished. ... While the ban on the sale of Christmas goods might appear to be directed at retailers, it also comes amid a crackdown on Christians practising their religion across the country. On Saturday morning, more than 60 police officers and officials stormed a children's Bible class in Guangzhou, capital of southern China's Guangdong province. The incident came after authorities shut down the 1,500-member Zion Church in Beijing in September and Chengdu's 500-member Early Rain Covenant Church last week. In the case of the latter, about 100 worshippers were snatched from their homes or from the streets in coordinated raids." Further reading Bowler, Gerry, The World Encyclopedia of Christmas (October 2004: McClelland & Stewart). ISBN 978-0-7710-1535-9 Bowler, Gerry, Santa Claus: A Biography (November 2007: McClelland & Stewart). ISBN 978-0-7710-1668-4 Comfort, David, Just Say Noel: A History of Christmas from the Nativity to the Nineties (November 1995: Fireside). ISBN 978-0-684-80057-8 Count, Earl W., 4000 Years of Christmas: A Gift from the Ages (November 1997: Ulysses Press). ISBN 978-1-56975-087-2 Federer, William J., There Really Is a Santa Claus: The History of St. Nicholas & Christmas Holiday Traditions (December 2002: Amerisearch). ISBN 978-0-9653557-4-2 Kelly, Joseph F., The Origins of Christmas (August 2004: Liturgical Press). ISBN 978-0-8146-2984-0 Miles, Clement A., Christmas Customs and Traditions (1976: Dover Publications). ISBN 978-0-486-23354-3 Nissenbaum, Stephen, The Battle for Christmas (1996; New York: Vintage Books, 1997). ISBN 0-679-74038-4 Restad, Penne L. (1995). Christmas in America: A History. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-509300-1. Rosenthal, Jim, St. Nicholas: A Closer Look at Christmas (July 2006: Nelson Reference). ISBN 1-4185-0407-6 Sammons, Peter (May 2006). The Birth of Christ. Glory to Glory Publications (UK). ISBN 978-0-9551790-1-3. "Christmas" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 6 (11th ed.). 1911. pp. 293–294. Martindale, Cyril (1908). "Christmas" . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 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Hamilton Jackson Day (VI) Day after Thanksgiving (24) Day of the Covenant (religious) Discovery of Puerto Rico Day (PR) Election Day (CA, DE, HI, KY, MT, NJ, NY, OH, PR, VA, WV, proposed federal) Family Day (NV) Guru Nanak Gurpurab (religious) Hanukkah (religious) Lā Kūʻokoʻa (HI, unofficial, cultural) Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur (religious) Native American Heritage Day (MD, WA, cultural) Presentation of the Theotokos to the Temple (religious) Trans Day of Remembrance (cultural) Unthanksgiving Day (cultural) December Christmas (religious, federal) New Year's Eve Advent Sunday (religious) Alabama Day (AL) Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib (religious) Bodhi Day (religious) Chalica (religious) Christmas Eve (KY, NC, SC, PR, VI) Day after Christmas (KY, NC, SC, TX, VI) Festivus HumanLight Hanukkah (religious, week) Immaculate Conception (religious) Indiana Day (IN) Kwanzaa (cultural, week) Milad Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (religious) National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (36) Nativity of Jesus (religious) Old Year's Night (VI) Pan American Aviation Day (36) Pancha Ganapati (religious, week) Rosa Parks Day (OH, OR) Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (religious) Wright Brothers Day (36) Yule (religious) Zartosht No-Diso (religious) Varies (year round) Eid al-Adha (NY, religious) Eid al-Fitr (NY, religious) Islamic New Year (religious) Yawm al-Arafa (religious) Hajj (religious) Laylat al-Qadr (religious) Navaratri (religious, four times a year) Obon (religious) Onam (religious) Ramadan (religious, month) Ghost Festival (religious) Yawm Aashura (religious) Legend: (federal) = federal holidays, (abbreviation) = state/territorial holidays, (religious) = religious holidays, (cultural) = holiday related to a specific racial/ethnic group or sexual minority, (week) = week-long holidays, (month) = month-long holidays, (36) = Title 36 Observances and Ceremonies See also: Lists of holidays, Hallmark holidays, Public holidays in the United States, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands. vte Winter solstice and midwinter festivals Africa Goru: Mali (Dogon) Dzon'ku Nu†: West Africa (Papaws) Americas Inti Raymi°: Peru (Inca†) Jonkonnu°: Caribbean° (African American) Soyal: US (Zuni, Hopi) We Tripantu: Chile (Mapuche) Asia Amaterasu†: Japan Choimus Deygān, Maidyarem°: (Zoroastrian) Dōngzhì, Tōji: (East Asian) Lohri, Pongal, Makar Sankranti°: India (Hindu) Sanghamitta Day: Sri Lanka (Buddhist) Şeva Zistanê: (Kurdish) Yalda: Iran (Persian) Europe Beiwe: (Saami) Brumalia†: Ancient Greece Christmas: Roman Empire° (Christian) Dies Natalis Solis Invicti†: Roman Empire Deuorius Riuri†: Gaul Hogmanay°: Scotland Korochun°: (Slavs) Malkh-Festival°: (Nakh peoples) Mōdraniht†: Western Germany (Matres and Matrones) Midvinterblót†: Sweden (Norse) Montol Festival, Mummer's Day°: Cornwall (Celts) Saturnalia†: Rome Wren's Day°: Ireland, Isle of Man, Wales (Celts) Yule, Jul°: (Germanic) Ziemassvētki: Baltic (Romuva) Oceania Matariki°: New Zealand (Māori) † dagger indicates extinction. ° degree symbol indicates changes in date, name or location. ( ) indicate demographic Authority control Edit this at Wikidata National libraries France (data) Germany Israel United States Japan Czech Republic Other Historical Dictionary of Switzerland Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine National Archives (US) SUDOC (France) 1 İslâm Ansiklopedisi Categories: ChristmasDecember observancesQuarter daysBirthdaysFeasts of Jesus ChristFederal holidays in the United StatesPublic holidays in AlbaniaPublic holidays in AndorraPublic holidays in AngolaPublic holidays in ArgentinaPublic holidays in ArmeniaPublic holidays in AustraliaPublic holidays in AustriaPublic holidays in the BahamasPublic holidays in BangladeshPublic holidays in BarbadosPublic holidays in BelarusPublic holidays in BelgiumPublic holidays in BelizePublic holidays in BoliviaPublic holidays in BotswanaPublic holidays in BrazilPublic holidays in BruneiPublic holidays in BulgariaPublic holidays in CanadaPublic holidays in Cape VerdePublic holidays in ColombiaPublic holidays in Costa RicaPublic holidays in CroatiaPublic holidays in CubaPublic holidays in CyprusPublic holidays in the Czech RepublicPublic holidays in DenmarkPublic holidays in the Dominican RepublicPublic holidays in El SalvadorPublic holidays in EstoniaPublic holidays in FinlandPublic holidays in FrancePublic holidays in GermanyPublic holidays in GhanaPublic holidays in GreecePublic holidays in GuatemalaPublic holidays in GuyanaPublic holidays in HaitiPublic holidays in HondurasPublic holidays in HungaryPublic holidays in IcelandPublic holidays in IndonesiaPublic holidays in the Republic of IrelandPublic holidays in ItalyPublic holidays in JamaicaPublic holidays in KazakhstanPublic holidays in KenyaPublic holidays in KyrgyzstanPublic holidays in LatviaPublic holidays in LebanonPublic holidays in LiechtensteinPublic holidays in LithuaniaPublic holidays in LuxembourgPublic holidays in MalaysiaPublic holidays in MaltaPublic holidays in the Marshall IslandsPublic holidays in MauritiusPublic holidays in MexicoPublic holidays in the Federated States of MicronesiaPublic holidays in MoldovaPublic holidays in MontenegroPublic holidays in MyanmarPublic holidays in NamibiaPublic holidays in NepalPublic holidays in the NetherlandsPublic holidays in New ZealandPublic holidays in NicaraguaPublic holidays in NigerPublic holidays in NigeriaPublic holidays in NorwayPublic holidays in Papua New GuineaPublic holidays in ParaguayPublic holidays in PeruPublic holidays in the PhilippinesPublic holidays in PolandPublic holidays in PortugalPublic holidays in North MacedoniaPublic holidays in RomaniaPublic holidays in RussiaPublic holidays in RwandaPublic holidays in SerbiaPublic holidays in SingaporePublic holidays in SlovakiaPublic holidays in SloveniaPublic holidays in South AfricaPublic holidays in South KoreaPublic holidays in SpainPublic holidays in Sri LankaPublic holidays in SurinamePublic holidays in SwedenPublic holidays in SwitzerlandPublic holidays in SyriaPublic holidays in TanzaniaPublic holidays in Trinidad and TobagoPublic holidays in UgandaPublic holidays in UkrainePublic holidays in the United KingdomPublic holidays in the United StatesPublic holidays in UruguayPublic holidays in VenezuelaPublic holidays in ZambiaPublic holidays in Zimbabwe

  • Condition: In Excellent Condition
  • Features: Commemorative
  • Year of Issue: 2022
  • Modified Item: No
  • Country/Region of Manufacture: United States
  • Material: Steel
  • Variety: Pilgrim
  • Colour: Gold
  • Modification Description: No
  • Currency: Xmas
  • Fineness: Unknown
  • Options: Commemorative
  • Collections/ Bulk Lots: No
  • Country of Origin: United States

PicClick Insights - Christmas Wishes Silver Coin Father Christmas Santa Stocking Filler Tree Magical PicClick Exclusive

  • Popularity - 0 watchers, 0.0 new watchers per day, 7 days for sale on eBay. 1 sold, 0 available. 1 bid.
  • Popularity - Christmas Wishes Silver Coin Father Christmas Santa Stocking Filler Tree Magical

    0 watchers, 0.0 new watchers per day, 7 days for sale on eBay. 1 sold, 0 available. 1 bid.

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  • Price - Christmas Wishes Silver Coin Father Christmas Santa Stocking Filler Tree Magical

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  • Seller - Christmas Wishes Silver Coin Father Christmas Santa Stocking Filler Tree Magical

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