Interesting Facts on Christmas

This entry is part 4 of 28 in the series Christmas Messages

Here are some lesser known facts about Christmas that I think you might enjoy:

1. Jesus was probably born in either the spring or fall and not December 25th.
2. December 25th was a holiday centuries before the birth of Christ. On this day the Romans celebrated the Mirthraic feast of the Sun-god. Also from December 17-23 they held a great festival honoring Saturnus, the god of agriculture.
3. Early Christians were reluctant to celebrate the birth of Christ until the Church at Rome declared it as a day of celebration around 320 A.D.
4. The first known Christmas Carol (Jesus Light of All Nations) was written in 368 A.D. by St. Hilary of Poitiers.
5. The Christmas tree also predates Christmas. During the festival of Saturnus the Romans used the evergreen as a decoration in their homes. It was not widely used in connection with Christmas until the middle 1800’s.
6. The Custom of lighting Christmas trees began in the United States.
7. The Romans used the mistletoe as a symbol of peace. If enemies met under it they were to discard their arms and declare a truce. This ancient custom led to kissing under the mistletoe.
8. Holly became a Christmas decoration because legend has it that the crown of thorns of the head of Christ was holly.
9. The use of candles began in Ireland during religious persecution. Suppressed Christians put lighted candles in their windows on Christmas Eve as a sign of allegiance to Christ.
10. In many European countries children believe that Christ brings them gifts instead of Santa Claus.

11. The first Christmas cards in the United States were introduced by a printer named Louis Prang in 1875 about thirty years after they started in England.
12. In Italy Children set out their shoes for a female Santa Claus.

Happiness consists in accepting and adapting to the things you cannot presently change yet proceeding with a firm belief that you can eventually change all things for your good and acting accordingly.
Posted 1998-12-12 20:46:00

Next: Christmas Message 2001