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Why Do We Celebrate Christmas? History, Books, Movies, And More
What is Christmas? Christmas Celebration

Why Do We Celebrate Christmas? History, Books, Movies, And More

It's that time of the year again! As the internet loves to joke, Mariah Carrey is about to defrost, which means Christmas is on the doorstep bringing all its festivities and joyful spirit.

Christmas markets are all set up. Cities all around the globe are lit up with thousands of bright illuminations. Our favorite coffee shops are covered in decorations; Rockefeller center is about to roll out the iconic tree, and thousands of eggnogs and mulled wine cups are about to be poured. But the most important element of the holiday season is arguing whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie. Just kidding, but all jokes aside, the Christmas spirit is all about love and kindness, and none of what we listed above would matter if it were not about sharing with our loved ones and even strangers.

We have not forgotten about our Grinches. Even if all these cheesy Christmassy things are not for you, admit it you have a favorite Christmas movie. Don’t you? What about skiing down the whitest slippery slopes ever? And even if that is not your thing, days off at work and school will definitely excite you.

christmas elf

Why Do We Celebrate Christmas: The Christmas History and Importance

A Christian holiday paying tribute to the birth of Jesus, Christmas is celebrated all around the globe by both religious and non-religious people. 

Christmas is the right time to exercise that trivial truth Charles Dickens told us as kids that the holiday spirit is all about giving. Holiday shopping can get overwhelming, but think about, how blessed we are to have so many people to care for and wrap gifts for. In these strange times when so many around us are struggling for different reasons, showing Christmas love even to one person is an act of kindness that will never be forgotten, and even if that one person is you, it still counts. 

This year our gift to you is the ultimate Christmas history. So let's start unwrapping the reasons for the question: why do we celebrate Christmas? 

Why Do We Celebrate Christmas on Dec 25?

Leave the last course assignment to paper writing services; we are about to find out why do we celebrate Christmas on Dec 25.

There are various hypotheses about when Christ Child was born. Dec 25 in the Gregorian Calendar was set as the date in the early fourth century by the Church. It is the date of the winter solstice when the earth's pole reaches its maximum tilt from the Sun on the Roman calendar, and it is precisely nine months apart from the Feast of the Annunciation, the date when Christ was conceived.  

Have you ever wondered why do we celebrate Christmas eve? It is believed that Jesus was born on Dec 25 at midnight. Billions of Christians worldwide gather to attend a Mass service to remember that Jesus died for the sins of humankind and later rose from the dead. One of the prime services of the year, the Christ Mass, is the only ceremony that can take place after sunset. 

Ugly Christmas Sweaters and Other Christmas Symbols: What Do They Mean

When someone mentions Christmas, hundreds of memories light up in our heads. Yet, it's hard to precisely pinpoint what makes winter holidays special. Is it a Christmas tree or maybe a candy cane? If you think about it, all these things do not mean much on their own but, brought together with a little Christmas spirit sprinkled on them, create our core memories.

The Christmas songs we loved to sing as kids, the ugly Christmas sweater our grandmothers gifted us, and the kind merry Christmas wishes from complete strangers create our collective love for the holiday. So let's take a deep dive into some of those Christmas symbols and their meaning.

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Christmas Trees

What is a Christmas celebration without Christmas trees?! Nothing brings a joyful spirit to our homes like lightning up beautifully decorated fir trees, spruce, pine, or artificial trees. In many locations, it has become a part of the custom to set up a Christmas tree on Advent Sunday and remove the decorations on Jan 5.

The history of Christmas tree originates in Germany, where pagan Germanic people venerated sacred trees throughout their history. After the introduction of Christianity, religious people often fought pagan traditions. For example, St Boniface is known to have cut down the holy Donar's Oak of the German pagans in the eighth century.   

The modern Christmas tree also originates in Germany. In the Renaissance-era, trees in guildhalls were decorated with sweets. Later, people started hanging garlands, glass beads, and tin figures on the tree. Even the glass baubles were first made in Lauscha, Germany. Finally, in the 19th century, the custom became so popular among the nobility that it spread as far as Russia.  

Since the early 20th century putting up public Christmas trees in stores, towns, and cities and bringing the spirit with the help of Christmas music has become very popular.  

Candy Cane

The infamous peppermint-flavored candy canes are another Christmas staple. Legend has it that in the late seventeenth century, a German bishop gave children attending Christmas service a J-shaped candy to keep them busy and quiet during the service. The J shape was a reminder of the crook shepherds visiting baby Jesus held. 

The first documented candy cane comes from an 1837 exhibition in Massachusetts, USA. They first were plain white sugar canes, and the red stripes were added only a few years later. In 1920 Bob McCormack started making candy canes for his family, and they became so popular that they became a business. Bob's Candies evolved into the biggest candy cane manufacturer.  

Wreath and Mistletoe 

What is the holiday season without wreaths on the doors and hopes to kiss our love interests underneath the mistletoe? 

Wreaths have been in style for a while now. Ancient south Europeans wore a type of it as a head accessory, and in the Greco-Roman world, a wreath represented power and victory. 19th-century German pastor Johann Hinrich Wichern is often credited for linking wreaths with Christmas. He created a cartwheel out of evergreens and put candles to represent the days remaining till Christmas. The beautifully decorated wreaths in the shape of a circle also represent eternal life. 

For good luck in relationships, don't forget to wish your loved ones a merry Christmas and kiss them underneath the mistletoe! Mistletoes have been the symbol of fertility for a very long time, but they became associated with Christmas in the eighteenth century. The serving class of Victorian England has kept the tradition of kissing underneath the mistletoe alive. 

Stockings and Ugly Christmas Sweaters 

There is a beautiful story about the origin of Christmas Stockings. Legend has it that a recently widowed man had three daughters and was financially struggling. While wandering through the town, St. Nicholas heard about the family's hardships. Knowing that a man would refuse to accept help, St Nicholas slid down the chimney of their house late at night and found girls' freshly washed stockings drying up by the fireplace. He filled the stockings with gold coins and then disappeared. Since then, empty stockings hung by the fireplace in hopes that Santa Claus will fill it with presents have become one of the essential Christmas decorations.

You can call them ugly all you want, but Christmas sweaters symbolize the season. Jingle Bell sweaters were first sold in the 50s, but they became trendy in the 80s when Christmas celebrations in TV comedies meant wearing an ugly sweater. The 90's carried the tradition too, but Mr. Darcy of the 2001 film Bridget Jones Diary is to be blamed for introducing the sweater to the 21st century. The huge Rudolph on his sweater was hard to miss. 

You can even celebrate National Ugly Sweater day on the third Friday of every December.   

Star Topper 

Another important Christmas decoration is a Star Topper, which originates from Christianity. It represents the Star of Bethlehem, also called the Christmas star, which led the noble Pilgrims to the location of baby Jesus.

Others prefer putting an angel on top of the tree, representing the angel Gabriel who told Mary she would have a son. The Illustrated London News published an image of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert next to a Christmas tree topped with an angel, and by their influence, an angel became one of the most popular tree-toppers.  

Advent Calendar

In the past decade, promotional advent calendars have become a major component of the holiday season. The stores are filled with holiday-themed boxes produced by companies branching out in all fields, from beauty brands to candy manufacturers. Twenty-five mystery products put into 25 different boxes create a single entity called the Christmas advent calendar. It's an exciting way to count the days till the big festivity.  

Commercialization of the history of Christmas has created a gap between what modern Christmas represents and where its Christian roots are. For example, advent calendars have been around for centuries and were used to count down the days of Advent. It symbolized days remaining till the nativity of Jesus and the beginning of the liturgical season. In addition, advent calendars were used for spiritual preparation of accepting Jesus in one's heart. 

Poinsettias 

Christmas is not the same without bright red Poinsettia flowers. They are native plants of Central America, the southern area of Mexico, and the Aztecs have used the leaves for many different purposes. 

Legend says a poor little Mexican girl Pepita had nothing much to offer the baby Jesus at Christmas eve service and brought a small bouquet of weed as a present. When she put the plants at the bottom of the nativity scene, the weeds burst into red flowers in the shape of the Bethlehem star. Everyone attending thought they had just seen a miracle, and ever since, the poinsettias have become the synonym for Christmas.  

Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first ambassador for the USA to Mexico, was the first person to introduce flowers to the states. Later on, they spread to Europe and farther. 

Christmas Decorations: Lights

We don't believe in winter holidays without bright blinding luminosity. If you don’t too, get your coursework writing help to have more time for Christmas decorations. 

Turns out the practice of Christmas lights started in seventeenth-century Germany. At first, people attached candles to the trees with the help of wax or pins to illuminate the ornaments. However, in New York, the first tree lit by electric lights appeared in 1882. It led to the creation of the first string of Christmas illuminations and became the staple of every household.

Christmas Gifts 

Gifts are the highlight of the Christmas celebration. Every year a large amount of money is spent on presents, and families around the world have honored the custom in their unique ways, but to share the holiday season with your loved ones is a gift of its own. 

Christmas presents symbolize the tributes made by the three Magi to baby Jesus. St Nicholas of Myra's influence also played a significant role in establishing the tradition. He was known for his kindness and altruism. Christians worldwide have followed his example. Saint Nicholas is said to be the inspiration behind the world's most famous gift giver, Santa Claus.   

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Unusual Christmas Celebration Traditions All Over the World 

Let's spice up our Christmas story by learning about some of the most unusual Christmas celebrations worldwide. 

Even though Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan, families all over the country still rush to the KFC restaurants to wish a merry Christmas to Colonel Sanders and get a special Christmas Eve meal. 

In Finland, on Christmas Eve, people get naked and spend some time in the Sauna. It is believed to be a sacred space of dead ancestors and sauna elves. After connecting with ancestors and cleansing, Finns continue with the Christmas celebration. 

In South Africa, the essential Christmas dish is not a fat turkey or a colossal pie; instead, you will find some fried caterpillars covered in colorful herbs on the dinner table. Eating Caterpillars is believed to bring extra luck in the coming year. 

In different parts of the globe, your deeds decide whether Santa brings a present for you, but in Austria, the nightmare before Christmas becomes real if you misbehave, as you have to face Santa Claus' nemesis, Krampus. In December, Austrian streets are filled with monster-like figures scaring kids with various pranks.

Christmas Books for Children 

Nostalgic love for Christmas stems from our childhood and the books we read as kids. The lessons that classic Christmas books teach leave a significant mark on the kids and shape their idea of what Christmas is and should be. Here we will remember all the iconic Christmas books that create the Christmas spirit. You can carry the tradition by reading it with a new generation.

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas  

A relatively new addition to the Dr. Seuss series tells a story of friends helping a baby reindeer find its way back home just in time for Christmas. Lovers of rhyming books will find the story fascinating and learn that the cat in the hat does know a lot about Christmas.   

A Christmas Carol 

If it comes down to one essential Christmas story, it has to be A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The astonishing tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his encounter with the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future teaches kids the importance of forgiveness, sharing, and what a proper Christmas celebration is all about. 

Even though the book is written for children, the wisdom it possesses is for every age group. Not only do kids need to learn about the importance of giving, but adults caught up in life's affairs need a reminder of what the holiday season stands for.  

The infamous story never ceases to improve our Christmas mood. 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! 

We bet you wish the Grinch could steal the duty to ‘do my programming assignment,’ but as it's a little bit unrealistic, let's remember a heartwarming story of a little girl and a grumpy man who decided to steal Christmas.  

As we grow older, we can resonate much more with the iconic Character of the Christmas-hating Grinch. All these years of stressful shopping and gift wrapping might have stolen our pure excitement for the holidays. The book's entire purpose is to remind us that Christmas means a lot more than gifts and decorations. May the jolly songs of Christmas and hugs from loved ones return our Christmas spirit in its full force. 

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 

Another brilliant story by Robert L. May encourages young readers to follow the tale of Santa Claus' youngest reindeer. Rudolph's red nose sets him apart from the rest of the group and becomes the reason for ridicule and bullying. But when Santa notices his bright red nose, he puts the outcast in charge of leading the sleigh. 

The tale is an excellent reminder that no matter how different people are, everyone is remarkable in their own way, and it should be celebrated. The holiday season brings people closer. It's not only about decorations, trees, and gifts; acceptance, inclusion, and love are what Christmas is all about.

Favorite Christmas Cartoons: Kids Christmas Movies and More 

The holiday season means getting together with our family and friends and having Christmas movie marathons. Iconic Disney Christmas movies never fail to set a joyful mood. The comfort and coziness they bring brighten up everyone's day. Maybe they are called kids Christmas movies, but the lessons they teach of kindness, inclusivity, and generosity are never bounded by age.  

Here are some Christmas staples you can enjoy with your family.

Christmas cartoons

Charlie Brown Christmas 

An animated television special Charlie Brown Christmas follows young Charlie Brown, saddened that everyone seems to have forgotten what Christmas is all about. The character is asked to direct the Christmas play and bring the holiday spirit; he adds a real but puny tree to the play. Other kids make fun of Charlie for choosing such a poor tree for the play, but his belief that given enough love, everything starts to show its beauty, brings the rest of the group together. 

The phrase from the animation 'Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!' reminds us as adults to always show up for our friends and support their ideas even if we don't understand them.   

The Grinch

The Grinch is an animated adaptation of the book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Even though the 2018 animation does not add much to the original story, it has become the highest-grossing Christmas film of all time.  

The animation's popularity is an undisputed sign that western culture cannot exhaust the story of a Christmas-hating Grinch who decides to steal all Christmas gifts, decorations, and basically the whole spirit of the holiday. People searching for a Christmas mood and feeling like the Grinch might have stolen it should definitely watch the new adaption. Cindy Lou's iconic hairstyle and the joyful songs that melt Grinch's frozen heart will bring the Christmas spirit to you too. 

Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer 

Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer is a perfect match for you if you are over the classic animations and are searching for more modern takes on them. Elliot is a miniature horse dreaming of being part of Santa's sleigh. Just like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, he is mocked for his dreams. The movie teaches the importance of perseverance and is an excellent source of Christmas entertainment.

The Nightmare Before Christmas 

If you are a true lover of cinematography, The Nightmare Before Christmas must be near to your heart. The animation opens doors to Tim Burton's fantastical universe, allowing us to see Christmas in a different light. Accompanied by Danny Elfman's enchanting music, the animation tells a story about Halloween Town's honorary citizen Jack Skellington who tried to put his twist on Christmas. 

The unique storyline, Tim Burton's paradigmatic characters, and emotional songs set The Nightmare before Christmas apart from all the other Christmas movies. It provides a fantastic experience and brings a holiday spirit like no other.

Casper's Haunted Christmas 

Computer animated movie Casper's Haunted Christmas tells the story of the friendly ghost Casper. The character is sent to Kriss, a town in Massachusetts, to execute his ghostly duty to scare at least one person a year. However, Casper's friendly nature prevails; unable to meet his goals, the character's friends decide to help him before it's too late.   

The movie has set all film lovers in the mood for Christmas since 2000. The animation has been a family favorite for a long while, and a clever play on the plot of How the Grinch Stole Christmas will have a new generation excited. It is a great moment to reconnect with our past and connect with the future.

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas 

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas is an excellent choice to set a proper nostalgic Christmas mood. 1999's hand-drawn animation produced by Walt Disney Television Animation invites all our favorite childhood characters into the same space. You can time travel and shake hands with characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy.

The animation's sentimental nature makes everyone put the generational difference aside and bond over the fun tale. In addition, the animation features classic Christmas songs that have broken the boundaries of epochs and become infamous worldwide.  

Best Christmas Movies 2022 

Movie marathons are the best part of Christmas. Whether you are doing it alone or with others, nothing is more comforting than snuggling up in a fuzzy blanket and re-watching feel-good Christmas movies. Everyone, despite their backgrounds, has seen those classics and shares undying love for them. We know how the plot goes, when to laugh and when to cry, and all our favorite actors are in them. It's a great topic to bond over, and the fact that you can find all of those Christmas movies on Netflix makes life easier.

 But, but! Traditions are here to reconnect us with our roots; nevertheless, we must add a contemporary twist to customs to keep them alive. So, get your love together; we are about to pour it on some of the best Christmas movies. 

christmas movies

Falling for Christmas

It's early December, and we are already loaded with assignments; you might even be complaining ‘I have to write my annotated bibliography’ which is due soon! If this is the case, let us present the list of new Christmas movies 2022 to lift your spirit up immediately.

You will be excited about this one. Iconic Lindsay Lohan makes a comeback for the 2022 holiday movie Falling for Christmas. The narrative follows a rich woman who gets amnesia and falls in love with a local lodge keeper. So what if the plot is a little bit predictable and cheesy? It is what makes Christmas movies so comforting. This one is a guaranteed amusement and will definitely put you in the Christmas mood. 

Bad Santa 

The 2003 comedy film Bad Santa directed by Terry Zwigoff, is one of those classic Christmas movies. The professional thieves Willie T. Soke and Marcus Skidmore decide to rob shopping malls and pose as Santa and elf in the department store. As the plot develops, the audience sees the positive change in traditional villain characters. The movie is loaded with classic American narratives and witty humor, which makes it an absolute antidote to conventional Christmas movies. If you are looking for funny Christmas movies that are not necessarily family-friendly, this one is a match for you. 

Spirited 

Hey Scrooge, are you looking for not-so-scary Christmas movies that still deliver? We have an excellent choice for you. The 2022 Spirited earns its rightful high-tier spot in the longstanding tradition of Dickens adaptations.  

Spirited is one of those movies destined to become classics if you open your mind to a different view. The plot takes a grotesque twist on Christmas Carol's morals and is a gift that just keeps on giving. The essential Christmas movies actor Will Farrell and beloved Ryan Reynolds do an extraordinary job dancing and singing in a very energetic holiday movie. 

Richie Rich

Is it really Christmas without Macaulay Culkin? Please don't get excited yet; in this instance, we are talking about Richie Rich. The 1994 classic tells a story about a rich little boy with all the toys but no friends. Once his parents go missing, and Richie Rich decides to inspect the case on his own, he comes across a group of youngsters. Fun and challenging adventures bring kids together.

The holiday classic is a reminder to call your friends for Christmas and catch up with them. No toys and money can compare to soulful conversations and fun times with friends.

Home Alone 

Time to get excited! Is there a person on earth who has never seen Home Alone? We think it's a prerequisite to enter life. But, even though we have seen it millions of times, this classic never fails to touch our hearts. Young Macaulay Culkin has become the face of Christmas excitement. Culkin's brilliant acting, entertaining and unique plot, iconic villains, sentimental vibes, and some of the best Christmas music – it seems like the production behind the movie nailed every single aspect of it. 

Since its premiere in 1990, Home Alone has become a symbol of American Christmas. Who can't relate to little Kevin wanting to make his family disappear? And who can't relate to wanting them back? Home Alone is one of those family Christmas movies that all generations enjoy. This classic is proof not all old Christmas movies follow the same cheesy narrative.

We Need a Little Christmas 

The 2022 movie We Need a Little Christmas follows a story of a widowed woman. Julie faces the challenges of being a single mother. Trying to juggle motherhood, work, and self-care, she finds herself frustrated with her son's growing bond with her neighbor, Irene. 

We Need a Little Christmas puts a modern touch on holiday entertainment, introducing new narratives and fresh characters. The emphasis on the importance of friendship and acceptance of help makes the movie a real tear-jerker. Of course, the obligatory happy ending and positive character development will satisfy cinema lovers.   

We Wish You a Married Christmas

We Wish You a Married Christmas is an excellent option for people who want to expand outside the classic Christmas movies. So let's get to the plot details!  

A couple having problems in their marriage decide to visit and check into a small-town inn. They choose to sort out their unclear terms rather than give up. The movie is filled with gentle humor and essential Christmas energy. Marisol Nichols and Kristoffer Pohala have undeniable chemistry and prove love is worth fighting for. 

Office Christmas Party 

Let's pause on the new Christmas movies 2022 for this one. The 2016 classic Office Christmas Party featuring Jason Batman and Olivia Munn allows us to follow the branch manager threatened by the typical CEO phrase of shutting down his branch. In order to land a huge client, Batman's character decides to throw a quality party. And what's the location? Of course, the office. 

The movie highlights the importance of spring break-like fun even at the workplace. So if you are a lover of party comedy searching for Christmas spirit, this one's for you. 

Elf

A true classic of old Christmas movies, Elf highlights the importance of family, love, and the Christmas spirit. Raised as an elf, the main character Buddy discovers he is a human and decides to visit his birth location, New York. After a series of unfortunate events, Buddy finds Santa's damaged sleigh. With help from his human friends, Buddy gathers just enough Christmas Spirit so the sleigh can fly and Christmas can be properly celebrated.

In terms of quality family Christmas movies, Elf is among the highest-ranked films loved by millions of people all around the globe. If it's one of your childhood favorites, you should definitely share it with younger generations.  

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