Christmas is one of the biggest holidays of the year and is celebrated around the world with a variety of traditions and folklore.
But when did the history of Christmas begin? Every culture has its own history of Christmas that signifies the beginning of the holiday in various countries. Even the United States has its own rich history of Christmas, which originated much later than many of the older countries of the world. However, the very first Christmas was celebrated in a town called Bethlehem, more than 2000 years ago, and this is the history of Christmas that most people are familiar with.
How the History of Christmas Began
The history of Christmas begins with the Roman Catholic Church in celebrating the birth of the Christ child. Eventually the holiday of Christmas was celebrated by others as well, and other stories and folklore came into play with the history of Christmas and the traditions that go along with it. As each country and culture hopped on the Christmas bandwagon, they all brought with them many traditions and rituals that were unique to their own cultures. All of these aspects of the history of Christmas have come together in a sort of melting pot that makes up our Christmas holiday of today.
The History of Christmas in the United States
The United States was one of the last places to adopt the Christmas holidays, but this country has done much in a short period of time to create a rich history of the holiday within its boundaries as well. American Sunday schools began to hold Christmas parties in the first half of the nineteenth century, and the rituals of Christmas trees, gift giving and Santa Clause were very much a part of the culture by the late 1800’s. In 1836, Alabama was the first state in the country to make Christmas a legal holiday. Washington D.C. followed suit in 1870, and by 1893 every state and territory had done the same.
Although some complain that Christmas has become a highly commercialized holiday, which has stripped some of the original meaning of the history of Christmas away, most still recognize this day as the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Churches see a rise in attendance during the Christmas holiday season, and many families place crèches and nativity scenes in their home to commemorate the first Christmas.
For Christian believers, the history of Christmas signifies one of the holiest times of the year, when the Messiah was born to bring salvation to the world.