The History of Christmas

Christmas is a holiday that pretty much everyone in the United States celebrates, no matter what you believe is the origin of the holiday.

The middle of winter has been a time of celebration throughout the world. Early Europeans celebrated the light and birth in the darkest days of winter. Christians celebrate Christmas as the birthdate of Jesus, although the Bible does not mention December 25 as the official birthday. There were even arguments and discrepancies over the actual day Jesus was born.

“I’m religious and believe that Christmas came from Christ, hence the name. Even though it doesn’t say his exact birthday in the Bible, I was raised in the church, and it has always been December 25,” said Erin Knuth (10).

In 1644 the courts passed a law for a five shekel (equivalent to $1.34 that time) fine to be paid by anyone caught celebrating Christmas in Boston because it offended the Puritans. Christmas, at least the way we celebrate it, did not really surface until the mid-1800s. President Ulysses S. Grant declared it a federal holiday on June 26 of 1870. In the past, the traditional celebration was a mixture of several different holidays. It often ended up in hard partying and drinking by many different tribes, which is where Mardi Gras initially sprouted from.

Most Americans celebrate with trees, lights, and presents. reports that over 30 million Christmas trees are sold during the holiday season each year.

“My usual Christmas tradition is opening a present on Christmas Eve. It’s always pajamas, and then waking up Christmas morning to open up all of our presents from under the tree,” said Amelia Letz (10).

Even though we all have different traditions and ideas about how the holiday came along, everyone can agree that Christmas has blossomed into a beautiful holiday.

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