Christmas Day, which falls on the 25th of December each year, is a time when Christians worldwide celebrate the birth of Jesus. It’s a time for peace on Earth and goodwill toward all.
When Is Christmas Day?
Here are upcoming dates for Christmas Day:
|2021||Saturday, December 25|
|2022||Sunday, December 25|
|2023||Monday, December 25|
Why Do We Give Gifts At Christmas?
Opening gifts might be one of your favorite parts about Christmas, but have you ever wondered why we receive presents on Christmas, or why we have Christmas trees?
The tradition of giving gifts to our loved ones at Christmas is meant to be a reminder of the presents that the Wise Men gave Jesus (Frankincense, Myrrh, and Gold). In the United States, buying Christmas gifts became popular in the early 1800s. During that time the lower class celebrated in the streets and demanded that the wealthy give them food and drink. In response to this, the wealthier residents of the city strove to reinvent Christmas as a holiday centered around home and family.
The Toy Connection
In the 1820s, the American toy industry started to grow, and after the Civil War, these novelty consumer products increased in popularity. While parents initially tried to focus on the spiritual side of Christmas, it became increasingly difficult to limit what toys and books children could access. To maintain control, parents started buying products to teach and entertain their children. In response to this trend, retailers started actively marketing Christmas gifts at the beginning of the twentieth century. Over time, gift-giving traditions grew into what we are familiar with today.
Why Christmas Trees?
Germany is heralded as the birthplace of this tradition, which started in the early 16th century when devout Christians would build pyramids of wood decorated with evergreen boughs to celebrate the holiday.
Why Do We Decorate Trees?
Some historians contend that decorating the Christmas tree extends back to the 7th century to a monk who went to Germany. He brought a tree for the people to decorate with simple, white candles. It wasn’t until 1610 that tinsel (made with pure silver) was added to the tree.
Eventually, the Christmas tree made its way to England where decorations became more ornate, with glass beads and hand-sewn snowflakes. In the 1800s, the tradition of decorating the tree crossed the Atlantic and settled into American homes ever since.