Christmas: What Is Christmas & How to Celebrate It

Dec/03/2021 / by Melanie Fourie

The Story of Christmas

Image credits: Geralt via Pixabay

The Western Church celebrates Christmas on December 25 as a commemoration of Christ’s birth. The custom of celebrating Christmas on December 25 dates all the way back to A.D. 273.

December 25 may have been selected as a counterpoint to the influence of paganism, since two pagan festivals celebrating the sun were also held on that day. To this day, some people are apprehensive about celebrating it because of the pagan celebrations that took place on that day. Christians, on the other hand, intend to just celebrate the birth of Christ on this day.

How is Christmas celebrated? 

Themes of light, evergreens, peace, goodwill, and joy are common Christmas customs across the globe. Currently, Christmas is a result of centuries of secular and religious traditions from throughout the world, many of which focus around the winter solstice. It is perhaps the most widely observed holiday ever.

Besides going to Christmas mass, which is a tradition carried down from generation to generation for eons, here are some other pretty popular ones. 

Gift Giving 

The Three Wise Men brought presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to infant Jesus in the manger, and the practice of gift-giving dates back to that time. When it comes to putting gifts beneath the tree or in stockings, it depends on where you reside in the globe. While St. Nicholas’ Day is celebrated on December 6th in the United States, several nations (such as the Netherlands, Germany and Czechia) begin opening gifts on December 5th.

Christmas Carols 

Musical accompaniment plays a significant part in many Christmas celebrations across the globe. Holiday classics like “O Holy Night,” “Let It Snow,” “Jingle Bells,” and many more are in our playlist, which we share with family and friends.
Christmas carolling has been carried down through many generations, where individuals visit houses and sing holiday songs to the residents. Some high schools and elementary schools have even gotten into the business of having pupils chant their way from class to class. Carolling is a centuries-old custom that may still be seen in many nations today. Carolling may have have taken a break due to fears about social isolation for Christmas 2021.

Ice skating at New York City’s Lower East Side

This is a great way to celebrate Christmas in the USA. In terms of outdoor ice skating, the Rink at Rockefeller Center is one of the world’s most recognizable places to take the ice. In early December, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lights up, and the winter rink really begins to draw in skaters. Before you arrive, find out whether there are any unique socially-distanced rules in place though.


Why is Christmas important?

For Christians, it is a time to remember the birth of Jesus Christ in Nazareth, the Son of God who came to save the world from its sins. To atone for the world’s past, present, and future sins, God sent his Son to be born as a human being on that day. When it comes to Christmas, it’s a time to remember and give thanks.

Because Jesus’ mother, Mary, was a virgin, the Holy Spirit was able to carry him to birth. An angel was the first to tell Mary that she was about to bear the Son of God, while another angel convinced his father Joseph that the baby was God’s son. Shepherds on duty in their fields were also informed by angels that Mary would give birth to a child in Bethlehem. Since everyone has been anticipating it since the beginning of Advent, Christmas is the most anticipated day of the whole season. On Christmas Day, some Christians attend mass and exchange presents.