December 25th is observed as Christmas Day in most countries and for many, it also signifies the birth of the baby Jesus. However, the exact date of Christs birth has never actually been pinpointed. Some say that he was born in 98 A.D. Also, it is believed that the onset of Christmas dates back to over 4000 years ago during the time of the early Mesopotamians.
Within the history of Christmas lie various Christmas legends and stories. Two examples are the legend of the Christmas tree and how the name Santa Clause came to be. The Christmas tree custom is believed to have begun in Germany in the early half of the 700s. The first Christmas tree was unadorned. It did not become modernized with decorations until the 16th century. As for Santa Clauses namesake, different countries have their own names for the jolly man in red. According to the history of Christmas, in Dutch, he is called Sint Nikolass. Across the pond in England, he is Father Time. Italians know him as Befana. Germans bestowed upon him the name Christkind and the Russians refer to him as Bobouschka. This stands for grandmotherly figure, as he is seen as a woman, not a man. In America, Sint Nikolass transformed into Sinterklass and eventually became Santa Clause.
The history of Christmas would not be known today if it were not for the many classic Christmas books out in print, such as “The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree,” “A Cup of Christmas Tea” and “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Besides reading Christmas classics, it is highly possible that certain families have a Christmas traditions book, where they write down what they do every year at Christmas. This list has to include the giving and receiving of gifts. The history of Christmas or xmas gifts originated in Rome and Northern Europe. Gift giving, including giving corporate Christmas gifts to bosses and employees, did not become the main focus of Christmas until the major rise in commercialism took place.
It is important for people to understand the real history of Christmas. With the holiday having become so commercialized, it seems that many have forgotten what the true meaning of Christmas really is.