- The definition of Christmas is a holiday celebrated on December 25 both as a religious tradition commemorating the birth of Jesus and as a secular holiday.
Christmas TraditionsMany people around the world decorate with evergreen trees and branches. Germans started bringing these trees into their homes in the 16th century. Evergreens represent strength, because they can stand up to a harsh, cold winter. In some cultures, they are believed to ward off evil spirits. Besides that, they also smell great. Trees and evergreen wreaths can be decorated with just about anything: popcorn, candles, lights, apples, berries, small toys, cookies, ornaments, tinsel, garland, and nuts. The first printed Christmas cards started in England in 1843 as a way to remind people to help the poor. The very first printed card said, “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You" and was sent by Sir Henry Cole. At first, the cards had signs of spring, like birds, animals, children, and fairies. This tradition caught on quickly and is practiced by many around the world. The tradition of hanging stockings by the fire started with the story of St. Nicholas. He wanted to help a poor man and his three daughters, but wanted to be anonymous. As the story goes, he rode by their house on a white horse and tossed three bags of coins down the chimney. The bags were miraculously caught in the girls’ stockings that had been hung there to dry.
- An example of Christmas is a religious holiday celebrated on December 25.
- An example of Christmas is celebrating by decorating a tree in your home, putting up lights, exchanging presents and kids receiving presents from Santa Claus.
Figures depicting the birth of Christ under a Christmas tree.Licensed from iStockPhoto
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- A Christian feast commemorating the birth of Jesus.
- December 25, the day on which this feast is celebrated.
Origin: Middle English Cristemas, from Old English Crīstes mǽsse, Christ's festival : Crīst, Christ; see Christ + mǽsse, festival; see mass .
- Christˈmas·sy, Christˈmas·y adjective
Christmas - Cultural Definition
A festival commemorating the birth of Jesus, traditionally celebrated on December 25 by most Western Christian churches. Although dating to probably as early as a.d. 200, the feast of Christmas did not become widespread until the Middle Ages. Today, Christmas is largely secularized and dominated by gifts, decorated trees, and a jolly Santa Claus.