Figures depicting the birth of Christ under a Christmas tree.
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.
Many 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.
- A Christian feast commemorating the birth of Jesus.
- December 25, the day on which this feast is observed as a public holiday in many countries.
Origin of ChristmasMiddle English Cristemas, from Old English Crīstes mæsse, Christ's festival : Crīst, Christ; see Christ + mæsse, festival; see mass .
- Christ′mas·sy, Christ′mas·y
- Christmas Day, the day it is celebrated, 25 December, an English quarter day.
- This Christmas we'll open presents then go to grandma's for dinner.
- Christmastide, the Twelve Days of Christmas, the season (traditionally from the 24th of December to the 6th of January) around the holiday.
- (US, retailing) The period from the Friday following Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, busy with shopping and preparations for Christmas.
- The last three Christmases have been good for retailers.
- (marketing, retailing) Christmas season, the end of the year period, busy with shopping and preparations for Christmas.
- The Christmas shoppers spent less this December, than last year, but our store will probably see just as many returned items during the twelve days of Christmas.
From late Old English Cristesmæsse (“Christ's mass, Christ's festival”); as if Christ + -mas.