Archive for December, 2006

The 12 days of Christmas are the 12 days that separate Christmas day on December 25 from Epiphany, which is celebrated on January 6. Depending on the church, January 6 may mark Christ’s baptism (the Catholic tradition), or it may mark the day that the wise men visited the baby Jesus with their gifts.

In the past, there was a tradition of giving gifts throughout the 12 days, rather than stacking them all up on the morning of December 25.

Is December 25 really the day Jesus was born?

No one really knows. What is known is that Christian leaders in 336 C.E. set the date to December 25 in an attempt to eclipse a popular pagan holiday in Rome that celebrated Natalis Solis Invincti, or “Birthday of the Invincible Sun God,” on the winter solstice. One mid-fourth century church theologian later wrote “We hold this day holy, not like the pagans because of the birth of the sun, but because of him who made it” .

Originally, the celebration of Christmas involved a simple mass, but over time Christmas has replaced a number of other holidays in many other countries, and a large number of traditions have been absorbed into the celebration in the process

Well ever wondered why is Christmas sometimes spelled Xmas?

According to the book Did you ever Wonder… by Jeff Rovin, the word for Christ in Greek is Xristos. The use of the shortened form “Xmas” became popular in Europe in the 1500s.

The word Xmas is so common in advertising most likely because “Xmas” and “sale” have the same number of letters, and “Xmas” is significantly shorter than Christmas.