Children know that Christmas is a special time of year where they’ll get to be with family and get presents. But do they know the origin of Christmas? If the answer is no, you might want to teach them that Christmas isn’t all about the fabulous gifts they’ve been asking you for all year. Christmas is more than that. This article will give you a little background on the origin of Christmas so that you may teach your own children.
There are many different opinions on the origin of Christmas so decide what you want to tell your child before actually telling them. You can choose to tell them all of the origins but depending on their age, you may not want to confuse them.
Christians believe that Christmas is celebrated as Christ’s birthday though it’s now believed that Jesus was not born in December. If your family celebrates the holiday, it is OK to tell your child the truth; that Jesus was not really born during Christmas but it is a time of year to celebrate his existence nonetheless. From a Christian aspect, celebrating Christmas is remembering all that Jesus has done and the hope he brought to the world.
Non-Christians believe that Christmas started with Saint Nicholas (a Bishop from the 4th century) who gave out gifts and was known to have a kind nature. Saint Nicholas wore Bishop’s clothing that led to the American image of Santa Claus in the late 1800’s. Later, artists drew Santa in his red outfit and it became his “official” costume. Whatever form that Santa has taken, he is a figure of generous good cheer with the knack of knowing if you’ve been naughty or nice.
Christmas, as a holiday, began with the Romans, though it was called Saturnalia then and didn’t follow Christmas as we know it today. There are some similar aspects such as decorating for the holiday. Romans would bring evergreens inside their homes to decorate. Nativity scenes first started in Rome during the 10th century. There is something special about knowing that the nativity scene you see today first originated so very long ago.
Setting up a Christmas tree in your home first began in Germany in the 18th century. The popularity traveled to Britain and by the 1870’s it had become popular in the United States as well. Today, most people who celebrate Christmas have a tree in their home adorned with lights and ornaments.
Christmas may have been celebrated differently over the centuries but one thing remains the same. It is a time to get together and celebrate with loved ones. Tell your child that no matter how Christmas first started, your family celebrates it because it’s a time to be with the people you love, just like the first celebrators did in ancient times.