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Christmas will always be of my favorite holiday and time of the year. Everyone is always cheerful and full of joy during December. As the month progresses, excitement arises as kids and adults prepare for the twenty-fifth to open their gifts and enjoys meals with their families. The enormous smiles projected on the faces of each person as they open their gifts make the countless hours shopping, wrapping, and preparing all worthwhile. Many gather to reflect on the history of the holiday and the reason that it is celebrated in most cultures while carrying on their individual traditions.
Christmas is defined by its history, religious meaning, and family traditions.
The history of Christmas plays a vital role in its definition. The word ‘Christmas’ has been translated throughout history. It was once referred to by the its Old English name, ‘Christes Maesse’ meaning Christ’s Mass or the festival of Christ. While the name may change, the day it is celebrated on has remained the same.
Most cultures begin their Christmas traditions on Thanksgiving Day. This is commonly referred to as Black Friday, a discount shopping holiday to purchase Christmas gifts for family and friends. Black Friday has become a controversial topic throughout the years because many believe it begins the Christmas season too early taking away the importance of Thanksgiving. Christmas is symbolized by a Christmas Tree which are decorated and displayed in homes. While artificial trees have become popular, many prefer a real tree picked from a Christmas Tree farm.
Trees are also the focal point of Christmas festivities such as work and school parties as well as family gatherings.
The story of St. Nicholas has been told for generations to children each Christmas Eve night. In 208 A.D., the legend of Santa Clause or Kris Kringle came to be. He was identified by his red suit with a matching hat and his joyous personality. According to the legend, Santa is known to have saved three extremely poor sisters from being sold into slavery or prostitution. To protect the girls, he funded their marriages to prevent their father from selling his children into slavery. The story was continued to be told for years and he gained fame for his good deed. People saw him as a way to spread joy and protect those from grief. Today, Santa is still seen as a generous protector of children spreading joy each Christmas Eve. Although the name may change, the history and joy that Santa brings will remain the same. This is one reason that Christmas is my favorite time of the year. While history can change throughout time, the religious meaning behind the holiday has never faltered.
Christmas is best defined by its religious meaning. To Christians, Christmas is a time to celebrate the joyous birth of Jesus Christ, the savior of sins. On Christmas night, the star of David shone the brighter than any other star. The Virgin Mary who was nearing the end of her pregnancy, looked for a place to stay with her husband Joseph. Everywhere they went there was no room. Finally, they stumbled upon Bethlehem. The inn keeper said that they could stay in the stable with the animals. Soon after settling in the stable, Jesus was brought into the world, wrapped in cloth, and laid in a manger. Nearby, wisemen were greeted by an Angel and told of the story of Jesus. They quickly began their journey to find the infant and adorn him with the finest gifts such as gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Today, we continue the traditions of the wisemen by gifting those we care most about with gifts on the night that Jesus was born. Many families have unique traditions in their households to make the holiday special to them.
Christmas is best defined by family traditions. On Christmas Eve, my family always opens gifts that we got for each other. My sister and I usually go together to get my brother a very meaningful gift and he usually does the same for us. While we do not exchanging a high number of gifts, the few that we are given hold the most meaning. One thing I look forward to is new Christmas Pajamas that I receive from my parents. Each Christmas Ever, my brother, sister, and I always receive a new pair of Christmas pajamas. My sister and I quickly put them on and father around the tree to take pictures My brother needs some persuading to join us, but eventually gives in.
We always make my mom take endless amounts of pictures so we can put them on Facebook for everyone to see. Our family tradition is then followed by making Christmas cookies. It is nothing spectacular, or grand. We like to keep it simple and buy sugar cookies from Walmart that have the cute designs of snowmen, reindeer, or Santa on them. T While they cook, we pick out a Christmas movie to watch. Normally, we watch Rise of the Guardians. It is one of my families favorite Christmas movies. After the movie, my brother and sister always go to bed and I help my mom set out the ‘Santa’ gifts. My mom and I always store them in the hall closet and try our hardest not to make too much noise to prevent waking up the dogs. We always set them up so nice and neat with the stockings in front of the gifts.
My mom is the coolest and always wraps our gifts in wrapping paper. She picks out the perfect paper for each of us yearly. We never know what it will look like but can pick our individual gifts out by the stocking laying in front. If we did not have the stocking there, we would be able to identify our gifts because our paper is unique to each of us. Without fail, my brother wakes us up extremely early on Christmas Day morning so we can open all our gifts. After we open and clean all the paper up, my mom will cook sausage pies for us to eat. All the traditions brought about by Christmas are what make the holiday memorable to me.
Christmas will always be the most fantastic time of the year, everyone in December is always so cheerful and happy. The religious meaning of Christmas will always be important to many cultures. I hope that one day I will be able to keep the family traditions alive just as my family has while I was growing up. I hope everyone will always remember the true meaning of Christmas, its traditions, and the history of how it all began all those many years ago.
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