The word Christmas comes from the words Cristes maesse, or “Christ’s Mass”. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus for members of the Christian religion. Most historians peg the first celebration of Christmas to Rome in 336 AD.
No one really knows. What is known is that Christian leaders in 336 AD set the date to December 25th in an attempt to eclipse a popular pagan holiday in Rome (Saturnalia) celebrating the winter solstice. 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.
St. Nicholas was born in 280 AD to wealthy parents in Patera in Asia Minor. He was orphaned at a young age and became a Christian Minister. St. Nicholas was elected bishop and he was once imprisoned for his faith. Nicholas is most famous for giving. He was known to beg for food for the poor. One story claims that he would dress up in a disguise and go out into the streets and give gifts to poor children. Some historians claim that St. Nicholas died in 343 AD, but many children believe that he is still alive giving out presents every Christmas in celebration of Christ’s birth.
It has been taken into belief of most that the Christmas tree has started in Germany in the mid 700’s. The evergreen trees represented life. It is during the time of Christmas, in which the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated that these trees are decorated and taken into homes. These trees represent the life of Jesus Christ and how He still live on today. They became known as the “Christ Tree” until the celebration became known as Christmas. Then it was the Christmas Tree. Ancients would bring evergreen leaves on the night of December 21, the shortest day of the year. They did this because they wanted the sun god to get well and they thought the green leaves of evergreens would better the god. In many countries thousands of years ago, people would decorate their houses with evergreen leaves and branches to keep away ghosts, witches, sickness, and evil spirits. German Martin Luther is said to be the first to bring the tree indoor decorated with candles to show his children what stars looked like at night in the forest. He had been walking home and was amazed at the beauty of the stars. This is why he did it. This grew into America and now people light their trees with much more than candles(lights).