THE word Christmas comes from Cristes maesse, or "Christ's Mass." There is no set date for his birth in scripture and it wasn't celebrated on any particular day. However Christmas was first celebrated on the 25th of December in Rome in 336AD with an aim to replacing the popular pagan winter solstice celebrations The first Christmas card was designed in 1843 by J.C. Horsley The twelve days of Christmas are the days between Christmas Day and Epiphany (6th of January) and represent the length of time it took for the wise men from the East to visit the manger of Jesus after his birth. Popular belief holds that 3 wise men visited Bethlehem from the east bearing gifts. However there is no mention in the bible about the number of wise men who visited. Three gifts were brought - gold, frankincense and myrrh, but names commonly attributed to the wise men - Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar were added some 500 years later. The 26th of December is traditionally known as St Stephen's Day, but is more commonly known as Boxing Day. The reason it was called this is either alms boxes in church were opened and the money distributed to the poor, or alternatively it was named from the practice of servants receiving boxes of gifts from their employers on this day. Boxing day is NOT named after the practice of throwing out large numbers of boxes after Christmas! English Puritan leader Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas between 1647 and 1660 because he believed such celebrations were immoral for the holiest day of the year. The first postage stamp to commemorate Christmas was issued in Austria in 1937.
Santa Claus dress fact
The typical image we have of Santa Claus dressed in red clothes with white fur trim, is an amalgamation of cultural input over many years. Some people claim the image of Santa we know today is from Coca-cola advertising, but this simply isn't true. The standard Santa garb was well established by the 1920s and it wasn't until the 1930s that Coca-cola first used the Santa Claus design in their advertising.
More Christmas Facts
The first Christmas card was designed in 1843 by J.C. Horsley.
Oliver Cormwell, the leader, stopped the celebration of Christmas during 1647- 1660. According to him it was immoral to celebrate the holiest day of the year. It was a criminal offence. He or she could find him or her behind the bars if he/she was found guilty of celebrating Christmas.