Hohoho, it’s that time of the year again!
The whole town, the department stores, the restaurants, everywhere the Christmas spirit is showing. Some people put up trees and laurels. Some people pay attention to the details and add small, cute angel figurines on the coffee tables and shelves. Some people love going grand by putting up huge statues.
Among the proudly put-up decorations, however, there will be some that strike as confusing and even embarrassing to some people. Mostly poorly executed, we do understand their effort to show their Christmas spirit. But they should really have made sure to get opinions before putting these things on display.
Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, originates from a kind figure during the 4th century. He gave gifts to good kids and was called Sinterklaas. After the Dutch bring their traditions to America, he was later called Santa Claus and earned his appearance in red in 1863. Because of his death and feast day, which fell on the same day close to Christmas, his figure became so closely tied to Christmas.
Between the Christmas tree and the history of the Christians, the former is actually older. A worshipping form towards evergreen and laurels was common in ancient Egpyt, China, and in Scandinavian customs, which was later passed on to Christianity. However, the familiar tree with the star we have today originates from western Germany.
The Bible itself never stated clearly if Jesus’ birthday indeed falls on Christmas. It was Sextus Julius Africanus in 221 who declares the date to be so, which also coincides with the “day of the birth of the unconquered sun” (dies Solis invicti nati), Roman’s popular holiday. Throughout thousands of years of celebration, one custom after another surrounding Christmas was formed.
It’s going to be a very quiet Christmas this year, but don’t forget to pay a visit to your family and friends, even if only from a video call!