Some helpful facts and history about the Christmas Season
Was Jesus Christ Born on December 25? Actually, the December 25th celebration started in AD 300. As most people know December 21 is the shortest day of the year. This shortest day was greatly celebrated because the 22nd day started a new beginning with more daylight and longer hours. December 21 was set aside by the secular world to celebrate the “sun” and beginning of longer days. Candles were lit and gifts given for the event. Christians participated in the celebration, but decided to change the occasion to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
The Jewish calendar had 30 days a month and 360 days a year. The date was changed under the Roman calendar which has 5 extra days per year or 365 days. The additional five days changed the date from December 21 to December 25. December 25th was never looked upon as the day of His birth, but it was designated by Christians as a day to remember and celebrate the birth of the “Son” instead of the “sun.” This is why Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on the 25th of each December. The odds of Jesus being born on December the 25th are 365 to 1. Christmas is a special time to celebrate and remember the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is how Christmas became a celebration day when Christians celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He was born of a virgin, died for our sins, rose from the grave to forgive us, and gives the free gift of eternal life to all who will receive it (John 1:12)
Is There a Real Santa Claus? The true story of Santa Claus begins with a man named Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents raised him to be a devout Christian. Nicholas obeyed the words of Jesus to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor.” He used his whole inheritance to help the needy, the sick, and especially children. Because of his generosity, he was made a bishop. Bishop Nicholas became greatly known for his generosity and gifts to others. At this time, the Roman Emperor Diocletian persecuted Christians. He exiled and imprisoned Bishop Nicholas for his Christian faith. Nicholas died December 6, AD 343. People honored the anniversary of his death with a day of celebration known as “Saint Nicholas Day.” After his death, stories continued to grow about his generosity. One story tells of a poor man with three daughters who received gifts of gold coins as they were tossed through an open window and landed into stockings or shoes left before the fire to dry. This led to the custom of children hanging stockings and eagerly awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas. Through the years, Saint Nicolas became known as “Santa (replaced Saint) Claus” (short for the last part his name Nic-colas). He is also called “Old Saint Nick.” (short for Saint Nic-olas). So you see Virginia there really was a Santa Claus.
Did Jesus Have Life in the Womb of Virgin Mary? Answer, “Yes.” When John the Baptist was six months in the womb he had knowledge of the babe Jesus who was just conceived of the Holy Sprit in Mary. “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost…For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy” (Luke 1:41). Notice that John the Baptist was referred to as “the babe.” A baby is a person in the womb before birth. So life begins at conception before birth according to the Scriptures. Actually a baby is already nine months old at birth. Jesus Christ was conceived of the Holy Ghost and born of a virgin to fulfill all Scriptures to become the Saviour of the world (Luke 1:31; John 3:16).
Did Wise Men Visit Baby Jesus? Answer, “No.” Wise men did not visit the “baby Jesus,” but they did visit the “young child” (Matthew 2:11). Jesus Christ was probably close to two years of age when the Wise Men came to visit.. “Then Herod… sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men” (Matthew 2:16). King Herod killed all the children two years and under hoping to kill the young child Jesus, but not a baby Jesus. By the way, wise men still seek Jesus.
When did Years Change from BC to AD? AD is “Anno Domini” which means in the Year of Our Lord. When did it change to AD? In the year AD 533 there were several methods of calendars. The king decided to have only one universal calendar. He researched a time to begin the new calendar. He considered King Herod, different feasts, and even Roman Pilate. He finally decided to start the new calendar with the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. The exact year of the Lord’s birth was unknown. It was estimated to be 533 years earlier. This is how and when the modern calendar was originated. It separated history with the birth of Jesus. History truly is HIS-story.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Always remember that He is the reason for the season. Without Christ there would be no true meaning of Christmas.
to one and all…
From Everyone at SWM!