The History of Christmas

The History of Christmas

Billions of people worldwide, Christians or non-Christians, have celebrated Christmas on the 25thof December for hundreds of years. The first-ever recorded Christmas celebration can be traced back to Rome in the year 336 when the first Roman Christian Emperor Constantine celebrated Christmas even though it was not a Roman state holiday at the time.

Emperor Constantine, although a pagan for most of his life not converting to Christianity until he was on his death bed, did, it is told is the person who was responsible for the building of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, at the alleged site of the tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem, now one of, if not the holiest place for visiting Christians from the world over.

However, as we know of it today, Christmas was not always celebrated with the same warmth as it is today. Soon after the death of Constantine, Christmas as a celebration seemed to die away. It would not return as a significant celebration until another Roman Emperor “Charlemagne,” chose to be crowned on Christmas day. Still, as history notes, it was for all the wrong reasons. Christmas had become associated with drunkenness and misbehavior, so much so that the Puritans, during the time of the reformation, banned Christmas. A ban would stay in place until the 1660s when it was once again resurrected, although it would seem, still associated with the same drunkenness and misbehavior of days gone by.

It would take the likes of both Washington Irving and Charles Dickens to reinvent Christmas as a time for kind-heartedness, gift-giving, family, gift-giving, and of course, Santa Claus.

20th century Christmas

It does not seem possible, but Christmas festivities are relatively new as we know of them today. Before the 1950s in the United Kingdom, Christmas celebrations were mainly restricted to the so-called upper classes. Christmas trees were rare, as was the traditional Christmas dinner. However, if you were lucky, you might have been treated to a bit of beef. As for the turkey, I honestly do not think anyone in England had ever heard of one. However, I can remember my old Dad bringing home a giant chicken with its two clawed feet and feathers adorning it. Presents, well, we were treated to a Christmas stocking laid at the bottom of our beds (a tradition our family still does today), which were filled with sweets, oranges, apples, and if you were lucky, a brand new golden penny with the following years date on it.

Another surprising thing about Christmas in the very early 1950s was the fact that it was still not a holiday for everyone. The postman always delivered on Christmas day. The Milk Man always delivered the milk. The paperboy always delivered your morning newspaper, and league football matches were still played like any other typical day.

Yes, the Christmases of the early 1950s were quite frugal, but all in all, I have some very fond memories of them and have carried many of the traditions as taught by my family into the 20th century.

Politics and oppression

It is hard to believe that as recently as 1917, Christmas, as well as many other Christian holidays, were banned in what was the Soviet Union (today’s Russia) and led to the forming of the League of Militant Atheists, which encouraged all children to campaign against most of the universal Christmas holiday traditions, including the Christmas tree. To replace the Christmas day celebrations, the newly formed league consecrated a new antireligious holiday celebrated on the 31st of each month. On Christmas day, all children were encouraged to spit on crucifixes in protest against the Christmas holiday. This persecution would only come to an end seven decades later after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

2nd World War  

As the ideologies of Nazi Germany viewed organized religion as an enemy of the state, leaders attempted to deemphasize, or eliminate, any Christian aspects of the holiday and, in the process, rewrote Christmas carols to promote their racial ideologies.

The Christmas Tree

Why we put up a Christmas tree is one of life’s true love stories and can be traced back to the middle of the 19th century when the young Queen Victoria was sent, after her marriage to her German Cousin Prince Albert, a Chrismas tree from the Kingdom of Hanover. She wrote about her delight of awakening to see the tree decorated with baubles and lights and surrounded with presents. A picture of the young Victoria sitting under the Christmas tree at Windsor Castle was published in The Illustrated London News in 1948 with a copy going across the pond to the United States of America in 1950 where it caused a sensation, and that is why we now put up Christmas trees as part of our Christmas day celebrations.

Authors note. It is said that there are close to 350 million Christmas trees growing in both America and Canada at any one time. Of these, 25 – 30 million will be sold every year.

Christmas Retail

While you are shopping online this Christmas, bear this in mind. The Christmas season has become the biggest shopping season of all time. It is estimated that shoppers this Christmas will spend in both the United Kingdom and the United States an astonishing $1 trillion on everything from decorations, sweets, and presents. Furthermore, it would seem that more and more people are doing their Christmas shopping online and who can fault them, especially when you have online family-run shopping centers like BargainBrute.Com who have gone out of their way to ensure that they have in stock and ready to be delivered, usually day after order, everything you will require to have an enjoyable Christmas holiday.

Well, folks, that’s my history of Christmas as I see it. Many thanks for your time in reading, and I hope to see you on the inside of America’s favorite place to shop online in 2019 BargainBrute.Com

Happy online Christmas shopping from America’s favorite place to shop online, BargainBrute.Com.