Christmas, a history of 


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History of Christmas & traditions.

The whole of the Western tradition of Christmas is not just a matter of one or two days of present-giving and family visits, there is a whole sequence of religious observances, services and so forth which the commercialisation of Christmas has succeeded in hiding.

As a celebration of some 2000 years of heritage – though, of course, it was not really celebrated until some time after the establishment of Christianity as a separate religion from Judaism – it has picked up a lot of nationalistic and cultural traditions, many of which have been adopted from other local religions and customs.

There is a fairly convincing argument that Christmas itself is based on the Roman festival of Saturnalia which itself was based on an earlier Babylonian festival. And that it was a Roman Emperor who decided to mix the events in order to make it easier for his subjects to call themselves Christians – a kind of spiritual hedging-of-bets.

External cultural influences and the date of the event, being midwinter in the northern hemisphere, has meant that many of the non-Christian midwinter traditions have been mixed in. The Father Christmas concept, Christmas trees in the house, putting objects into Christmas puddings these are all distinctly non-Christian.

However none of this should be taken as any form of criticism, or even a reason not to celebrate Christmas. The date and traditions are not important; the reason the celebration exists in the first place is.

Christmas shopping can take endless hours. Marshall Ward has an online store with quick solutions to finding Christmas gifts for boys and girls.