There were, in the same country, shepherds abiding in the field keeping watch over their flock by night, and lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were so afraid.
The angel said unto them, “Fear not! For behold, I bring you tidings of great joy which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior which is Christ the Lord, and this shall be a sign to you: you shall find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.”
Suddenly, there was a multitude of angels of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and goodwill toward all men.”
That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown!
The Celebration of Christmas
Christmas is a celebration to remember the birth of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the son of God. It is celebrated around the world whether people are Christians or not. It’s a time when family and friends come together and remember the good things they have, especially children because of the tradition of receiving gifts.
The name Christmas comes from the Mass of Christ or “Jesus”. A Mass service, which is sometimes called Communion or Eucharist, is where Christians remember that Jesus died for us and then came back. The Mass of Christ was the only one that was allowed to take place after sunset and before sunrise the next day, so people had it at midnight! This was called Christ-Mass and later was shortened to Christmas.
No one knows the real birthday of Jesus, for no date is given in the Bible, so why do we celebrate it on December 25th? It was during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine, who defeated Roman Emperor Maximinus at the battle of Milvian Bridge in 312. After saving the Christians who fled into Italy from Maximinus, Constantine became the first Christian Roman Emperor.
The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. He was the first Christian Roman Emperor. Years later, Pope Julius officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th of December.
Though there are many different traditions and theories as to why Christmas is celebrated on December 25th, early Christian tradition says that it was the day Mary was told that she would have a very special baby, Jesus. This is called the Annunciation, which is still celebrated today on the 25th of March.
But December 25th might have been chosen because of the winter solstice, a day which had the shortest time between the sun rising and the sun setting, meaning winter was over and spring was coming. The ancient pagan Roman midwinter festival called ‘Satunalia’ was a festival that took place that honored the Roman God Saturn, called ‘Dies Natalis Solis Invicti,’ and took place around this date in December, when people were already celebrating these things. Most of us celebrate Christmas as the first coming of Jesus as a lamb, a baby boy. And he said “I will go and make a place for you.”