Christmas has roots in various traditions, love and charity

Along with celebrating the birth of Christ, traditional Christmas traditions come from numerous nationalities.

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Christmas has roots in various traditions, love and charity

Hailey Dillard, Reporter

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Christmas Traditions come in all different shapes and sizes. Different memories each year with the people you love the most. A lot of people usually focus on only what they get, presents-wise each year and forget what the true meaning of Christmas is and the origin of the Christmas tree.

Beyond traditional December festivities, however, the true meaning of Christmas celebrates Jesus Christ’s birth and honors His divinity, His perfect example of charity, and the significance of His impact on the world. It is Jesus Christ’s impact on all humanity that gives significance to the celebration that recalls His name. Although Christmas is an annual holiday celebrated on December 25 by religious and secular communities worldwide, at its core, the significance of Christmas is in honoring Jesus every day.

The Christmas tree that we all know and love each year didn’t start as a Christian or pagan tradition. Long before Christianity appeared, people in the Northern Hemisphere used evergreen plants to decorate their homes, particularly the doors, to celebrate the Winter Solstice.

On December 21 or December 22, the day is the shortest and the night the longest. Traditionally, this time of the year is seen as the return in strength of the sun god who had been weakened during winter — and the evergreen plants served as a reminder that the god would glow again, and summer was to be expected. The solstice was celebrated by the Egyptians who filled their homes with green palm rushes in honor of the god Ra, who had the head of a hawk and wore the sun as a crown.

In Northern Europe, the Celts decorated their druid temples with evergreen boughs which signified everlasting life. Farther up north, the Vikings thought evergreens were the plants of Balder, the god of light and peace. The ancient Romans marked the Winter Solstice with a feast called Saturnalia thrown in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture, and, like the Celts, decorated their homes and temples with evergreen boughs. 

Looking past the perspective of religious perspectives, non-Christians celebrate this holiday based on the gift of giving to others. When you give gifts, you are giving something willingly without wanting something in return. Making someone feel special is more than enough reason to make you give more. By giving to others, you make someone feel like they are worth something and deserve something.

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