Portal:Christmas

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Introduction

A depiction of the Nativity scene

Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is preceded by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night; in some traditions, Christmastide includes an octave. Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world's nations, is celebrated religiously by a majority of Christians, as well as culturally by many non-Christians, and forms an integral part of the holiday season centered around it.

The traditional Christmas narrative, the Nativity of Jesus, delineated in the New Testament says that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in accordance with messianic prophecies. When Joseph and Mary arrived in the city, the inn had no room and so they were offered a stable where the Christ Child was soon born, with angels proclaiming this news to shepherds who then further disseminated the information.

Although the month and date of Jesus' birth are unknown, the church in the early fourth century fixed the date as December 25. This corresponds to the date of the solstice on the Roman calendar. Most Christians celebrate on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar, which has been adopted almost universally in the civil calendars used in countries throughout the world. However, some Eastern Christian Churches celebrate Christmas on December 25 of the older Julian calendar, which currently corresponds to a January date in the Gregorian calendar. For Christians, the belief that God came into the world in the form of man to atone for the sins of humanity, rather than the exact birth date, is considered to be the primary purpose in celebrating Christmas.

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1881 illustration by Thomas Nast who, with Clement Clarke Moore, helped to create the modern image of Santa Claus
Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle or simply "Santa", is the legendary and mythical figure who, in many Western cultures, brings gifts to the homes of the good children during the late evening and overnight hours of Christmas Eve, December 24 or on his Feast Day, December 6 (Saint Nicholas Day). The legend may have part of its basis in hagiographical tales concerning the historical figure of gift giver Saint Nicholas. While Saint Nicholas was originally portrayed wearing bishop's robes, in modern times, Santa Claus is generally depicted as a plump, jolly, white-bearded man wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots. This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast. This image has been maintained and reinforced through song, radio, television, and films. In the United Kingdom and Europe, his depiction is often identical to the American Santa, but he is commonly called Father Christmas.

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Bob Hope in The Ghost Breakers trailer.JPG
My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?



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"What Child Is This?", Length: 2 minutes 20 seconds
"What Child Is This?" is a popular Christmas carol that was written in 1865. At the age of twenty-nine, writer William Chatterton Dix was struck with a sudden near-fatal illness and confined to bedrest for several months, during which he went into a deep depression. Yet out of his near-death experience, Dix wrote many hymns, including "What Child is This?".

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Christmas ornaments are decorations (usually made of glass, metal, wood or ceramics) that are used to festoon a Christmas tree. Ornaments take many different forms, from a simple round ball to highly artistic designs. Ornaments are often reused year after year, rather than purchased annually, and family collections often contain a combination of commercially produced ornaments and decorations created by family members.
Credit: flickr
Christmas ornaments are decorations (usually made of glass, metal, wood or ceramics) that are used to festoon a Christmas tree. Ornaments take many different forms, from a simple round ball to highly artistic designs. Ornaments are often reused year after year, rather than purchased annually, and family collections often contain a combination of commercially produced ornaments and decorations created by family members.

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Christmas tree

MainChristmas Eve · Christmas Day · Boxing Day · History · The Nativity · Bringers of gifts · Decorations · Economics · Customs

ChristianityNativity of Jesus · Nativity of Jesus in art · Nativity scene · Nativity of Jesus in later culture · Jesus Christ · Mary · Joseph · Angel Gabriel · Adoration of the Shepherds · Three Wise Men · Star of Bethlehem · King Herod · Massacre of the Innocents · Saint Nicholas · Twelfth Night · Epiphany · Advent · Christmastide Father Christmas · Santa Claus · Mrs. Claus · Santa Claus's elfs · Santa Claus's reindeer · Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer · Sinterklaas · Père Noël · Joulupukki · Ded Moroz  · La Befana · Christkind · Black Peter · Krampus · Belsnickel · Le Père Fouettard · North Pole · Santa's workshop · Korvatunturi · Other characters

By countryAustralia and New Zealand · Germany · Hawaii · Hungary · Indonesia · Ireland · Mexico · Philippines · Poland · Romania · Russia · Scotland · Serbia · Sweden · Ukraine ·

FolkloreFather Christmas · Santa Claus · Mrs. Claus · Santa Claus's elfs · Santa Claus's reindeer · Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer · Sinterklaas · Père Noël · Joulupukki · Ded Moroz  · La Befana · Christkind · Black Peter · Krampus · Belsnickel · Le Père Fouettard · North Pole · Santa's workshop · Korvatunturi · Other characters · Legend of the Christmas Spider

TraditionsTwelve Days of Christmas · Christmas trees · Wassailing · Yule log · Stockings · Ornaments · Lights · Nutcrackers · Christmas cards · Christmas songs · Christmas films · Christmas stamps  · A Visit from St. Nicholas · A Christmas Carol · NORAD Tracks Santa · Secret Santa · Advent calendars · Yule Goats · Santa Claus parades · Flying Santa · Christmas markets · Plants · Food · Feasts · Events · Parades · Christmas pickle · Miners' parades · Miner's figures · Candle arches · Christmas pyramids · Smoking figures · Incense candles

MediaFiction · Films · Plays · Episodes · Specials · Albums · Best-selling albums · Hit singles and tracks · Best-selling singles · Carols · Other Christmas music and songs

SocietyChristmas club · Christmas controversy · Christmas creep · Christmas Mountains · Christmas truce · Black Friday · Cyber Monday · White Christmas · Christmas Day (Trading) Act 2004 · Christmas and holiday season · Related holidays · List of winter festivals · SantaCon · Running of the Santas · Christmas in July · Christmas in August · Christmas in the American Civil War · Christmas in Puritan New England · Christmas in the post-War United States · Christmas seal

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December 2017 calendar

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