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The Date of Christmas-

The idea to celebrate Christmas on December 25 originated in the 4th century. The Romans celebrated the birthday of their sun god. Roman Church leaders decided that in order to compete with the pagan celebration of the sun god they would themselves order a festival in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Although the actual season of Jesus' birth is thought to be in the spring, the date of December 25 was chosen as the official birthday celebration of Christ's Mass so that it would compete head on with the rival pagan celebration.


Mistletoe and Holly-

Two hundred years before the birth of Christ, the Druids used mistletoe to celebrate the coming of winter. The early church banned the use of mistletoe in Christmas celebrations because of its pagan origins. Instead, the use of holly was suggested as an appropriate substitute for Christmas greenery. The holly wreath represents the crown of thorns placed on Christ's head and the red berries symbolize His blood.


Poinsettias-

The Mexicans in the eighteenth century thought the native plant was symbolic of the Star of Bethlehem. Thus the Poinsettia became associated with the Christmas season. They were first brought to America in 1828 by Joel Poinsett, Ambassador to Mexico.


The Christmas Tree-

The Christmas Tree originated in Germany in the 16th century. It is believed that Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, was the first to light a Christmas tree with candles. While coming home one dark winter's night near Christmas, he was struck with the beauty of the starlight shining through the branches of a small fir tree outside his home. He duplicated the starlight by using candles attached to the branches of his indoor Christmas tree.