It's finally December, a quite special month, and a magical one at that. You can't listen to the radio without hearing Wham's "Last Christmas", turn on the television without seeing Kevin from Home Alone or opening your windows without seeing white fluffy snow everywhere (theoretically! :)). It can only mean one thing. Christmas is approaching us fast.
When did the tradition of celebrating the birth of Jesus begin? It's a topic that leaves some debate even today, though the generally accepted timeframe is the end of the 3rd and 4th century, in Rome.
According to Wikipedia:
In the 3rd century, the date of birth of Jesus was the subject of both great interest and great uncertainly. Around AD 200, Clement of Alexandria wrote:
There are those who have determined not only the year of our Lord's birth, but also the day; and they say that it took place in the 28th year of Augustus, and in the 25th day of [the Egyptian month] Pachon [May 20] … And treating of His Passion, with very great accuracy, some say that it took place in the 16th year of Tiberius, on the 25th of Phamenoth [March 21]; and others on the 25th of Pharmuthi [April 21] and others say that on the 19th of Pharmuthi [April 15] the Savior suffered. Further, others say that He was born on the 24th or 25th of Pharmuthi [April 20 or 21].
In other writing of this time, May 20, April 18 or 19, March 25, January 2, November 17, and November 20 are all suggested. Various factors contributed to the selection of December 25 as a date of celebration: it was the date of the winter solstice on the Roman calendar; it was about nine months after March 25, the date of the vernal equinox and a date linked to the conception of Jesus; and it was the date of a Roman pagan festival in honor of the Sun god Sol Invictus.
Today the celebrations happen on the 25th of December in western churches, and on the 7th of January in the eastern ones. The magic of Christmas is witnessed by even the non-believers. "Christmas Magic" infect most Polish people. Getting gifts is enjoyable for everyone. However, we should remember, that Christmas means to share happiness with others putting yourself on the middle distance. In my book giving presents is more exciting that receiving them.
When this special day comes and whole family sit at the Christmas table you can feel the magic. Something which in my opinion is the most important in live. Bonds! Christmas Eve supper is one of little events during the year when everyone can feel that is around and with the family. We fold wishes, eat together, open presents from Santa Claus. Isn't it fantastic?
By the way, if we talk about Santa... where did he come from? How we know that in the North Pole lives the older man with a long, white beard who once a year gets his sleighs and with reindeers visit each home to give presents polite children? It should be noted on the important aspect. In Poland St. Nicholas' Day is celebrated on 6th December in the anniversary of Myrrh bishop death. Bishop of Myrrh on the grounds of ascribable to him acts (for example whole wealth gave to others) became prototype of form who gives children presents. The form of Santa Claus coming during the night at 24th December rose in a British and American culture. What is interesting the image of Sanda Claus was created by Huddon Sundblon in 1931 for... Coca-Cola! Yes, that is the truth. Thanks to Coca-Cola concern all around the world we can see the present model of Santa Claus.
To sum up my previous dilation, Christmas is a special time, which have an important place in our hearts. Therefore at the end I just want to wish you a Merry Christmas! :)