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Emiley Navarro

on 8 December 2014

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Transcript of Christmas

The Myth of Christmas
Early Romans
Ancient People (Northern Hemisphere)
Christmas Tree
Ancient People
History behind Santa
Original St. Nicholas lived in southwestern Turkey in the 4th century he was also helped by a young orphan boy according to some myths
He was credited with doing a ton of miracles for sailors and kids (ex: paying for the dowries of poor girls
Since he was a saint he was given his own “feast day” which was on December 6th
History behind Santa
Eventually that feast day became associated with December 25th because of Pope Julius I (he decided to create a date to celebrate the birth of Jesus)
Sinterklaas changed to Santa Claus in 1773
The idea of Santa Claus incorporates many different traditions; Christian and Pagan, Old Catholic, Scandinavian, Dutch, German and English
What about the Chimney?
Tradition was set into place where Santa supposedly came down the chimney on December 24th to deliver presents
Children would leave nuts, apples, and sweets to welcome him into their house
In pre-Christian Norse tradition, Odin would often enter through chimneys and smoke holes or fire holes on the solstice, which marks the beginning of winter.
What about the Chimney?
During the winter time it was really cold so leaving the door open wasn’t practical or an option
Back in that time, people had smoke-holes and the chimneys were reserved for the ones who had a lot more money because they could afford it
When chimneys replaced smoke-holes, it was customary to let Father Winter/Father Christmas/Santa Claus enter the house was though the chimney because it was always "open".
What about Santa’s suit?
Before Thomas Nast, Santa’s suit was tan and later on he drew him with a red suit and he was also portrayed as full size
Some think that Haddon Sundblom (drew Santa in advertising for Coca-Cola) created the modern day image of Santa
What about Santa’s suit?
In the U.S. he wears a white fur trimmed red jacket and pants, with a buckled boot and black boots
In Austria, his outfit resembles that of a saint (ex: a long robe that resemble something a bishop would wear)
The first lights used were candles and their purpose was to bring light during the dark winter.
The lights would be on for a short time and they would be prepared with water or sand in case of a fire
By 1908, insurance companies wouldn’t even pay for damages from Christmas tree fires.
Electric lights became a more viable option, although they had some potential danger.
Candy Cane
There is a story that states that candy canes are j shape due to a choirmaster bending them to look like a shepherd’s staff for children during the nativity scene.
They are traced to August Imgard, a German immigrant who is credited for introducing the Christmas tree to Ohio in 1847. He decorated the tree with candy canes.
They were not red and white until the turn of the century. Christians can claim the machine that makes them into j’s as their own invention.
In 1822, Clement Clarke Moore, an Episcopal minister, wrote a Christmas poem for his daughters entitled “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas.” His description is the origin of the way we envision Santa as a “right jolly old elf,” supernatural abilities, a miniature sleigh, and flying reindeer.
Rudolph was born over a hundred years after the other eight flying reindeer. He was created by Robert L. May, a copywriter at the Montgomery Ward department store.
The Day of Christmas
Pagans celebrated the Winter Solstice by burning a Yule log, in order to celebrate the days growing longer again. They believed the sacrifices from Samhain (Halloween) was accepted by the gods.
The earliest mention of Christmas comes from the second century after the birth of Jesus.
It’s believed that Christmas was developed to replace sun worship during Saturnalia. During Saturnalia, everyone exchanged gifts, mostly clay dolls and candles to represent the original human sacrifices.
The Day of Christmas
The word “Christmas” from the medieval custom of the Roman Church celebrating mass at midnight on the eve of Dec. 25.
Christmas trees and Yule logs were used to celebrate the birth of Tammuz around Dec. 25, and this became an annual ritual for this god in ancient pagan Babylon. Many other sun gods were born during this time since sun worship originated in Babylon.
The Christmas tree originates in the tannenbaum (fir tree) and is linked to Teutonic vegetation worship. Using pine and other evergreens began at the ROMAN SATURNALIA, a Roman holiday worshiping Saturn.
The use of trees was common in Pagan Rome and Pagan Egypt and represented their pagan messiah. Egyptians used palm trees for Baal-Tamar and the Romans used fir trees for Baal-Berith.
The mother of a Sun-God and great mediatorial divinity, was said to have turned into a tree and produced a son in this state. This son is considered “Man of the branch”, which is the story behind putting the Yule log in the fire to get a tree the next day.
The plants used are symbols of fertility. Especially evergreens, since they survived the barren winter.
Wreaths, branches, boughs, and trees were used as pagan emblems of Nimrod, because they were thought to be the re-birth of the sun.
Holly symbolizes the male reproductive urge. In ancient Greece, Ivy took its name from a girl who danced so joyously in front of Dionysius that she died at his feet. Dionysius was so moved that he made her into ivy so she would entwine everything around her.
Mistletoe has been considered the symbol of the sun, bestowed life, protected against disease and poison. It was very sacred to the Celtic Druids who offered it as a prayer to the gods. One of the holidays they gather mistletoe on in on December 25, the winter solstice.
The ancient Druids believed mistletoe to be an indicator of great sacredness.
The Druids believe that the berries of the mistletoe represented the sperm of the Gods.
It is also said that Frigg’s tears became the white berries on the mistletoe, after her son Balder was killed with it.
It is supposed to possess mystical powers which bring good luck to the household and wards off evil spirits.
Mistletoe was a plant of peace in antiquity. This is thought to be the origin of the ancient custom of hanging a ball of mistletoe from the ceiling and exchanging kisses under it as a sign of friendship and goodwill.
If a couple in love exchanges a kiss under the mistletoe, it is interpreted as a promise to marry, as well as a prediction of happiness and long life.
The 12 Days of Christmas Meaning
The song the twelve days of Christmas is a famous song about someone receiving gifts from their true love’ but there are actually meanings behind the twelve days.
“Two turtle doves”- stands for the New and Old testaments of the bible.
“Three French hens”- stands for faith, hope, and charity.
“Four calling birds”- stands for the Four Gospels of the bible.
“Five Golden Rings”- stands for the five books of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy)
The 12 Days of Christmas Meaning
“Six geese a laying”- stands for six days of creation.
“Seven Swans a swimming”- stands for 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
“Nine ladies dancing”- stands for the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit
Ten lords a-leaping”- stands for the 10 commandments
“Eleven pipers piping”- stands for the 11 faithful disciples of Jesus.
Twelve drummers drumming”- stands for the articles of Apostles Creed.
The Colors of Christmas
White is often associated with purity and peace in western cultures.
White paper wafers were also sometimes used to decorate paradise trees. The wafers represented the bread eaten during Christian Communion or Mass, when Christians remember that Jesus died for them.
White is used by most churches as the color of Christmas.
The color blue is often associated with Mary, the mother of Jesus.
In medieval times blue dye and paint was more expensive than gold. So it would only be worn by royal families and the wealthy.

In paintings and things of that nature, Mary was also shown wearing blue to state her stature so people are aware that she is highly important.
The color red is used to represent the blood of Jesus when he died on the cross.
Red is also the color most commonly used for Bishop robes. These would have been worn by St. Nicholas and then also became Santa's uniform.
Red is a warm color, something that was favored around Christmastime.

The Colors of Christmas
The Colors of Christmas
Gold is the color of the Sun and light - both very important in the dark winter.
Gold was also one of the presents brought to the baby Jesus by one of the wise men and traditionally it's the color used to show the star that the wise men followed.
Gold is a warm color along with red.
Green was color that was used to brighten up the dark winter, with things such as Mistletoe, Holly, and Ivy.
Green also was a reminder that spring was just around the corner and that the cold winter wouldn’t last forever.
The most green we see now at Christmas is the Christmas tree.

Mistletoe, Carols, and Colors
Works cited
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Jon. “Origins of the Christmas Tree, Santa Claus and other Christmas ‘Myths’.” Wordpress.
Jonsdeepthoughts.wordpress.com, n.d. Web. 12 Dec.

"Key to the Twelve Days of Christmas." Key to the 12 Days of Christmas. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.

Keyser, J.D. “The Shocking Pagan Origin of Christmas!” Hope of Israel Ministries. Hope-of-israel.org, n.d. Web. 12

Krystek, Lee. "The History and Legend of Santa Claus." The History and Legend of Santa Claus. UnNatural
Mystery Museum, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.

"Mistletoe - Mythology and Folklore - The White Goddess." Mistletoe - Mythology and Folklore - The White
Goddess. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.

"Santa Claus." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.

"Santa's Origins and FAQ." Santa Claus Facts, Origins, Christmas Celebration in Different Countries, and Fun Tidbits.
Lone Star Internet, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.

Swartz, B.K. “The Origin of American Christmas Myth and Customs.” Arthuriana. Arthuriana.co.uk, n.d. Web. 12 Dec.
"The Colors of Christmas on Why Christmas?" The Colors of Christmas. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.

Terrier, J.R. “The Babylonian Connection to Christmas.” Mystery-babylon.org, n.d. Web. 12 Dec.

"The History of Santa Claus and Chimneys." The History of Santa Claus and Chimneys. American Fireplace Inc., n.d.
Web. 01 Dec. 2014.

"We Don't Know the Origins of the Candy Cane, But They Almost Certainly Were Not Christian." Smithsonian. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.

Whipps, Heather. "Santa Claus: The Real Man Behind the Myth." LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 22 Dec. 2009.
Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

Long before Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year round were sacred for people in the winter.
Ancient people believed that hanging pine, spruce and fir trees would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits and illness.
In the Northern hemisphere, the shortest day and longest night of the year falls on December 21 or December 22 and is called the W
Many ancient people believed that the sun was a god and that winter came every year because the sun god had become sick and weak.
They celebrated the solstice because it meant that at last the sun god would begin to get well. Evergreen boughs reminded them of all the green plants that would grow again when the sun god was strong and spring and summer would return.
Ancient Egyptians
The ancient Egyptians worshiped a god called Ra, who had the head of a hawk and wore the sun as a blazing disk in his crown.
During the Solstice, they believed Ra began to cover from his illness so the Egyptians filled her home with greens to celebrate from his recovery
Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition we know today of bringing decorated trees into our homes.
It was a wide-held belief that the 16th-century Protestant reformer, Martin Luther was the first to add candles to a Christmas tree. One night he was walking home from composing a sermon and he was awed by the brilliance of stars twinkling amidst evergreens. To recapture the scene for his family, he placed candles along his tree to look like stars on the branches.
Today, this is where we get the idea of putting lights along the branches of our Christmas tree.

Early Romans marked the solstice with a feast called Saturnalia in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture.
Romans knew this solstice meant that soon farmers would green and be fruitful.
In celebration of this, they decorated their house with evergreens as a symbol of everlasting life.
One of the main reasons why we have the custom of giving gifts on Christmas originated from the presents given to Jesus by the Wise men: Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh.
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