As the saying goes, “Christmas is the day that holds all time together.” We may be living in an increasingly multicultural age where time zones matter and people believe in different things.
But Christmas retains its unifying power in binding people to share love and kindness with each other. Research has revealed that 92% of Americans celebrate Christmas despite differences in religious beliefs and principles.
From decorating the homes extravagantly to sharing gifts like a wine advent calendar, Christmas has become the most anticipated holiday of the year. While people live by traditions to celebrate Christmas, it is essential to understand the essence of the day itself. Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ.
But earlier accounts of scholars prove that the famous Nativity story has its share of false truths. So even before giving out chocolates, holiday ecards, or a wine Advent calendar, scroll through the internet first and learn the true story of Christmas.
Common Myths About Christmas
1) There is a Biblical account of Christ’s Birth
The famous story of Mary, giving birth in a manger surrounded by animals because an inn rejected them, is false. The Gospels do not have a narrative of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem.
Further, the gospels have differences in the details of how Jesus arrived in Nazareth; Matthew described Mary and Joseph as fleeing to Egypt and then moving to Nazareth. Meanwhile, Luke said that the couple initially lived in then traveled only to Bethlehem to give birth.
2) Christmas is the Most Important Religious Celebration
Contrary to popular belief, Easter is the most significant religious occasion and not Christmas in the Christian calendar. The holy day Christ rose from the dead is more important because it serves as proof of Christ’s divinity and the promise of eternal life for His followers. Some agree with this since obviously, anyone is born, but not everyone can rise from death.
3) Midnight Mass During Midnight
Catholics took the event quite literally as the midnight mass came to be celebrated at midnight. The ceremony, the first celebration of the Christmas liturgy, also coincides with when Saint Luke’s account of Christ’s birth is announced. However, this shouldn’t be the case, as the purpose of the event is to gather more people. Thus, it should not be held at midnight when most people are already sleeping.
A Quick Timeline of the Origins of Christmas Traditions
December 25. 336 – First Christmas Day in Rome
1611 – The first-holiday card was sent
18th Century – Mistletoe was related to the celebration of Christmas
1836 – The United States recognized Christmas as a holiday in Alabama
1843 – First Christmas card was printed
1870 – The United States declared Christmas as an official federal holiday.
1874 – the candy cane was made to be associated with the occasion.
Christmas continues to evolve over the years. The myths mentioned only prove that social perceptions and popular retellings shape the stories from the Bible. However, despite the change of the Christmas narrative, it cannot be denied that the true essence of Christmas – a time of sharing and loving – still lives on up to this day.