When is Christmas 2018?
Christmas Day is on Tuesday, December 25, 2018. Christmas is one of the most festive Christian holidays in many countries around the world. It celebrates Jesus’ birth.
What is Christmas?
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ, celebrated generally on December 25 (or in the evening of December 24, Christmas Eve, in some countries) as a religious and cultural holiday by billions of people around the world. Christmas is also celebrated as a secular holiday by many non-Christians; in India, the festival is known as “the big day”.
When is Christmas 2019?
Christmas 2019 is on Wednesday, December 25, 2019.
Celebrate Christmas Day
Christmas Day is a holiday in many, but not all, countries. Many homes have Christmas trees and other decorations in the weeks leading to Christmas Day. Some workplaces hold Christmas parties prior to December 25. Festive activities include exchanging presents, singing Christmas songs, going to parties.
It’s a special time when children get presents from family, friends and Santa Claus, or Father Christmas. Christmas cards are also given or sent out prior to Christmas Day.
For some, Christmas is an exclusive family affair, while others invite friends to a Christmas buffet or pot luck meal. Churches have special services and may include a crèche or miniature Nativity scene.
What’s Open or Closed?
Christmas Day is a public holiday in many countries worldwide, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Government offices, educational institutions, many businesses and post offices are closed on this day. If you plan to travel with public transport, check with the local transport authority on schedule changes.
About Christmas Day
Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the son of God. His birth date is unknown because there is little information about his early life. There is disagreement among scholars on when Jesus was born. Christians celebrate Jesus’ birthday on December 25. Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas Day on or near January 7.
The word “Christmas” comes from the old English “Cristes maesse”, or the mass of Christ. It is likely that the Christmas date of December 25 was chosen to offset the Pagan celebrations of Saturnalia and Natalis Invicti. It it also possible that the celebration of the birth of the “true light of the world” was set at the time of the December solstice because this is when the days in the northern hemisphere begin to grow longer. Christmas holiday customs derive from various cultures, including Teutonic, Celtic, Roman, West Asian and Christian.
The mistletoe is a commonly used Christmas decoration. By tradition, people who meet under a hanging mistletoe are obliged to kiss. Mistletoe has pagan associations. For example, the druids of Gaul regarded mistletoe growing on oak trees as sent from heaven.
Other common decorations associated with Christmas are holly and ivy – both are associated with Pagan festivals as it was customary to decorate with greenery for these festivals.
Images of Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas, snowmen, reindeer, and candy canes are seen in cards, posters, signs and other printed or marketing material associated with the Christmas celebrations. Images of baby Jesus, the Christmas star, and other symbols associated with the religious meaning of Christmas are also seen during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
What Do People Do?
Many people around the world celebrate Christmas Eve in different ways. It is observed in many countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Workers in some countries get a day off or half-day off to prepare for Christmas Day, including last-minute shopping for presents, decorations or food. In some countries Christmas Eve is celebrated with large family meals featuring traditional Christmas dishes. In some cultures, presents are exchanged and opened on the night of Christmas Eve. Many homes have their Christmas trees lit up, mistletoes hung, and other Christmas decorations, such as holly and ivy, at this time of the year.
Some people organize groups of singers who go Christmas caroling from door to door, or sing Christmas carols in public venues. It is also a time for children in many countries around the world to hang their Christmas stockings (or pillow cases), hoping for a present to arrive from Santa Claus on Christmas Day, which is December 25 in the Gregorian calendar. Children in France set out their shoes near a fireplace on Christmas Eve because they believe that Father Christmas (Santa Claus), also known as le Père Noël (in French), will arrive before dawn and fill them with toys, nuts and sweets.
Many churches hold special services during Christmas Eve, including midnight services. These services include special choirs and sermons to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Many churches also display a crèche or miniature Nativity scene. Christmas celebrations in different countries combine the country’s cultural traditions, beliefs and superstitions with more contemporary customs, such as Santa Claus and Christmas trees.
Christmas Eve is a public holiday in countries such as the Czech Republic and Estonia. Some banks and businesses are closed in some countries, including Austria and Germany, on Christmas Eve. Many people in countries such as Brazil have the afternoon off work on Christmas Eve.
Some stores are often open late to accommodate for last-minute Christmas shopping in some cities around the world. Schools and educational institutions are usually closed on Christmas Eve as it falls as part of either the winter (northern hemisphere) or summer (southern hemisphere) vacation period. Airports, bus stations and train stations may be busy as many people travel to visit their families around this time of the year.
Christmas Eve, also known as the Vigil of Christmas, is perceived as the culmination of the Advent season. Christmas Eve is the day before Christmas Day and is associated with celebrating Jesus Christ’s birth, although his actual birth date has been disputed among many scholars. However, many Christmas traditions that are around today have their roots in pre-Christian winter festivals. These include the importance of candles and decorations made from evergreen bushes and trees, symbolizing everlasting light and life.
In Roman times, a mid-winter festival was held. This was a relaxing time with a lot of parties and merrymaking. It was also common to give other people small gifts, such as dolls for children and candles for adults. This festival culminated with the celebration of the winter solstice, which fell on December 25 in the Roman calendar.
Why is Christmas Day on the 25th December?
Christmas is celebrated to remember the birth of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the Son of God. The name ‘Christmas’ comes from the Mass of Christ (or Jesus). A Mass service (which is sometimes called Communion or Eucharist) is where Christians remember that Jesus died for us and then came back to life. The ‘Christ-Mass’ service was the only one that was allowed to take place after sunset (and before sunrise the next day), so people had it at Midnight! So we get the name Christ-Mass, shortened to Christmas. Christmas is now celebrated by people around the world, whether they are Christians or not. It’s a time when family and friends come together and remember the good things they have.
Christmas or Xmas?
Christmas is also sometimes known as Xmas. Some people don’t think it’s correct to call Christmas ‘Xmas’ as that takes the ‘Christ’ (Jesus) out of Christmas. (As Christmas comes from Christ-Mass, the Church service that celebrated the birth of Jesus.)
But that is not quite right! In the Greek language and alphabet, the letter that looks like an X is the Greek letter chi / Χ (pronounced ‘kye’ – it rhymes with ‘eye’) which is the first letter of the Greek word for Christ, Christos. The early church used the first two letters of Christos in the Greek alphabet ‘chi’ and ‘rho’ to create a monogram (symbol) to represent the name of Jesus. This looks like an X with a small pon the top: ☧
The symbol of a fish is sometimes used by Christians (you might see a fish sticker on a car or someone wearing a little fish badge). This comes from the time when the first Christians had to meet in secret, as the Romans wanted to kill them (before Emperor Constantine became a Christian). Jesus had said that he wanted to make his followers ‘Fishers of Men’, so people started to use that symbol.
Traditions of Christmas Bells
Bells, especially Church Bells, have traditionally been associated with Christmas for a long time. In the Anglican and Catholic churches, the church day starts at sunset, so any service after that is the first service of the day. So a service on Christmas Eve after sunset is traditionally the first service of Christmas day! In churches that have a Bell or Bells, They are often rung to signal the start of this service. In some churches in the UK, it is traditional that the largest bell in the church is rung four times in the hour before midnight and then at midnight all the bells are rung in celebration.
In the Catholic Church, Christmas and Easter are the only times that Mass is allowed to be held at Midnight. It’s traditional that at both midnight Masses, the church and altar bells too in many cases are rung while the Priest says the “Gloria” (Gloria in excelsis Deo). Having a Mass at Midnight at Christmas dates back to the early church when it was believed that Jesus was born at midnight, although there has never been any proof of this! A lot of Churches have midnight services on Christmas Eve, although not every church will have a mass or communion as part of the service. In many Catholic countries such as France, Spain and Italy, the midnight mass service is very important and everyone tries to go to a service. In Victorian times, it was very fashionable to go carol singing with small handbells to play the tune of the carol. Sometimes there would only be the bells and no singing! Handbell ringing is still popular today.
Perhaps the most famous bells at Christmas now are the ones in the song ‘Jingle Bells’. However, the song was first called “One Horse Open Sleigh” and was originally published, in the USA, in September 1857 as a Thanksgiving song and NOT a Christmas one! But it soon became associated with Christmas because of the ‘snowy’ lyrics and many choirs were singing it at Christmas in the 1860s and 1870s. It was first recorded in 1889. Often only the first verse (and chorus) are now sung. The other verses are about driving the ‘one horse open sleigh’ rather fast and crashing it!
There are many different reasons why candles are associated with Christmas, although no one knows when they first became connected! They were used during ancient winter solstice celebrations a way of remembering that spring would soon come. One of the earliest records of candles being used at Christmas is from the middle ages, where a large candle was used to represent the star of Bethlehem. Jesus is sometimes called ‘the Light of the World’ by Christians. This might have started the custom of the Advent Crown and Advent Candles.
Please choose from the three options below (or click on the options in the side menu) to find out more about carols!
The History of Christmas Carols
Carols were first sung in Europe thousands of years ago, but these were not Christmas Carols. They were pagan songs, sung at the Winter Solstice celebrations as people danced round stone circles. The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, usually taking place around 22nd December. The word Carol actually means dance or a song of praise and joy! Carols used to be written and sung during all four seasons, but only the tradition of singing them at Christmas has really survived.
Early Christians took over the pagan solstice celebrations for Christmas and gave people Christian songs to sing instead of pagan ones. In 129, a Roman Bishop said that a song called “Angel’s Hymn” should be sung at a Christmas service in Rome. Another famous early Christmas Hymn was written in 760, by Comas of Jerusalem, for the Greek Orthodox Church. Soon after this many composers all over Europe started to write ‘Christmas carols’. However, not many people liked them as they were all written and sung in Latin, a language that the normal people couldn’t understand. By the time of the Middles Ages (the 1200s), most people had lost interest in celebrating Christmas altogether.
This was changed by St. Francis of Assisi when, in 1223, he started his Nativity Plays in Italy. The people in the plays sang songs or ‘canticles’ that told the story during the plays. Sometimes, the choruses of these new carols were in Latin; but normally they were all in a language that the people watching the play could understand and join in! The new carols spread to France, Spain, Germany and other European countries.
The earliest carol, like this, was written in 1410. Sadly only a very small fragment of it still exists. The carol was about Mary and Jesus meeting different people in Bethlehem. Most Carols from this time and the Elizabethan period are untrue stories, very loosely based on the Christmas story, about the holy family and were seen as entertaining rather than religious songs. They were usually sung in homes rather than in churches! Traveling singers or Minstrels started singing these carols and the words were changed for the local people wherever they were traveling. One carols that changed like this is ‘I Saw Three Ships’.
Christmas Eve Traditions and Customs
Christmas Eve has many of its own customs and traditions. The most widely practised one that still exists today is going to a Midnight Mass Church Service. In many countries, especially Catholic ones such as Spain, Mexico, Poland and Italy, this is the most important Church service of the Christmas season. People might fast during Christmas Eve (not eat any meat or fish usually) and then the main Christmas meal is often eaten after the Midnight Mass Service in these countries. In some other countries, such as Belgium, Finland, Lithuania and Denmark the meal is eaten in the evening and you might go to a Midnight Service afterwards! The Midnight Mass Communion Service (or ‘Christ-Mas’) was a very special one as it was the only one that was allowed to start after sunset (and before sunrise the next day), so it was held at Midnight!
The Tradition of the Jesse Tree
Jesse Trees are a very old Christmas Tradition and first started in medieval times. They are used to help tell the story of the Bible from creation to the Christmas Story. The name comes from Jesse who was the Father of the great Jewish King David. One prophecy in the Bible, in the book of Isaiah, says:
1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him– the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD–
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
Isaiah 11:1-4 (NIV)
A branch is a sign of new life and new beginnings. Jesus was a descendent of King David and Christians believe that Jesus is this new branch.
The first Jesse trees were large carvings, tapestries or even stained glass windows put in Churches that helped illiterate people (people who can’t read or write) to learn about the Bible from creation to the Christmas Story. But now Jesse Trees are used as a kind of Advent Calendar. You can use a normal Christmas tree or a banner in the shape of a tree. Each day through advent (or sometimes just on the four Sundays of advent) a special decoration or ornament (similar to a Chrismon), that tells a story from the Bible, is hung on the tree.
Merry Christmas and Happy Christmas
We wish people a ‘Happy Birthday’, and if you’re in the USA in November and December you might say ‘Happy Holidays’, so why do we say ‘Merry Christmas’ more often than ‘Happy Christmas’?!
Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ rather than ‘Happy Christmas’ seems to go back several hundred years. It’s first recorded in 1534 when John Fisher (an English Catholic Bishop in the 1500s) wrote it in a Christmas letter to Thomas Cromwell: “And this our Lord God send you a mery Christmas, and a comfortable, to your heart’s desire.”
There’s also the carol “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen” which dates back to the 16th century in England. It comes from the West Country in England and it was first published in the form we know it today in 1760.
In the English language of the time, the phrase ‘Rest You Merry’ didn’t mean simply to be happy; ‘rest’ meant “to keep, cause to continue to remain” and ‘merry’ could mean “pleasant, bountiful, prosperous”. So you could write the first line as “[May] God keep you and continue to make you successful and prosperous, Gentlemen” but that would be hard to sing!
The History of Christmas Trees
The evergreen fir tree has traditionally been used to celebrate winter festivals (pagan and Christian) for thousands of years. Pagans used branches of it to decorate their homes during the winter solstice, as it made them think of the spring to come. The Romans used Fir Trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia. Christians use it as a sign of everlasting life with God.
Nobody is really sure when Fir trees were first used as Christmas trees. It probably began about 1000 years ago in Northern Europe. Many early Christmas Trees seem to have been hung upside down from the ceiling using chains (hung from chandeliers/lighting hooks).
Other early Christmas Trees, across many parts of northern Europe, were cherry or hawthorn plants (or a branch of the plant) that were put into pots and brought inside so they would hopefully flower at Christmas time. If you couldn’t afford a real plant, people made pyramids of woods and they were decorated to look like a tree with paper, apples and candles. Sometimes they were carried around from house to house, rather than being displayed in a home.
It’s possible that the wooden pyramid trees were meant to be like Paradise Trees. These were used in medieval German Mystery or Miracle Plays that were acted out in front of Churches on Christmas Eve. In early church calendars of saints, 24th December was Adam and Eve’s day. The Paradise Tree represented the Garden of Eden. It was often paraded around the town before the play started, as a way of advertising the play. The plays told Bible stories to people who could not read.
Merry Christmas Wishes Greetings
Christmas is about spending time with family and friends. It’ s about creating happy memories that will last a lifetime. Merry Christmas to you and your family!
May the closeness of friends, the comfort of home, and the unity of our nation, renew your spirits this festive season. Merry Christmas to your family.
Tis the season to wish one another joy and love and peace. These are my wishes for you, Merry Christmas our dear friends, may you feel the love this special day.
May this festive season sparkle and shine, may all of your wishes and dreams come true, and may you feel this happiness all year round. Merry Christmas!
You make the stars shine brighter and the winter days warmer just by being in my life. Merry Christmas to my favorite person in the world.
A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’ s compulsory, like a thunderstorm and we all go through it together. Lets buckle up and enjoy the ride.
Celebrate the W onder and the Joy of the Festive Season. Merry Christmas
To a joyful present and a well-remembered past. Best wishes for Happy Holidays and a magnificent New Year.
May this Christmas end the present year on a cheerful note and make way for a fresh and bright New Year . Here’ s wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
This festive season is so much more than Christmas parties and gift giving. May your Christmas be filled with the true miracles and meaning of this beautiful time.
May you feel all the love and joy I have for you throughout this festive season and all year round. Having you as my friend brings me great joy.
Best friends are to a friendship like Christmas is to the other celebrations: always on top. Have a merry one.
Christmas is a special time to enjoy with all your loved ones, spreading divinity and cheer around, Merry Christmas and a happy new year!
Christmas is really a time for families to unite. It is a time to share all the laughter and cheers. Without you, this family will not be called a family. You complete our lives. Merry Christmas . . . !!!
For your Christmas time I wish you many blessings, much happiness, and even more love I am grateful for you and your thoughtfulness
Christmas Quotes Sayings
“Christmas isn’t a season. It’ s a feeling.” —Edna Ferber
“May you never be too grown up to search the skies on Christmas Eve.”
“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.” – Shirley Temple
“Christmas is not a date. It is a state of mind.” – Mary Ellen Chase
“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year .” – Charles Dickens
“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” – Calvin Coolidge
“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?” – Bob Hope
“Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it ‘white’.” – Bing Crosby
“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder
“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” – Charles M. Schulz
“Peace on earth will come to stay, When we live Christmas every day.” – Helen Steiner Rice
“Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends.” – Margaret Thatcher
“Christmas is a time when everybody wants his past forgotten and his present remembered.” – Phyllis Diller
“I heard the bells on Christmas Day / Their old familiar carols play / And wild and sweet, the words repeat / Of peace on earth, good-will to men.” – Henry W adsworth Longfellow
“At Christmas, all roads lead home.” – Marjorie Holmes
“I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.” – Harlan Miller
“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” – Andy Rooney
“Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality.” — W ashington Irving
“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other .” — Burton Hills
“Christmas is the day that holds all time together .” — Alexander Smith
“A good conscience is a continual Christmas.” – Benjamin Franklin
“Christmas, my child, is love in action.” – Dale Evans
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear .” – Will Ferrell, Elf
“Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” – Theodor Seuss Geisel, How the Grinch Stole Christmas
“Love the giver more than the gift.” – Brigham Young
Merry Christmas Messages SMS
Warmest greetings of this festive season and best wishes for Happiness in the Merry Christmas!
Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year . May peace, love and prosperity follow you always
The true heart of Christmas is one of wonder and warmth. May any festive stress you feel fade away and be replaced with this. Merry Christmas!
I hope Santa is good to you this year because you only deserve the best. Merry Christmas from our family to yours.
Christmas is the time to touch every heart with love and care. Christmas is the time to receive and send blessings. It is the time to breathe the magic in the air . Wishing you a very Merry Christmas.
I’m wishing you all the blessings of a wonderful Christmastime and I hope you feel all the job this holiday season has to offer.
Beneath the hustle and bustle of the festive season there is the true beauty of connecting with loved ones. May this beauty and joy lift you up during Christmas and the New Year!
May all the sweet magic of Christmas conspire to gladden your heart and fill every desire. Merry Christmas!
Fill your heart with the warmth that is the closeness of your family, friends and loved ones this holiday season and forever.
Let the spirit of love gently fill our hearts and homes. In this loveliest of celebrations may you find many reasons for happiness
Santa Claus Images
Merry Christmas Images Pictures
Merry Christmas Status For Facebook Whatsapp Twitter
There are some people who want to throw their arms round you simply because it is Christmas; there are other people who want to strangle you simply because it is Christmas. Which one are you?
Having you as my friend makes me feel as if it is Christmas every day. Merry Christmas to my dear friend, may this season be filled with joy and laughter for your and your family.
Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest festival of the revolving year — and yet, for all that, when it speaks, its voice has strong authority. ~W .J. Cameron
The one who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. Celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and embrace the warmth of your closest ones. Merry Christmas
A silent night, a star above, a blessed gift of hope and love. A Merry Christmas to you and your whole family.
May your heart and home be filled with all of the joys the festive season brings. Here is a toast to a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year!
May this Christmas end the present year on a cheerful note and make way for a fresh and bright New Year . Here’ s wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
May your Christmas sparkle with moments of love, laughter and goodwill, And may the year ahead be full of contentment and joy.
On Christmas, there’ s a reason to be happy and a reason to smile, and there’ s a reason why I’m sending Christmas wishes your way. You’re it.
Wishing you a joyous Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.