Christmas is one of the most celebrated holidays in the world, so much that people begin decorating for it as early as Halloween. For most, the holiday is about family and the spirit of giving, which usually involves lots of people, gifts, and food. With so many traditions it’s easy to forget that Christmas is the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth, which many people seem to neglect to mention in the midst of the spirit of the holiday. The story of Jesus’ birth is one of many things about Christmas that most people don’t know.
First, some Orthodox churches celebrate Christmas in January rather than like most people, who celebrate on December 25th. The Russian and Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic Church celebrate Jesus’ birth on January 6th and 7th because they use the Julian calendar, which accounts for the 13-day discrepancy between the two Christmas dates. Also, the first recorded Christmas celebration wasn’t until 336 AD, because for the first 300 years of Christianity, there wasn’t a day celebrating Jesus’ birth. By 336 AD, Christians eventually began commemorating Jesus’ birthday, recording it in a Roman almanac. Now, when people record the Christmas holiday, they refer to it using the shortened spelling ‘Xmas’, which is actually theologically acceptable.The Greek letter X is the first letter of Christ and served as a replacement for his name, so in 1551, Christmas was known as ‘Xtemmas’, which was eventually shortened to ‘Xmas’.