Christmas chronicles is the story of traditional Christmas celebrations. These words appeared in an old list of Roman bishops, compiled in A.D. 354.for A.D. 336, “25 Dec.: natus Christus in Betleem Judeae.” December 25th, Christ born in Bethlehem, Judea. This day, December 25, 336, is the first recorded celebration of Christmas.
The middle of winter was for many years a time of worldwide celebrations. Before the birth of Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. People were looking forward to longer days and more sunlight after the long winter was over.
Many reasons are given as to why Christians chose to celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25. The origins of Christmas as a Christian holiday celebration of the birth of Jesus on this date haven’t been clearly identified. It’s not documented as to when the date of His birth occurred in the Bible. Although there is some indication that his birth occurred during late fall. December 25 was also the day they freed the Christian slaves, so maybe that’s why that day was chosen to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took control over England, they cancelled Christmas because they thought the celebration contributed to England’s decadence. Charles II was restored to the throne and Christmas celebrations returned by popular demand.
The Pilgrims, English separatists, didn’t celebrate Christmas after they came to America in 1620. From 1659 to 1681, Christmas was outlawed in Boston. In contrast, the Jamestown settlement under the leadership of Captain John Smith enjoyed Christmas celebrations. After the American Revolution, English customs were dropped including all Christmas celebrations.
Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870 when Americans began embracing Christmas again in the 19th century. The early 19th century was a period of class conflict and turmoil. During this time, unemployment was high and gang rioting by the disenchanted classes often occurred during the Christmas season. In 1828, the New York city council instituted the city’s first police force in response to a Christmas riot.
Certain members of the upper classes began to change the way Christmas was celebrated in America. The Christmas chronicles story continues when Christmas was changed from a raucous carnival holiday into a family-centered day of peace and nostalgia.
In 1819, best-selling author Washington Irving wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, gent. It was a series of stories about the celebration of Christmas in an English manor house. In Irving’s mind, Christmas should be a peaceful, warm-hearted holiday bringing groups together across lines of wealth or social status.
Around this time, English author Charles Dickens created the classic holiday tale, A Christmas Carol. The Christmas chronicles message was about the importance of charity and good will towards all humankind. This influenced people in the United States and England by showing members of Victorian society the benefits of celebrating the Christmas holiday.
The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back to a monk named St. Nicholas who was born in Turkey around 280 A.D. St. Nicholas gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick, becoming known as the protector of children and sailors.
St. Nicholas first entered American popular culture in the late 18th century in New York, when Dutch families gathered to honor the anniversary of the death of “Sint Nikolaas” (Dutch for Saint Nicholas), or “Sinter Klaas” for short. “Santa Claus” draws his name from this abbreviation. These early Dutch settlers considered St. Nicholas to be their patron saint and practiced a yearly ritual of hanging stockings to receive presents on St. Nicholas Eve, in early December.
In 1822, Episcopal minister Clement Clarke Moore wrote a Christmas chronicles poem called “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas,” more popularly known today by its first line: “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The poem depicted Santa Claus as a jolly man who flies from home to home on a sled driven by reindeer to deliver toys. According to the U.S. Library of Congress, Clement, a professor at the General Theological Seminary in Manhattan, was “embarrassed by the work, which was made public without his knowledge in December 1823. Moore did not publish it under his name until 1844.”
The iconic version of Santa Claus as a jolly man in red with a white beard and a sack of toys was immortalized in 1881, when political cartoonist Thomas Nast drew on Moore’s poem to create the image of Old Saint Nick that is familiar to us today.
Rudolph, “the most famous reindeer of all”, was the product of Robert L. May’s imagination in 1939. The copywriter wrote a poem about the reindeer to help lure customers into the Montgomery Ward department store.
Poinsettia plants are named after Joel R. Poinsett, an American minister to Mexico, who brought the red-and-green plant from Mexico to America in 1828.
A Charlie Brown Christmas is a television special that was inspired by Charles Schultz’s Peanuts comic strip. The show was first rejected by CBS Executives, but eventually aired on December 9, 1965. Almost half of all U.S. television sets were tuned in to the broadcast when it first aired. The show went on to win an Emmy, a Peabody, an enduring following and a trend of “Charlie Brown: Christmas trees. “I never thought it was such a bad little tree,” Linus says in the special. “It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.”
Christmas chronicles shopping deals are everywhere this time of year. In the fall, the largest mobile phone manufacturers such as Samsung and Apple introduce their latest mobile phone models. Discounts on mobile phones are found at large online retailers such as Amazon. Many of the larger cell phone providers offer discounts on service plans.
Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and Cricket are the top five mobile phone plan providers offering discounts on their service plans. Some of these plans offer unlimited data, voice and text communications. Service plans are different for each mobile phone provider. It’s worth it to research the service offerings of each plan to see which one best fits your needs before making a decision.
We all are in search of that perfect gift for a loved one or friend to put under the Christmas tree. Decorated Christmas trees date back to Germany in the Middle Ages. German and other European settlers popularized Christmas trees in America by the early 19th century.
You can use a mobile phone to access the Internet to search for Christmas gift ideas. Today, almost everyone has a mobile phone. However, not everyone has the perfect mobile phone accessory. One idea is to give selfie sticks or headphones as a gift.
Gift cards are another solution. Give this as a gift and let your recipient choose his or her own gift. Your family member, coworker or friend can use a mobile phone to select their favorite Christmas gift using the gift card they received for Christmas.
Christmas is a time for sharing with friends and families. Technology can add an interesting angle to this busy shopping season. Don’t forget to take photographs with your mobile phone on Christmas Day. You will cherish these Christmas chronicles memories of your special holiday celebration with family and friends for many years to come.
You can find ideas for your homeschooled students to journal the important moments and memories of your favorite Christmas chronicles celebrations in 50 Christmas memories journal prompts for your homeschool.