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Christmas Day is celebrated by both Christian and non-Christians around the world. During the 4th century, December 25th became the official date of the birth of Jesus Christ. Through time, Christmas traditions emerged to celebrate the day. These include gift-giving, holiday cards, Christmas trees, caroling, church activities, feasts and others.
See the fact file below for more information about Christmas Traditions or alternatively you can download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- In 1038, the word Christmas was recorded from the words Christ’s Mass. It is written as “Cristes maesse” in Old English text.
- It was believed that the first Christmas was celebrated in Britain, specifically in York in 521 AD.
- During the late 1300s, the word ‘noel’ was used. It came from the Latin word “natalis,” which means day of birth. The holiday was also referred to as mid-winter or nativity by the Anglo-Saxons.
- During the 4th century, Pope Julius I proclaimed that the birth of Jesus Christ should be celebrated every 25th of December.
- In the 16th century, German Christians began putting green trees inside their home. A German pamphlet first referred to this tradition as the Christmas tree. It became a symbol for people during winter. In addition, it was believed that Martin Luther was the first to decorate Christmas trees with candles. German immigrants brought the tradition to Pennsylvania.
- Santa Claus is a leading figure during the Christmas season. The idea originated during the 3rd century with the monk St. Nicholas. There was a legend saying that he inherited huge wealth, which he gave away to poor and sick people. He became popular in Europe, especially in Holland, where he was known as ‘Sinter Klaas.” During the 19th century, Santa Claus became popular in American advertisements.
- In 1843, the first Christmas card was created by Sir Henry Cole, a civil servant and John Horsley, an artist. It depicted people helping the poor and family Christmas dinner. Later on, nativity scenes and snowy places were also featured.
- In 1912, the U.S. Postal Service responded to children’s letters to Santa Claus. Charitable institutions and other organizations followed in 1940.
- U.S. First Lady Lou Henry Hoover started the official White House Christmas tree in 1929, while in 1961 First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy began the selection of the Christmas tree’s official theme
- Christmas caroling came from the English custom originally known as wassailing accompanied by a toast for long life. In 1857, “One Horse Open Sleigh” was written by James Pierpont for Thanksgiving but later on became known as “Jingle Bells.” Furthermore, Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” became the best-selling Christmas song of all time. It sold 50 million copies worldwide since its release in 1942.
- On December 16, 1965, “Jingle Bells” was the first song to be broadcasted in space during the Gemini 6 mission.
- The traditional Christmas meal in England was pig’s head and mustard prior to turkey.
- In 1882, Edward Johnson invented the first electric tree lights, which became one of the most common decorations during the holidays along with Christmas trees, mistletoe, garlands, holly, wreaths, and the nativity scene.
- The nuns during the 12th century used to leave socks full of nuts, tangerines and fruits at the doors of the poor. This tradition was the root of hanging Christmas stockings.
- In 1939, “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer” coloring book became Montgomery Ward Department’s giveaway and promotional stint. Robert May’s work sold 2.4 million copies during its first year.
- Christmas is one of the most profitable holidays across the world.
- The film “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” released in 2000 and featuring Jim Carrey became the highest grossing Christmas movie of all time. It’s based on the Dr Seuss book of the same name.
Christmas Traditions Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Christmas Traditions Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about Christmas traditions which through time have emerged to celebrate the day. These include gift-giving, holiday cards, Christmas trees, caroling, church activities, feasts and others.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Christmas Traditions Facts
- The Birth of Jesus Christ
- Mapping Christmas Traditions
- Design Your Christmas Tree
- Gift Wrapping
- La Misa Del Gallo
- All About Santa
- Christmas Carols
- Noche Buena
- Let’s Celebrate!
- All I Want for Christmas
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Link will appear as Christmas Traditions Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, November 25, 2022
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.