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The History of Christmas
25th December is the day Christmas is celebrated and marks the anniversary of the nativity of Christ although this may not have been the actual date of Jesus's birth. The Roman festival of winter solstice was celebrated on 25th December and the winter solstice was the turning point of the year.
The history of Christmas goes back a long way. Many ancient customs and beliefs about this time have been handed down. The custom of giving presents and gifts to friends dates from Roman times. The lighting of the Yule log comes from Lithuanian folklore, the decoration of houses and churches has pagan origins, mistletoe was the sacred plant of the Druids, and the Christmas tree possibly comes from the time of St Boniface. Christmas cards originate from 1846.
Father Christmas is supposed to come down the chimney and place gifts in childrens stockings hung by the fireplace or at the end of the bed. Father Christmas is identified with St Nicholas (Santa Claus), Knecht Ruprecht, Father Bonhomme Noel and Robin Goodfellow.