What is the real meaning of Christmas? Enjoy our Everything Christmas page with Christmas dates, customs, folklore, and beautiful quotes—perfect for a Christmas card!
What is the Real Meaning of Christmas Day?
Christmas Day is an annual Christian festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Specifically, the meaning of Christmas comes in the remembrance and celebration of God’s presence in our world through Jesus, God-made flesh.
Although the actual date of Christ’s birth is unknown, Christmas has been symbolically celebrated on the 25th of December since the 4th century.
Christmas Day Dates
|2018||Tuesday, December 25|
|2019||Wednesday, December 25|
|2020||Friday, December 25|
Today’s rich mosaic of Christmas customs dates back through the ages. Evergreen branches were first used in ancient solstice festivals to symbolize life, as they stayed green in winter. This tradition was absorbed by Christians, who interpreted the evergreens as the Paradise tree and began decorating them with apples.
The candles and lights associated with Christmas, meant to symbolize guiding beacons for the Christ child, may have evolved from the Yule log, which was lit to entice the Sun to return as part of the jol (Yule) festival in pagan Scandinavia.
Christmas Traditions, Tips, and Trivia
- Learn the origins of some of the most popular Christmas traditions and read about America’s Christmas firsts!
- Get some tips for taking care of your Christmas tree—including what to do with it after the holidays.
- Learn about the Star of Bethlehem. Was it a real celestial object or a miraculous vision?
Check out our favorite Christmas recipe collections to get inspired for your holiday meals:
- Christmas Appetizer Recipes
- Christmas Breakfast and Brunch Recipes
- Christmas Dinner Recipes
- Christmas Dessert Recipes
- Christmas Cookie Recipes for Kids
- Holiday Drink Recipes
- Holiday Party Recipes
Never-Fail Christmas Fudge. Photo by GreenArt/Shutterstock.
Make your own Christmas decorations this year with these fun and easy holiday crafts:
- Make Your Own Christmas Wreath
- Homemade Holiday Note Cards
- Christmas Table Decoration Ideas
- Decorative Fire Starters
- Cinnamon Dough Ornaments
- Festive Chili Pepper Strand
- Decorative Luminarias
- Cranberry Wreath
- Holiday Candle Decoration
- Build and Decorate a Gingerbread House
- Orange-Clove Pomander Balls
- Holiday Gift Jars
Christmas Weather Folklore
Here at the The Old Farmer’s Almanac, we love our folklore, and so do our readers! A selection of Christmas weather folklore for your perusal:
- Christmas in snow, Easter in mud.
- A green Christmas makes a fat churchyard.
- If December be changeable and mild,
The whole winter will remain a child.
- Thunder in December presages fine weather.
- December cold with snow, good for rye.
- Lengthened winter and tardy spring are both good for hay and grain, but bad for corn and garden.
- If at Christmas ice hangs on the willow, clover may be cut at Easter.
- As many mince pies as you taste at Christmas, so many happy months will you have.
Here are some of our favorite quotations. Do any speak to you?
Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat,
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat;
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do,
If you haven’t got a ha’penny, God bless you!
All glory be to God on high,
And to the Earth be peace;
Good-will henceforth from heaven to earth
begin and never cease!
Granny’s come to our house, And ho! my lawzy-daisy!
All the children round the place ist a-runnin’ crazy!
–James Whitcomb Riley
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
–Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The Darling of the world is come,
And fit it is we find a room
To welcome Him.
The nobler part
Of all the house here is the heart.
Hark, how all the Welkin rings,
‘Glory to the King of Kings’;
Peace on Earth, and Mercy mild,
God and sinners reconcil’d.
We wish all of our readers a very happy and peaceful Christmas!