25th of…When is Christmas Day?


It’s coming up to Christmas now. Christmas Day, Dinner, TV, Arguments, bloodshed. Whatever your beliefs, happy Christmas to you. However, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently, namely about the when’s of Christmas. Something that has bothered me for a while now is how early everything seems to be, and increasingly so. If Christmas is at the end of December, why do decorations go up so early?

My original concept, and my hope and dream of this post, was to actually discuss the whens of Christmas, and crusade for common sense. October decorations must stop! The reason Christmas stuff goes up so early is because the stuff is sold early, as Christmas takes a lot of planning. End of post. However, my research actually changed the post entirely. Christmas Day is a lie.

That is an over-exaggeration, of course, but not unfounded. Firstly, no one actually knows when Jesus Christ was born, as it actually isn’t in the bible. The first known celebration of Christmas Day on the 25th of December was in 336 AD, and that wasn’t an official state holiday. And, if Jesus was born, it probably wasn’t 1AD, but around 2-7 BC. As you can imagine, this throws my whole opinion sideways. Can Christmas stuff go up too early, if we only celebrate a date that’s generally agreed upon?

Dig deeper into the research, and it may actually make more sense that Jesus was born in March, rather than December. Early Christian celebrations celebrated the coming of Jesus on the 25th of March, 9 months before our Christmas Day. Passover is in spring, ostensibly when Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem. Therefore, Christmas Day may actually be inaccurate to the religion.

On the other hand, while inaccurate to Christian beliefs, Christmas isn’t Christmas anymore. That is to say, its not religious anymore. When one considers Hanukkah, The Winter Solstice, and Saturnalia traditions, and the Roman invasion of Europe, Christmas was already homogenised from Pagan-Judeo-Roman-Christian origins, much like Father Christmas in recent times.

Further date mix ups have come, as well, from Religious splits and the change from Julian to Gregorian calender’s. When is Christmas Day? It’s the 25th of December.

I know, I know. I wrote a post that brought us back to where we started. Christmas, as we know it, is on the 25th December. Arguably, there never has been an original Christmas, it has always been homogenised. Therefore, we continue to celebrate it as the patchwork of cultures we know and love. But stop putting up decorations in October.

Related Posts & External Links

Father Christmas Rant

Countdown to Christmas 2012

About the author


Since 2012, Benjamin Attwood has written for the If you Ask Ben blog.

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