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Christmas or Christmas Day or "x-mas day" is a holiday observed mostly on December 25 to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity. The date is not known to be the actual birthday of Jesus, and may have initially been chosen to correspond with either the day exactly nine months after some early Christians believed Jesus had been conceived, the date of the winter solstice on the ancient Roman calendar, or one of various ancient winter festivals. Christmas is central to the Christmas and holiday season, and in Christianity marks the beginning of the larger season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days.

Although nominally a Christian holiday, Christmas is also widely celebrated by many non-Christians, and many of its popular celebratory customs have pre-Christian or secular themes and origins. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift-giving, music, an exchange of greeting cards, church celebrations, a special meal, and the display of various decorations; including Christmas trees, lights, garlands, mistletoe, nativity scenes, and holly. In addition, Father Christmas (or Santa Claus) is a popular folklore figure in many countries, associated with the bringing of gifts for children.

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Christmas lights
The use of decorative, festive lighting during the Christmas holiday season is a long standing tradition in many Christian cultures, and has been adopted as a secular practice in a number of other non-Christian, or non-predominantly Christian, cultures (notably in Japan). While the use of celebratory lighting during winter solstice festivals pre-dates Christianity, it is the European (and later North American) partly secularised traditions associated with Christmas which are now commonly recognised and enjoyed as Christmas (or festive, holiday-season) lights. The illuminated Christmas tree, became a Christmas tradition in Germany during the Early Modern period. The illuminated Christmas tree became established in the United Kingdom during Queen Victoria's reign, and through emigration spread to North America and Australia. Until the development of inexpensive electrical power in the mid nineteenth century, miniature candles were commonly (and in some cultures still are) used. The first known electrically illuminated Christmas tree was the creation of Edward H. Johnson, an associate of inventor Thomas Edison. While he was vice president of the Edison Electric Light Company, a predecessor of today's Con Edison electric utility, he had Christmas tree light bulbs especially made for him.

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Joseph Addison by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt cleaned.jpg
I have often thought, says Sir Roger, it happens very well that Christmas should fall in the Middle of winter.


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"God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen", Length: 3 minutes 56 seconds
"God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen" is a traditional Christmas carol. The melody is in a minor key and is in common time or cut time. The composer is unknown; it is often attributed as English traditional.

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A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas (commonly known as A Christmas Carol) is a book by English author Charles Dickens that was first published on 19 December 1843, with illustrations by John Leech. Dickens called it his "Little Christmas Book".
Credit: John Leech
A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas (commonly known as A Christmas Carol) is a book by English author Charles Dickens that was first published on 19 December 1843, with illustrations by John Leech. Dickens called it his "Little Christmas Book".

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Christmas tree

MainChristmas Eve · Christmas Day · Boxing Day · History · The Nativity · Bringers of gifts · Decorations · Economics · Customs

ChristianityNativity of Jesus · Nativity of Jesus in art · Nativity scene · Nativity of Jesus in later culture · Jesus Christ · Mary · Joseph · Angel Gabriel · Adoration of the Shepherds · Three Wise Men · Star of Bethlehem · King Herod · Massacre of the Innocents · Saint Nicholas · Twelfth Night · Epiphany · Advent · Christmastide Father Christmas · Santa Claus · Mrs. Claus · Santa Claus's elfs · Santa Claus's reindeer · Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer · Sinterklaas · Père Noël · Joulupukki · Ded Moroz  · La Befana · Christkind · Black Peter · Krampus · Belsnickel · Le Père Fouettard · North Pole · Santa's workshop · Korvatunturi · Other characters

By countryAustralia and New Zealand · Germany · Hawaii · Hungary · Indonesia · Ireland · Mexico · Philippines · Poland · Romania · Russia · Scotland · Serbia · Sweden · Ukraine ·

FolkloreFather Christmas · Santa Claus · Mrs. Claus · Santa Claus's elfs · Santa Claus's reindeer · Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer · Sinterklaas · Père Noël · Joulupukki · Ded Moroz  · La Befana · Christkind · Black Peter · Krampus · Belsnickel · Le Père Fouettard · North Pole · Santa's workshop · Korvatunturi · Other characters · Legend of the Christmas Spider

TraditionsTwelve Days of Christmas · Christmas trees · Wassailing · Yule log · Stockings · Ornaments · Lights · Nutcrackers · Christmas cards · Christmas songs · Christmas films · Christmas stamps  · A Visit from St. Nicholas · A Christmas Carol · NORAD Tracks Santa · Secret Santa · Advent calendars · Yule Goats · Santa Claus parades · Flying Santa · Christmas markets · Plants · Food · Feasts · Events · Parades · Christmas pickle · Miners' parades · Miner's figures · Candle arches · Christmas pyramids · Smoking figures · Incense candles

MediaFiction · Films · Plays · Episodes · Specials · Albums · Best-selling albums · Hit singles and tracks · Best-selling singles · Carols · Other Christmas music and songs

SocietyChristmas club · Christmas controversy · Christmas creep · Christmas Mountains · Christmas truce · Christmas in various language · Black Friday · Cyber Monday · White Christmas · Christmas Day (Trading) Act 2004 · Christmas and holiday season · Related holidays · List of winter festivals · SantaCon · Running of the Santas · Christmas in July · Christmas in August · Christmas in the American Civil War · Christmas in Puritan New England · Christmas in the post-War United States · Christmas seal

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