Five Myths around the story of Christmas….

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Sprinkles of red and white everywhere, humans dressed as Santa Claus, kids watching out for grinch, lights on the street, tall green trees with decorations in homes and families gathered, happy with lots of food and drinks. This is more of what happens on a day called Christmas.

This practice has been passed on from generations to generations but does everyone who says “Merry Christmas or “Compliments of the season” understand the essence of the celebrations?

For a better understanding, Ibiene curates five myths about Christmas.

Jesus Was Born on Dec. 25:

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If Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth, and Christmas is always on December 25, then Jesus was born on Dec. 25. It’s straight to the point right? Afterall, we all remember our birthdays. What’s coming next might break some people’s hearts as there are controversy trailing this story. Bible scholars have been hammering that the Holy scriptures mentions neither a month nor a date. They say according to the bible, the first mentions of Jesus’ had shepherds in the picture, in their fields. But it is cold in Bethlehem in December, and nothing much grows in the fields, so the shepherds shelter their sheep around that time of year and stay inside.  Another pointer says Mary and Joseph were traveling to take part in a census and back in Jesus’ time, censuses were normally held in September or October, that is, after the fall harvest, before the harsh winter that makes travel difficult.

Germans Always Put Pickle Ornaments on their Trees:

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Ever wonder why most ornament stores carry glass pickles? The popular story is that the pickles are part of a very old German tradition. On Christmas Eve in Germany, parents hid glass pickle ornaments deep inside the fragrant branches of their trees, once all of the other ornaments were put in place. The next morning, the first child to find the pickle ornament got an extra gift from St. Nicholas, while the first adult to find it would have good luck for the next year. Doesn’t this sound like boxing Day, the day after Christmas?

In Germany, as in many European countries, St. Nicholas traditionally delivers his gifts on the night of December 5, not on Christmas Eve, which is also the same day the kids open their presents. Well, sorry to break your hearts again – most Germans say they’ve never heard of this practice, and it’s definitely not a tradition. So how did this story become so well-entrenched? It’s still a mystery.

Abbreviating Christmas as “Xmas” is Sacrilegious:

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People have taken it upon themselves to correct anyone on social media who writes “Christmas” as “x-mas”. Unacceptable! Don’t take “Christ” out of Christmas! They type or say as the case may be.  They believe removing Christ’s holy name from the important holiday, and replacing it with a simple, personal, impersonal or anonymous X is an apology.

According to BoyettBible Suite ,  a closer look at “Xmas” isn’t a necessarily a slam against the son of the God of the Christians. The word “Christ” in Greek is written as “Χριστός.” Did you see the X?  This is also referred to as “chi” in the Roman alphabet. They say that rather than being an offensive abbreviation for Christmas, “Xmas” is actually a quite logical replacement.

Santa Claus, St. Nicholas and Father Christmas Are All the Same:

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The three are definitely different, yet sometimes are considered the same. St. Nicholas was a fourth-century Turkish bishop who spent his life, giving money to the poor by secretly leaving money in people’s stockings overnight. Nicholas passed on December 6, and was eventually proclaimed a saint. That was how the day became known as St. Nicholas Day. Since then, various cultures celebrated him by instructing their kids to leave out stockings or shoes the night before so “St. Nick” could fill them with gifts like fruit, nuts and candy.

As generation passed the tradition from one to another, by the 16th century, Europeans were turning away from the idea, yet they loved the gifting tradition. That was how St. Nick morphed into a guy called “Father Christmas.” In the U.S., “St. Nick” became “Kris Kringle”. This tradition spread to other cultures when Dutch settlers began emigrating to the U.S. and brought with them stories of St. Nicholas who became the Americanized Santa Claus. What a story right?

Boxing Day is for Boxing Up Gifts for Return:

Image ref: Howstuffworks

Many people believe that boxing day falls immediately after Christmas. Often designated for boxing up any gifts you don’t want, don’t like or can’t use, and taking them back to the store. Well, as nice as that may sound to anyone who’s used to receiving gifts, unfortunately it’s completely wrong.

Why Christmas tells us that Boxing Day is December 26 is a celebration that takes place only in a few countries. This tradition began in the United Kingdom during the Middle Ages as the one day of the year when churches opened their alms boxes, or collection boxes, and gave out to the poor. Servants were also given this day off to celebrate Christmas with their families, having had to work for their bosses on Christmas Day. The holiday changed over time and in the years leading up to World War II, blue collar workers such as milkmen, butchers and newspaper boys used the day to run their routes and collect Christmas tips from their clients.

If you don’t know, now you know.

What are other myths about Christmas have you heard of? Do share with us in the comment section.

Merry Christmas!

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