The Amazing History of Christmas

“‘Twas the night before Christmas and
all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…” You probably know what happens next. But do
you know who wrote this poem, and when? Do you know where the tradition of the Christmas
tree comes from? Lights on the Christmas tree? Stockings? Even the idea of gift-giving? No holiday has a richer and more varied tradition
than Christmas. So let’s look into its history and see if we can uncover some of that richness
and tradition. And if you don’t celebrate Christmas—well, at least you’ll have a
better appreciation of why so many people do. Here’s what everybody knows: Christmas is when Christians celebrate the
birthday of Jesus Christ. That in itself is a very big deal. Christianity, in all its
many iterations, remains the most popular religion in the world. Two billion people
follow it. Aside from its obvious religious significance,
the first Christmas stands as the great divide for the recording of human history. Until
recently, history was divided between BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini, which is Latin
for “Year of Our Lord”). Now you’ll often see BCE (Before the Common Era) and
CE (Common Era). No matter. The divide is still Jesus’s birth. The great kings of the first millennium recognized
the significance of the day and attached themselves to it. Charlemagne, Alfred the Great, and
William the Conqueror, among many others, were either baptized or coronated on December
25. The idea of Christmas as a time of gift-giving
also goes back to the earliest days of Christianity. The story is told that a third-century church
bishop, Nicholas, would anonymously throw bags of gold coins into the windows of the
poor. The coins supposedly landed in the shoes or stockings that were drying by the fireplace.
Thus, was the stocking stuffer born. After Nicholas died and was declared a saint, his
popularity and positive Christmas message spread across Europe, each nation adding its
own distinct contribution. In Germany, the winter tradition of placing
evergreens in their homes took on a new significance in the 16th century when Protestant reformer
Martin Luther put candles in the branches. He told his children the lights were like
the sky above Bethlehem on the night of Christ’s birth. The idea that St. Nicholas would judge whether
you’ve been good or bad during the year stems from the Book of Revelation in the New
Testament, which depicts Christ returning to Earth riding a white horse. In the Middle
Ages, the legend sprang up that Saint Nicholas had been chosen as the Savior’s advance
guard. He wouldn’t come at the end of the world, but every year to check things out
and give a report. When this notion arrived in Norway, it encountered
a problem: there were no horses in Norway. But they did have plenty of reindeer. And,
of course, Norway abuts the Arctic Circle and the North Pole, so St. Nick found himself
with a new domicile. All these various European traditions came
together in the great melting pot of America. In New York in 1823, a professor at the Protestant
Episcopal Seminary, Clement Moore, wrote a poem for his children, ‘Twas the night before
Christmas: “…The stockings were hung by the chimney
with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there…” The poem caught on and became a Christmas
staple every school child could recite. The holiday got another push in 1843, when
the great British writer, Charles Dickens, published his short novel, A Christmas Carol.
The redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge perfectly captured what we now refer to as “the Christmas
spirit”: the idea that the holiday brings out the best in all of us. As the new century turned, Hollywood got into
the act. Almost as soon as there were movies, there were movies celebrating Christmas. To
this day, a year doesn’t go by without a new one. Madison Avenue saw a big opportunity, too. 
In 1931, Coca-Cola hired artist Haddon Sundblom to create a Christmas ad of Santa Claus (which
is Dutch for St. Nicholas) drinking Coke. The jolly white-bearded fellow in a bright
red suit remains the personification of Old St. Nick. And, in perfect melting-pot fashion, Irving
Berlin, the son of a rabbi, wrote the definitive yuletide song, “White Christmas.” Many complain today that the religious aspect
of Christmas has been overwhelmed by commerce. Retail sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas
are now $1 trillion. This is not a new complaint. The Puritans refused to celebrate Christmas
because they thought it trivialized the holiday’s religious message. But this remains the minority view. Most people
love Christmas and all the things—the lights, the tree, the songs, the movies, and, yes,
the gifts—that come with it. And who can deny that people tend to act a little nicer,
a little happier, as the special day draws near? In a world that feels so divided, Christmas
still unites us. For that, we should all be grateful. I’m William Federer, author of “There Really
Is a Santa Claus,” for Prager University.

100 thoughts on “The Amazing History of Christmas

  1. It's also a time of debt and domestic violence. There is more domestic violence over the holy season than any other time of the year.

  2. 4:30 you know, here in the Philippines we have the song "Christmas in Our Hearts " written by song writer Jose Marie Chan. And you can hear it played in many places.

  3. So incredible! All of it wonderful & based on & surrounding the birth of Christ. Celebrating his life, love, peace, joy, giving, family & everything that is amazing about Christianity! Merry Christmas! 💒

  4. 325 AD or CE, winter solstice, Pagan Holiday. You forgot about "Berger Meister-Meister Berger"/Town Mayor-Master Citizen and he hates toys and toys hate him.

  5. The American Santa Claus basically comes from Sint Nicolaas. In the Netherlands we celebrate Sinterklaas, which is Saint Nicolaas, or Santa Claus for you guys. We celebrate that on December 5th. But of course the leftists here want to destroy this tradition, because Saint Nicolaas bought slaves to give them freedom and let them work for him. So his helpers were black, in our tradition, Black pete. This apparently is "Black face" as white people paint their faces, even though Saint Nicolaas himself was very anti slavery… Anyway Christmas itself is what we celebrate on December 25th, the day we celebrate the birthday of Christ. You Americans threw all of that into one day, mixed with different versions seen throughout Europe

  6. Christmas came from the pagan celebration called saturnalia. Child sacrifices was replaced by gift giving And thats the horrible truth.

  7. I’m going to keep on celebrating Christmas no matter what don’t care what the left says because it’s Jesus’s birthday

  8. Do you know why Christmas is celebrated on December 24/25? In reality we don't know what date Jesus was born, and there's even discussion on which year it happened (between 4 BC to 6 AD), or if he existed at all, since the proof of his existence is pretty weak. The real reason we celebrate on December 24/25 (depending on which country) is because European pagans had a celebration on the Winter Solstice on December 21, and so The Catholic Church chose the date we all know in a strategic way to convert pagans. This shows how Christianity have been affected and influenced by other beliefs throughout history.
    Speaking of Norway, in Scandinavia Christmas is called 'Jul', after the Norse pagan celebration 'Jólablót'. Another example of how old pagan traditions still affects us. We might have change the reason for a celebration, but the name still remains. And 'Jul' is one of the most inclusive names, because if you say "I celebrate Jul", it doesn't automatically translates to "I celebrate the birth of Jesus".

  9. HUGE PragerU fan, but this is awful in that it advances an ideology & acceptance of a worldview of the Christmas tradition, which, at their root, are undeniably satanic. They have been distorted & sweetened by ignoring the true genesis. The traditions are fraught with complete mistruths; everything from the timing of his birth, which according to dating to the biblical timeline, clearly makes it during “Sukkoth”in September(it was NOT going to be winter, either!) The location, not in a stable with other animals & the wisemen, but in a watchtower, a place for Passover lambs to be born, as identified & addressed in Micah! The tree may actually be the most disturbing of all, but won’t get in to that, here. This particular video is disturbing in it’s end run around truth.

  10. You are incorrect in most of this video. More research is needed. Ask Holy Spirit to guide you. Our Messiah was born in late September, during the Feast of Tabernacles. There are may pagan traditions adopted into this day since Constantine allowed these rituals into the chuch in the 300's. Since then people have made it up as they go
    Messiah said not to celebrate His birth, but what significance His death means for us. Please search out the truths in this matter. Watch "Sunburned" by 119TESTEVERYTHING.COM.

  11. You need to correct your video!

    St Nicholas was not from nor bishop of Bari in Italy. He was the Christian bishop of Myra in Lycia, modern Turkey. When the Christian city was going to fall to Islamic armies, Greek sailors took st. Nicholas body to Bari which was then part of the Christian Byzantine Empire. His body has remained there ever since.

  12. Is the Saint Nicholas described in the video the same as the Saint Nicholas that comes around on December 6th with his army of Krampus with the threat of dragging naughty kids to hell? I know that parts of Europe celebrate this feast day, but it seems a lot more grim than the Saint Nicholas who goes around throwing coins through people's windows.

  13. dude you really need to do better research about your historical videos and tell the whole story,not just the parts that interest you.

  14. We hope people are nicer, but you couldn’t pay me to go out shopping on Black Friday!

  15. Stolen From The Pagans, Made By The Holy Roman Church…The Truth Will Set You Free

  16. This is Our history. Thank you!!
    We control our own households. We give to our children our traditions and that is a very good thing. God Bless and a very Merry Christmas to everyone.

  17. PragerU: *makes a happy and uplifting video about Christmas*
    Leftists and Atheists: ACKCHYUALLY!

  18. Except all those traditions are repurposed pagan worship that God specifically told us not to do.

  19. There should have been at least a mention of Dec 25 having no historical connection to the Birth of Jesus as well as some of the prechristian elements of many traditions.

  20. Whoever dislikes (you are a Grinch),remenber That Santa Claus will put your name on his Hitman list
    (This is a damn joke but if you don't have any humor, you will insult me so go on if you decide to approach it in that way 😉 )

  21. Yea, yea… Christmas is warm and fluffy (like heroin and puppies) but the conservative annoyance over "happy holidays" is your one big micro-aggression. Granted, you have this one and leftists have millions. But get over it. I say happy holidays because I don’t know or presume your religion but more importantly because I’m talking about New Years too.

  22. 5:05 Not sure about nicer, but, 1,000s suffering from depression and other mental illnesses can deny feeling a "little happier as the special day draws near". I can also personally deny it. For me it is that over commercialization of Christmas that leaves me feeling worthless for not being able to give my kids and wife the Christmas that they deserve as we struggle to barely pay the bills thanks to me being disabled and on SSI.

  23. Putting lit candles in a tree, in your home (especially before fire alarms, extinguishers and departments) sounds like a really friggin bad idea lol

  24. Why no mention of Thomas Nast's famous depiction of Santa Claus?

  25. As a kid I waited for Santa and always missed him due to heavy eyes but as a Dad I get to play Santa. Awesome 😊

  26. You did not go far back enough to give the true complete history of christmas. Also read Jeremiah 10 please.

  27. Even though that I am Jewish, I will only celebrate Christmas for Christ, not St. Nick.

  28. Early Christians didn't even celebrate birth of Jesus but his resurrection.

  29. It's been proven that the birth of Jesus was actually closer to springtime time in Jerusalem and not Dec 25. The whole holiday, like so many we celebrate, are based on a pagan day of warship which usually involved some sort of sacrifice (usually a human).

  30. Christmas was never my favorite holiday. Now it's my #1 holiday. I get to appreciate the love of Christ even more during CHRISTmas. Happy holidays everyone.

  31. This is not the Truth about Christmas & it's origins. You left out, for one, that Christmas was hijacked by the pseudo-Christians (Catholics) who knew December 25 was the birthday of the pagan god Horus (or one of his other aka's) & that children were slaughtered as a sacrifice to him. Some say Christs birthday is in September…
    We've been lied to for the past 55 years & this video is adding to the lying.

  32. Working in retail, I'm not so sure Christmas brings out the best in all of us. It's unfortunate seeing such childish behavior among full-grown adults sometimes.

  33. Nice video, but I've got a few concerns.
    This is a very sanitized version of the story of St Nicholas. Might have been worth mentioning his role in the council of Nicea, especially his interaction with the heretic Aryas. Or perhaps the story of the gold he left to a poor man to save his daughters from prostitution, which is where we get the tradition of Santa leaving gifts.
    And talking about the Christmas tree without mentioning it's origins with St Boniface cutting down the sacred tree of Thor despite the risk to his own life?
    I get you like to make these videos short and sweet, but not at the expense of the richness of some of the traditions

  34. the christians got the german christmas traditions and they puted into their religion, ,

  35. Did you americans know that christmas actually comes from the kingdom of the netherlands we have a holiday called sinterklaas and that man rides a white horse and we celebrate it on the 5th of december

  36. It's an assumption, an conception to seriously think Jesus was born in December. We merely have any evidence.

  37. Santa is an anagram for Satan.
    It's well known the Satanists use anagrams to hide messages. You literally just move the "N" 2 spaces over..
    Satan is the "great counterfeit" in the bible. Example: There is a Christ (Jesus), there is an "Anti-Chrsit" one comes to bring life, the other comes to bring death but promises life. (Serpent says to Eve) Jesus is worthy of praise (We sing song to Him, acknowledge His diety, and cant wait to see Him arrive) Santa is given diety (..he knows when your sleeping..he knows when your awake..) he can be in multiple places at once to visit the world in one night, they sing songs of praise to Santa, we sing songs of his return.
    This isn't rocket science. Its clear as day. Santa is Satan and he has successfully corrupted the true meaning. Its obviously wrong and an idol to have Santa taught to Christian's. Don't be offended to realize the truth and accept it, lest you are only decieving yourself.

  38. YHWH said: Hosea 14:8 (WEBM)  "…I am like a green fir tree; from me your fruit is found."
    Isaiah 60:13 (WEBM)  “The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the fir tree, the pine, and the box tree together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious."
    _ Joy to the world for Christ Birth ; Luke 2:10-11, 13 (WEBM) 10 "…..I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people.
    11 For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord.
    13 Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army praising God, and…"

  39. At Nicholas slapped the heretic Arinaus for denying the Holy Trinity at the council of Nicea.

  40. So 89 people at this time have given this video a thumbs down! 🤦🏻‍♂️ People need to lighten up. Merry Christmas everybody 👍

  41. I like pragerU but are we gonna forget history… What about the original celtic holiday where they put objects in trees and celebrate it as a new beginning… Alot of forgotten information this time

  42. This is so interesting! I never knew about the traditions that I partake in!

  43. I can't stand how the left is trying to make us a happy holidays and let alone change the name Christmas to Xmas and by the way Xmas is a very inappropriate name!!!

  44. christmas is pagan and so is much of what is called "christian" today, sorry but these pagan traditions started in babylon.

  45. Sorry, Prager U. I'm with you, but, as you can see, Christmas is a pagan festivity. Only Jesus knows if you've been good or bad without being around you. Saint Nick overshadows Jesus. Ask most children who is their Christmas hero. I'm just saying. Love you. 😀. Even Jesus's very name is jealous. He does not share His glory. "For you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God." (Exodus 34:14).

  46. This ignores all pre christian pagan holly day in 25 th december, but at least don’t ignores Christ (who arguably born in Tabernacles).

  47. "Christmas " is a lie. There is no scripture telling us the Dec 25th was the day Jesus was born on. As for " Christmas trees:Jeremiah 10: 1–5 . God warns us not to learn the way of the heathen, but cutting down a tree and decorating with gold and silver.
    Jesus was probably born sometime in May-June with the spring lamb's ( lamb of God)and weather good enough for people to travel with the census.
    Sorry people you truly are celebrating a pagan tradition made up to satisfy their false gods and the church incorporated it to quell rebellion.

  48. What William doesn't mention is that biblical scholars agree that Jesus was not born in December or that the holiday supplanted the Greco-Roman winter solstice holiday of Saturnalia.

  49. Hiya, Christmas is a cover-up for worshiping tammuz. It is totally a pagan holiday. The Messiah celebrated Hanukkah the dedication of the Temple. Change your ways and dedicate your Holy Temple to our Holy Creator, Yahweh! Time is running out for this physical existence. We will be translated into our spiritual form Hanukkah 2020. Shalom

  50. Lol yeah one has to ask what event is it that causes people to use CE and BCE, instead of BC and AD? What's the point in changing the terms? Lol

  51. Only problem is that wasn't Christ Birthday, not even close. According to the scripture he would have been born between late September to the later half of October. However, on December 25 a paragon God was born, exactly 9 months after the paging celebration of Easter. A day when men would seek women in the fields for orgies. Hence why they put eggs, chicks, Rabbits as part of the celebration. Too bad these pagon holidays have been mingled with the good.

  52. Christmas is originally pagan and the church hated it. They only embraced it because they could not stop it out, it was originally a big party

  53. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
    Unlike Jeffrey Epstein, who was murdered with flair

  54. what a bunch of lies. The Christmas holidays and traditions are all satanic. No one knows when christ was born.

  55. Fun fact : The Apostles and other true followers of Jesus never celebrated Christmas.

  56. Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15.
    Ronald Reagan

    So-called Progressive(aka postmodern yuk yuk) like free stuff everyday that's why they don't like religion the giving and receiving of gifts on holidays.

  57. This is insane. It’s based on a Roman and pagan holiday that thousands of Jews were killed in. And make some research where the Christmas tree and the mistletoe started. You should be ashamed.

  58. i wish you had informed us on why the roman church chose Dec 25 for Jesus' birth

  59. Except all of your Christmas traditions can be traced back to Pagan origins, Christmas was once known as the Norse holiday Jul (pronounced Yule) and Sinter Klaus was inspired by the Norse god Óðinn

  60. Indoctrination

    “ Manipulation of the population- Insomnia (intro only)

    It’s just like the holiday Thanksgiving.

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