Christmas is a secular and religious holiday celebrated around the world. It
includes gift giving, candle lighting (and lighted displays), singing, plays,
decorations and more. We're kicking off our Twelve days or Christmastide by
showcasing special giveaways each day.
Day 1 is Christmas: (from Wikipedia)
"Christmas" is a shortened form of "Christ's mass". It is derived from the
Middle English Cristemasse, which is from Old English Crīstesmęsse, a phrase
first recorded in 1038 followed by the word Cristes-messe in 1131. Crīst
(genitive Crīstes) is from Greek Khrīstos
(Χριστός), a translation of Hebrew
"Messiah", meaning "anointed"; and męsse is from Latin
missa, the celebration of the Eucharist.
The form Christenmas was also historically used, but is now considered archaic
and dialectal; it derives from Middle English Cristenmasse, literally
"Christian mass". Xmas is an abbreviation of Christmas found particularly in
print, based on the initial letter chi (Χ) in Greek Khrīstos
"Christ", though numerous style guides discourage its use; it has precedent
in Middle English Χρ̄es masse (where "Χρ̄" is an
abbreviation for Χριστός).
In addition to "Christmas", the holiday has been known by various other names
throughout its history. The Anglo-Saxons referred to the feast as
"midwinter", or, more rarely, as Nātiuiteš (from Latin nātīvitās
below). "Nativity", meaning "birth", is from Latin nātīvitās. In Old
English, Gēola (Yule) referred to the period corresponding to December and
January, which was eventually equated with Christian Christmas. "Noel" (or
"Nowel") entered English in the late 14th century and is from the Old French
noėl or naėl, itself ultimately from the Latin nātālis (diēs)
What is your favorite Christmas custom?
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