Why Do We Celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25?
There are several reasons Christmas is celebrated on Dec. 25. The date is nine months after March 25, a day recognized by Christians as Annunciation. It was the day Mary was told she would was having a baby. The nine months that follow are an approximation of Jesus’ birth. Dec. 25 also coincides with pagan Winter Solstice celebrations like Saturnalia' and Dies Natalis Solis Invicti. Since they were historically celebrated around that time of year there was precedent for holiday festivities during this time of year.
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What Does the Name 'Christmas' Mean and What Is the Meaning of Christmas?
Christmas is a shortened from the words “Christ’s mass.” It’s derived from the Middle English word "Cristemasse" which has Greek, Hebrew and Latin origins. Christmas is an annual holiday that honors the birth of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated by Christians around the world and is regarded as an important religious and cultural holiday.
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How Can We Celebrate Christmas?
Christmas is traditionally celebrated in many ways and celebrations vary across cultures. In the days leading up to Christmas, people usually put up special decorations including colorful lights and evergreen trees. Gifts are often placed under the tree and exchanged on Christmas day among loved ones. Large meals are also typically served as part of the celebration as well.
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The sweet, warm, spiced notes of gingerbread cookies say “holiday” regardless of whether you decorate the cookies, and these are doubly tasty when paired with a hot drink. Cut the cookies into circles or make them into any shape you desire; just be mindful that baking times change with the shape. And if you want to decorate them to resemble your favorite jailbird celebrity, along with assembling a jailhouse, check this out.
What to buy: There are various intensities of molasses available, from light to blackstrap, and after trying nearly all of them, we found that dark (sometimes marketed as robust) tastes best in this dough. (It is the most traditional type to use in gingerbread, though some taste testers also enjoyed the cookies made with light molasses.) Molasses can be found at health food stores and gourmet markets.
This recipe was featured as part of our Holiday Cookies recipe slideshow. As a soft, moist, spiced alternative, we recommend our easy gingerbread loaf, as well.