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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Bourbon adds a complex, woody flavor to this twist on the holiday sweet potato casserole, keeping things from veering off into kids’-table territory. Roasted sweet potatoes are mashed so they stay chunky, then mixed with melted butter, bourbon, milk, some cinnamon and nutmeg, and orange zest for loads of flavor without being too boozy-tasting. This glorious mash is packed into a buttered casserole dish, and topped with a pecan-and-brown-sugar streusel that turns crunchy as it bakes. Pair with our easy apple streusel for dessert.
Shopping note: Garnets (also known as Sweet Garnets or Red Yams) have bright, orangey-red flesh, a moist texture, and moderate sweetness.
Make-ahead note: Though the streusel is crunchiest when freshly made, this casserole can be completely made ahead, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat uncovered in a 350°F oven until heated through, 35 to 45 minutes.
For more inspiration, check out our Baked Ginger Sweet Potatoes, Baked Sweet Potato with Molasses-Clove Butter, and Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes.