Christmas writings have been an essential part of the holiday season for hundreds of years, as they embody the tradition that has been passed down through many generations.
Most of the stories associated with the holidays began as folk tales and historical events from as far back as the third century A.D. Such stories represent important human values, such as sacrifice, compassion, acceptance and goodwill toward others, making them a welcomed part of the holiday fabric every year.
What are some of the most important Christmas writings?
The birth of Jesus and the arrival of the three kings is perhaps the oldest example of what is considered the dual meaning of the modern holiday. It represents the birth of Christ and the tradition of gift giving during the holidays. While gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh have fallen out of the standard gift rotation, the idea is still central to the season. The Bible verses that address the birth of Christ include:
- The birth of Jesus is announced: Luke 1:26-38
- Announcement to Joseph: Matthew 1:18-25
- The Birth of Jesus: Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:1-7.
- The Angels appeared to the shepherds: Luke 2:8-20
- The visit of the Wise Men: Matthew 2:1-12
Santa Claus is the other major figure of the holiday season, and his smiling, joyous face can be found everywhere as soon as the dishes are put away after Thanksgiving dinner. Historians believe that Santa Claus was derived from Saint Nicholas, a figure of generosity born in 280 A.D. According to legend, Saint Nicholas was born into great wealth but lost his parents at an early age. Inspired by the teachings of Christ, Saint Nicholas gave away his family inheritance to the needy and suffering, doing so at night to keep his identity a secret. Before long, he was made a bishop of Myra, and then a saint following his passing. The modern day Santa Claus probably looks nothing like the actual Saint Nicholas. The red and white adorned jolly old man was a marketing creation by the Coca-Cola Company, but the image was so endearing that it remains the classic interpretation to this day.
Some classic Christmas writings are more recent in origin, but emblematic of the holiday nonetheless. The quintessential holiday poem, The Night Before Christmas, perfectly embodies the calm winter nights and the anticipation of the morning all children look forward to. The poem, originally titled A Visit from St. Nicholas, was authored in 1823, but originally published anonymously. In 1837, Clement Clarke Moore acknowledged that he created the poem. Some literary historians believe the poem’s first line is perhaps the most well-known verse ever written by an American.
Christmas writings are as important as any other holiday tradition, unifying all of the holiday’s other traditions together, and ensuring this important cultural event carries on into the future.