The history behind Christmas

The tree, the lights, and the presentsâ?¦those are just some of the things that put us in the Christmas spirit every year on December 24 and 25. But letâ??s not forget about the true story behind the holiday. About 2,000 years ago when a woman named Mary was approached by an angel saying she was the chosen one to be the mother of the son of God and was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Nine months later in the city of Bethlehem along with her husband Joseph, Mary gives birth in a manger filled with hay to a baby boy named Jesus Christ who would grow up to be the Savior.

"The people of Israel were promised a savior. The Christian belief was that Jesus Christ was the one who was promised and who is God's son...the divine taking on human flesh. The celebration of his birth into the world and our history to bring us the revelation of God and to further our understanding of who God is and believe that he created us to live his life," said Father Chris Cordes of Mary Immaculate Catholic Church.

So how did Christmas, which has so much religious significance, begin to change over to a family fun holiday that we know today and brought along Santa Claus, his reindeer and his elves? And how did it become known as the season of giving? According to Father Chris, you can give thanks to old Saint Nick.

"Saint Nicholas was a bishop during the fourth century who had generosity and cared for the poor, and he gave gifts to them. Somehow he was merged with the European mythical figures that came during the winter bringing gifts of various kinds. As the story evolved and developed, it created characters such as the reindeer to help him get around the world, and the elves to help Santa be his workers to put toys together," Cordes said.

What about the Christmas colors red and greenâ?¦what to they mean?

"From Christianityâ??s point of view, green represents everlasting life and red represents the blood of Christ that made possible for us to have everlasting life," Cordes said.

Now matter how or which way we celebrate Christmas; we must always remember it should be the most wonderful time of the year bringing happiness and peace for everyone.

"It really is a great time as long as we keep things in a good perspective we can celebrate it in the true way or the way as our faith tells us," said Cordes.

The Christmas season continues until Jan. 6, which commemorates Three Kings Day when the Three Wise Men followed the star that led them to the Baby Jesus.

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