Christmas is a celebration commemorating the nativity of Jesus Christ.
Origin of Christmas
Etymologically, the term Christmas comes from the Latin natalis, birth.
There is no reference to date the day of the birth of Jesus Christ. The date of December 24 was chosen in the fourth century (possibly in 354), perhaps by Pope Liberus, probably to replace pagan festivals that celebrated the winter solstice, Sol Invictus or the Saturnalia (praising Saturn) of the Romans, or the Mithraic cult.
History of Christmas in the world
1st → 3rd centuries: only Easter is celebrated annually, Christmas does not yet “exist”.
425: Theodosius II, emperor of the East, codifies the Christmas ceremony.
between 496 and 499: Clovis is baptized on Christmas Eve
506 : The Council of Agde decides that Christmas is a feast of obligation
529: Christmas is a day off
800 : the pope crowns Charlemagne on Christmas Day
1066 : William the Conqueror crowned on Christmas Day
15th century: the use of the crib spreads from Italy
15th century: the use of the Christmas tree (symbol of the renewal of life) is Christianized and spreads from Germanic countries
Thinking about the economy at Christmas
A French person spends an average of 639 euros for Christmas according to a Deloitte study
Internet purchases are increasingly popular: +18% between 2012 and 2011.
According to economist Joel Waldfogel, gifts “generate on average 20% less satisfaction than the items we buy ourselves”.
The Christmas economy is more an economy of desire (not necessary) than of need (necessary). Thus, according to John Kenneth Galbraith, advertisers “give rise to desires that did not exist” (in The Affluent Society)
On the other hand, this economy of desire would be a factor of growth.
Santa Claus was born in Northern Europe. Heir to Nicholas of Myre, better known as Saint Nicholas, who is said to have saved and resurrected three children from the hands of a butcher, he recovers his main features: protector of children, dressed in a long coat, bearded.
The Protestants who refuse the cult of the saints replace Saint Nicolas by Jesus, and in the Netherlands Saint Nicolas is thus secularized under the name of Sinter Klaas.
While the tradition is that Jesus brings the gifts on Christmas night (among French Catholics in particular), Santa Claus takes on this role, especially under the impetus of German sovereigns.
However, Santa Claus became popular in the United States. Since 1821, A New-year’s present, to the little ones from five to twelve contains the poem Old Santeclaus, where Santa Claus pulls on the reindeers in a sleigh to bring presents to the children.
Two years later, the poem A Visit from St Nicholas continued to fuel the myth of Santa Claus.
In France, at the end of the Second World War, the Coca-Cola brand, spread thanks to the Marshall Plan, contributes to the current representation of Santa Claus. The idea that Coca Cola created Santa Claus is false, but has probably been around since then.
In the 1950s, two female recipients violated the confidentiality of correspondence to open letters to Santa. The Santa Claus Secretariat was created in 1962 and transferred in 1967 to the Libourne Post Office.
“As soon as the adult kills the myth of the existence of Santa Claus, he forgets the miracle of true sharing that exists in the heart of the child.” – Michel Bouthot in Chemins parsemés d’immortelles pensées
“Christmas is not a day or a season, it is a state of mind – Calvin Coolidge
“Why does Christmas always come when the stores are crowded?” – Paulo Vincente