8 Things You May Not Have Known About Christmas

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The traditions of Christmas have become so “traditional” that we may actually be celebrating something that is not even true. How many wise men were there? Who should be in our nativity scene? Why December 25? Check out these 8 truths about Christmas that you may not know.

  1. The “3” Wise Men

Some call them three kings. Others call them three wise men. But, why three? The Bible never says there are three. Instead, the Bible speaks of three gifts so there’s an assumption that there are also three kings. Here’s what we know… There are three gifts and at least two wise men. Other than that, we have no idea.

  1. Wise Men and the Nativity Scene

In my nativity set at home, I have three wise men with their camels all around the manger scene. The problem with that is that it’s not an accurate portrayal of the nativity scene. The Bible is clear that the wise men didn’t show up until Jesus was a child or probably 2 years old. Plus, he’s in a home, and not in the manger when they arrive. So, if you wanted to accurately include the wise men in your nativity scene, you need to have them at least a few blocks away as they head towards Bethlehem in their two year journey.

  1. Birth Day

Contrary to popular belief, the Bible doesn’t actually mention a specific date for Jesus’ birth. In fact, most historians believe he was probably born in the spring because that’s when the shepherds would have been out in the fields. December 25 wasn’t chosen as the official holiday until the 4th century, when the Catholic Church decided to recognize Jesus’ birth as an official holiday, Pope Julius I chose December 25 for the Feast of the Nativity. That the date happened to coincide with the pagan festival known as Saturnalia must have been pure coincidence even though this festival was characterized by partying and gift-giving.

  1. Joy to the World

One of my favorite Christmas songs is not actually a Christmas song. Sorry to spoil it for you but Joy to the World is a second coming of Christ song. Just think about the lyrics…

Joy to the World! The Lord is come. Let earth receive her King – Jesus did not come as a king to rule and reign in His first coming. He will do that in His second coming.

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns – Again, He does not reign until His second coming

He rules the world with truth and grace – Well, yeah, you know. It’s the second coming…Sorry

  1. Christmas Banned

For almost two decades of the 17th century, Christmas was illegal in what would become the United States because the Puritans thought it to be too merry. It wasn’t until 1870 that Christmas became a federal holiday in America. Christmas was so inconsequential in early America that after the Revolutionary War, Congress didn’t even bother taking the day off to celebrate the holiday, deciding instead to hold its first session on Christmas Day, 1789.

  1. Xmas

To think that the world is disrespecting the very person who is the reason we celebrate Christmas can be maddening. Taking out Christ and just putting an X there appears to be disrespectful and insensitive to those of us who really want to keep Christ in Christmas.

The funny thing about it is that it’s actually not disrespectful at all. Historically, the letter X has been used reverently as an acceptable substitute for Christ (it’s all about the Greek alphabet). Therefore, the letter X is not disrespectful and does not take His name out of there at all. So, when someone is intentionally taking out Christ and putting an X there to try to take Him out of Christmas, they’re really keeping Him in there.

  1. Christmas Truce in World War I

On the morning of December 25th, 1914, German soldiers on the western front stepped out of their trenches and walked towards Allied troops calling out “Merry Christmas” in English. Luckily it wasn’t a trick and dozens of British fighters came out to greet them and shake hands. What followed was one of the greatest expressions of camaraderie in history. Soldiers mingled, exchanged cigarettes, and even played a game of football.

  1. Reginald the alcoholic Reindeer?

Originally, Robert L. May invented the oddball reindeer with the red nose and was going to name him Reginald instead of Rudolph. And his nose wasn’t originally going to be red because a red nose was viewed as a sign of chronic alcoholism. “Reginald, the green-nosed reindeer” just doesn’t have the same ring to it though. Neither does Rudolph the alcoholic reindeer. Let’s just keep things as they are