For Christians all over the world, December 25 is an important, happy day. It is Christmas, the day that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.

Many Christmas customs are based on the birth of Christ. People give each other presents because the Three Kings brought presents to the baby Jesus. Christians sing songs, called carols that tell stories about Christ’s birth. And they put up scenes of Jesus’s birth, with figures of the shepherds, the Three Kings, and animals around the tiny baby.

Some customs probably came from harvest festivals that took place in December around Christmastime. The Roman harvest festival may have inspired feasting and having parties. The custom of burning Yule logs came from the Northern European harvest festival known as Yule.

Other customs are newer traditions. Decorating Christmas trees probably came from Germany. Sending Christmas cards came from England.

Today, one of the most popular Christmas customs is giving gifts. In the U.S.A. and Canada, a magical person named Santa Claus brings presents. Santa wears red clothes trimmed with white fur, and he has a snow-white beard and moustache. Santa drives through the sky in a sleigh drawn by eight reindeer. He slips down the chimney, leaves gifts, and goes on his way again.

In England, the gift bringer is called Father Christmas. He looks much like Santa Claus, but he has a longer coat and a longer beard. In Germany, Costa Rica, Colombia, and parts of Mexico, children get presents from the Christ child.

In Sweden, gifts and goodies are brought by a Christmas elf. This little gnome has a sleigh that is pulled by two goats.

Both Father Christmas and Santa Claus are popular in Australia and New Zealand. But in these countries, December comes during the summer. So many people celebrate by going on a picnic or having fun at the beach.

Picture Credit : Google