St. Nicholas took on different personas in different countries. For example, The Netherlands have Sinter Klaas; Father Christmas gives gifts in Great Britain; Père Noël does the same in France; and in Germany St. Nicholas has had many names including Klaasbuur, Burklaas, Rauklas, Bullerklaas, and Sunnercla, although Father Christmas is becoming more popular. In the United States, the Dutch settlers' Sinter Klaas evolved into Santa Claus.
Some customs from those celebrations that have endured include decorating homes with greenery, giving gifts, singing songs, and eating special foods.
Many miracles attributed to him are dubious at best. Nevertheless, some countries named him their patron saint. He also is considered the patron saint of, among others, children (for protecting them), sailors (whom he reputedly saved at sea), and the poor (to whom he generously gave gifts).
According to early Roman history early celebrations of Christmas are thought to have derived from Roman and other European festivals that marked the end of the harvest, and the winter solstice.
In his honor, the Feast of St. Nicholas was marked on December 6 and gifts given the night before. The tradition was well established in many European countries by the 12th century. Eventually, because St. Nicholas' Day and Christmas Day are so close together, their traditions generally were combined.
The holiday developed further with the legend of St. Nicholas. Although much of his history is unconfirmed, the man who became St. Nicholas lived in the 4th century and is believed to have been a bishop in Asia Minor.
In the western world the birthday of Jesus Christ has been celebrated on December 25th since AD 354, partly to replace the pagan worship that was commonplace in those days. However, we can be fairly sure that Jesus wasn't actually born on that date.
The first time the birth of Jesus Christ was attributed to the date December 25 was in the 4th century.
CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 08 May 2013.
Around 1610, tinsel was first invented in Germany made from genuine silver. Machines were invented that shredded silver into thin tinsel-sized strips. Silver tinsel tarnishes and loses its shine with time, eventually, artificial replacements were invented. The original inventor of tinsel remains unknown.
Towards the end of the 1800's, another variation of the traditional Christmas tree appeared: the artificial Christmas tree. Artificial trees originated in Germany. Metal wire trees were covered with goose, turkey, ostrich or swan feathers. The feathers were often died green to imitate pine needles.
The snowman was invented, many times over. Enjoy these whimsical pictures of snowman inventions. They are from actual patents and trademarks. Or view the delightful design patents related to Christmas trees and ornaments.
On December 25, Christians traditionally celebrate the birth of Christ. The origins of the holiday are uncertain, however by the year 336, the Christian church in Rome observed the Feast of the Nativity (birth) on December 25. Christmas also coincided with the winter solstice and the Roman Festival of Saturnalia.
While Christmas is a centuries old tradition, it was never an official American national holiday until 1870. When Burton Chauncey Cook, House Representative from Illinois, introduced a bill to make Christmas a national holiday which was passed by both the House and Senate in June 1870. President Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill which made Christmas a legal holiday on June 28, 1870.
In the 1930's, the Addis Brush Company created the first artificial-brush trees, using the same machinery that made their toilet brushes! The Addis 'Silver Pine' tree was patented in 1950. The Christmas tree was designed to have a revolving light source under it, colored gels allowed the light to shine in different shades as it revolved under the tree.
Knitted sweaters have been around a very long time, however, there is a one certain type of sweater that delights us all during the holiday season. With lots of red and green colors, and reindeer, Santa, and snowman decorations, the Christmas sweater is both loved and even despised by many.
"The History of Christmas Stuff." About.com Inventors. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 May 2013.