Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon.
For 2000 years, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive.
Christmas Day is celebrated as a major festival and public holiday in countries around the world, including many whose populations are mostly non-Christian. The holiday is generally celebrated on December 25th by billions of people world-wide.
December 25, Christmas Day, has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870.
The celebration of Christmas as we know it today stems from the traditions of several different cultures.
Ruled a legal holiday in 1894, Christmas has had its fair share of strange traditions.
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