(or in North America: Christmas Morning Is Here, It’s Time to Wake Up!!!)
Parents who celebrate Christmas with their kids know these words very well. They are usually said while the kids jump up and down on their parent’s bed. For these children, going to sleep on Christmas eve is very difficult because they know that as soon as they wake up, there are going to be Christmas gifts waiting for them under the tree.
Have you ever thought about where these customs come from? Have you ever thought about where Santa Claus (and the Scandinavian equivalent, the julenisse or the swedish "tomten") came from and the giving of gifts?
Isn’t this time supposed to be the celebration of the birth of Christ? Well, the kids don’t care and they want their presents. As long as they’re happy and as long as they have something to look forward to each and every year, Christmas and the customs that go along with it hold a fascination that may last a lifetime.
Many people complain that Christmas time is too commercialized. Most retail stores do their most business during this time of year, when everyone is stocking up for the gifts they have to buy for friends, family, coworkers and even their mailman.
It’s a time when shopping becomes a must. The people who complain say that the true meaning of Christmas is lost and it should be found once more. But until that time comes, stores will advertise their Christmas blow out sales and people will fill up the malls in droves in order to snag that must have item that’s on their list.
Most people know about Black Friday. This is the time right after Thanksgiving when people raid the malls and stores to get started on their Christmas shopping. This is the busiest shopping day of the year. Why it’s called Black Friday is anyone’s guess (it does sound rather morbid) but it’s another custom we’ve become used to and so it will likely be that way for a long time. Wikipedia defines it this way:
"Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States, where it is the beginning of the traditional Christmas Gifts shopping season. Since Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States, Black Friday may be as early as the 23rd and as late as the 29th of November. Black Friday is not an official holiday, but many employees take the day off, which increases the number of potential shoppers. Retailers often decorate for the Christmas season weeks beforehand. Many retailers open very early (typically 5 am or even earlier) and offer doorbuster deals and loss leaders to draw people to their stores.
Although Black Friday, as the first shopping day after Thanksgiving, has served as the unofficial beginning of the Christmas Gifts shopping season at least since the start of the modern Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the term "Black Friday" has been traced back only to the 1960s. The term "Black Friday" originated in Philadelphia in reference to the heavy traffic on that day. More recently, merchants and the media have used it instead to refer to the beginning of the period in which retailers are in the black (i.e., turning a profit)."
Santa Is Coming!
Christmas time may be the celebration of the birth of Christ but children in North America only have visions of a fat jolly man in a big red suit who will fly through the air on a sleigh led by flying reindeer.
This is Santa Claus, who will come down their chimney and will deliver toys and gifts to everyone...all in one day.
Many kids don’t get to celebrate Christmas because it isn’t within their parent’s religious beliefs.
The ones who do love it and they look forward to it every year.