Why we celebrate Christmas on December 25
The reason Christmas lands on this date is a bit of a mystery. The Bible doesn’t specify the date of Jesus’s birth, and early Christians debated the topic for years. They first thought it was January 6, because April 6 was assumed to be the day Jesus died, and there was a corresponding belief that prophets died on the same day as their conception. But by the fourth century, they changed their minds to December 25. Some sources say this new date was purposely chosen to draw attention away from a pagan winter solstice ritual that fell on the same day. Others say that’s not true. All we know for sure is that regardless of the reason why, that date stuck. Learn more about why Christmas ended up on the day it did.
Why we bake Christmas cookies
If we can learn one thing from history, it’s that people have always celebrated winter holidays with good food. Ancient peoples gathered around the winter solstice to feast before cold weather wiped away their crops. Plus, the wine and beer that had been fermenting since the spring were finally ready to drink. Christmas replaced these solstice celebrations by the Middle Ages, but the feasting continued—with the all-important addition of desserts. Bakers brought out expensive ingredients like butter, lard, and sugar for such festive occasions, and they started experimenting with spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. Yum! Check out the best Christmas cookie from every state in America.