The analogy of Christmas, the biography of the birth of Christ and the best sample of Christmas carols


Every year, most Christians throughout the world commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, in whose teachings Christianity is based on. This commemoration is done on the 25th Day of December, and is known as The Christmas Day. Well, whether Jesus Christ was born on Christmas Day or not remains a huge point of debate. The greatest antagonists of the analogy that Christ was born on Christmas day actually use The Holy Bible to pass their point. According to them, The Bible in Luke 2: 7-8 outlines that on the night when Jesus was born, there was a huge presence of shepherds watching over their flocks, a fact that has been confirmed by several other Christmas Carols and hymns. They go on to state that the weather in Bethlehem where Jesus was born on the night of 25th December is too cold to allow anyone watch over their flock. Indeed, by the time of writing this article, the temperatures in Bethlehem were much lower than 10 Degrees Celsius being that it is Winter. These critics go on to note that The Holy Bible rightly states that Joseph and Mary (the parents of Jesus) had gone to Bethlehem for the Roman Census and continue to argue that with the temperatures in December being incredibly low, it would be impossible to conduct any census at that time. Another school of thought invoked is that John the Baptist who was a cousin to Jesus Christ was conceived six months before the conception of Jesus as is recorded in the Holy and that the birth of Jesus was only possible between June 13-17. Now to get into some context, The Holy Bible which is the most authoritative source of reference regarding the life of Jesus is silent about the date on which Christ was born and this therefore leaves a big question on just how the 25th Day of December was decided on as the date of birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God, as believed by Christians.

Although most Christians celebrate December 25 as the birthday of Jesus Christ, few in the first two centuries of Christianity claimed any knowledge about the exact day of the birth of Christ. The oldest record of a Christmas-like celebrations is found in Roman Almanic that talks about a Christ’s Nativity festival led by the Church of Rome in 336 AD. The main reason why Christmas came to be celebrated on 25th December largely remains unclear but one account remains very constant in any research, and that is, Christmas came to be as a Christian substitute for a pagan celebrations which used to take place during Winter around December. So then, let us know exactly how Christmas that we are celebrating came to be.

To early Christians, Easter was the most important festivals for them as they celebrated the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, when Christianity started to become widespread in the Roman world that was around the fourth century, church leaders had to accept a popular Roman pagan holiday commemorating the birth of the unconquered sun. The exact name of the celebration was Natalis Solis Invicti. Every winter, Romans honored the pagan god Saturn, the god of agriculture, and this celebrations used to happen around December 17 to December 25, for a period of about a week. This festivals was punctuated with merrymaking with families and friends exchanging gifts. At the same time, many records also point at Mithraism, a worship of ancient Persian god of light which held most of its rituals around the winter solstice.
After Constantine 1, a Roman Emperor converted to Christianity in 312 AD and sanctioned Christianity, Christian leaders at that time in a bid to achieve a seamless conversion of the Emperor and his subjects made efforts to maintain the winter solstice holidays, only that now they were not marking the birth of Saturn, but that of Jesus Christ the son of God, in whose principle Christianity is established. The rationalization of this by the early church leaders is quite complex, but let us break it off. According to the early manuscripts, the world was allegedly created on the Springs (around late March), so Jesus might have been conceived by God around the same time. The virgin Mary who was pregnant with this Holy Spirit conceived baby could have given birth around winter solstice ( biological nine months later). If you noticed, this account is based on a lot of probabilities. From Rome, Christianity spread like wild fire to other territories and many new Christians started celebrating the birth of Jesus on December 25th. The word Christmas came to be from the original English word Christes maesse, which means Christ’s mass or the festivals of Christ in the modern English. A popular medieval celebration was done by St. Nicholas of Myra, a saint who used to visit children with gifts just before Christmas. This is the story that has evolved to become the modern practice of children receiving gifts from Santa Clause. So now you know that the first Santa Clause was St Nicholas of Myra. Santa class is a Dutch name for St Nicholas. So now we all know the advent of Christmas. With that knowledge, let us now delve into the reason of the season, Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the central foundation and figure of Christianity, and is emulated as the incarnation of God by many Christians. Christ was born in 6 BC in Bethlehem. His mother was Virgin Mary who was betrothed to Joseph, a carpenter. The Bible records that Jesus was born through immaculate conception. Mary and Joseph had travelled to Bethlehem in respect to an order from the Roman Emperor so as to be counted in the census, a record that was taken in hometowns, and Bethlehem was the hometown of Joseph. When they got to Bethlehem, the place was already full and they had no place to stay, and that they could only stay in a stable. Mary the virgin and Joseph settled on the hay inside the stable. Mary went to labour and Christ was born. CHRIST IS BORN!!! The only place to lay the newborn was in a manger ( animal’s trough). During this time, as recorded in The Holy Bible, angels appeared to the shepherds in fields near Bethlehem where they were watching their flock. The angel conveyed to them the good news of the birth of the Mesiah, or the Savior, Jesus Christ. The shepherds immediately went to find the baby who was sleeping in a manger. After some time, three when saw a brilliant star in the sky that rested over the place of Christ’s birth. The wise men had travelled from far lands, and met Herod, the king of Judah. Herod requested them to find the lace of this child’s birth and report to him so that he can also go worship him. The wise men continued to Bethlehem where they found Jesus and worshipped him. They presented him with Gold, Frankincenses and Myrrh. They then travelled with a different route because they knew King Herod was not intending to worship but to kill the baby.

So now with the birth of Christ, you can choose to celebrate in a way that you love and resonate with. However, there are some universal practices of celebrating Christmas like sending and receiving gifts, visiting a vulnerable group such as street families or children’s homes, or going out with friends, virtually connecting with friends or getting some movie. All in all, it should be a moment to reflect, and especially being that it is a Christian festival, Christians should focus on their relationship with the religion its doctrines while sharing love and kindness as Jesus Christ himself preached. Christmas is also synonymous with Christmas carols, and I have compiled a least of Christmas carols that you can listen to as you enjoy this day. The Carols are a mixture of both traditional Christian Christmas hymns composed in cathedrals in Europe, to modern day carols which some are secular in nature but still celebrate the birth of Jesus. You should consider listening to the carols below this Christmas.

Away in a Manger, an American classical carol composed by John McFarland, Beautiful Star of Betlehem by Robert Fisher, Christmas Song by Robert Wells and Mel Torme, Do You Hear What I Hear by Gloria Shayne, Go Tell it on the Mountain by John W Work, I heard the Bells on Christmas Day by Henry Longfellow, I wonder as I wander by John Niles, It came upon the Midnight Clear by Edmund Hamilton, Jingle Bells by James Lord Pierpoint, The Little Drmmer Boy by Katherine Davis, O Little Town of Bethlehem by Philips Brooks, Star of The East by Alfred Hanns, We Three Kings of Orient Are by Rev. John Henry Hopkins, Angels From The Realms of Glory by James Montgomery, A Great Mighty Wonder by St Garmanus, As With Gladness Men of Old by William Dix, Bethlehem Down by Peter Warlock, Ding Dong Merrily High by George Woodward, The First Noel by William Sandys, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing by Charles Wesley, Joy to the World by Isaac Watts, Mary’s Boy Child by Jester Hairstone, O Come All Ye Faithful, O Holy Night by Placide Cappeau, Once in Royal David’s City by Henry John, A virgin Unspotted, What Child is This by William Dix, While The Sphepherd Watched Their Flock by Nahum Tate, Adeste Fideles, Angelus ad Virginem, Gudete, In Dulci jubilo, Veni, Veni Emmanuel, Jubilate Deojust to metion a few. I hope you will sample some of thse carols to be part of your Christmas entertainment.

Enjoy your Christmas.

*If you find this article insightful, and in the spirit of Christmas, you can consider gifting the writer with a Christmas gift through M-PESA 0743200090


By Lincoln Oyugi

Just as Isaac Newton died a virgin, I'll die a writer!

1 comment

  1. Thank you… this bit of history does a really good job of explaining how the holiday came about to be as we know them today.
    Also it’s really impressive that you’ve been able to match most common hymns with their authors. I’m a Longfellow girl so it’s definitely “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” for me 🙌🏾 “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” is beautiful too.
    Merry Christmas Linc 🤗


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