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There are several traditions that surround Christmas. Food is a major part of the celebration. The people of God have long celebrated classic feasts as a reminder of God's love and good deeds. In the Old Testament, the story of St. Nicholas shows how this character came to be, and in many countries, children are given gifts during this time. The tradition of eating delicious food and sharing it with loved ones is still a significant part of Christmas.
The origin of the term Christmas is unclear, but it derives from the Old English "Cristes maesse" which means "mass of Christ". December 25 was probably chosen to offset pagan celebrations and coincide with the December solstice, a longer day in the northern hemisphere. The various traditions of the Christmas holiday are also a result of different cultures. While Christmas has many similarities with other religious holidays, there are a number of differences between the different religions.
Although Christmas is associated with Jesus Christ, it has many other roots. Its origins can be traced to the early Christians, who adopted pagan celebrations to convert pagans. Some of the most famous examples of pagan holidays are Germanic Yule and Roman Saturnalia. Both of these holidays were popular among the pagan people of northern Europe and later became well known throughout the world. The early Christians also took note of rural traditions and customs. This was especially true of the Dutch Sinterklaas and Germanic Yule.