The Gift of Christmas

 Christmas wishes to all of our Family, Friends, Customers and Associates

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The Gift of Christmas

 

Christmas will always be that special day that family and friends get together to show their appreciation for one another. (This article was brought to you by Michael and Dee Norris Realtors, Norris & Company Realty, LLC. Winter Haven Real Estate, Providing your trusted Real Estate Services for over 20 years).

Americans may have made some changes in the way they celebrate Christmas over the years, but some important traditions–like friends and family–remain the same. According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted among a representative sample of 2,001 adults nationwide, nine out of every 10 Americans celebrate Christmas.

A Christian holiday honoring the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas evolved over two millennia into a worldwide religious and secular celebration, incorporating many pre-Christian, pagan traditions into the festivities along the way. Today, Christmas is a time for family and friends to get together and exchange gifts.

According to Christian theology, the Christmas holiday commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whose teachings form the basis of the Christian faith. Christians didn’t begin celebrating Christ’s birth until the third century A.D., when Roman church officials settled on December 25 (the Bible doesn’t mention the exact date), probably to coincide with already existing pagan winter festivals. Today, Christmas is not the most important Christian holiday–in fact, it ranks fourth after Easter, Pentecost and Epiphany. Yet since the 19th century, when Americans began to celebrate Christmas in the way we think of today–including traditions such as decorating trees, sending holiday cards and giving gifts–it has grown into the biggest commercial holiday of the year and is now celebrated by the vast majority of Americans, Christian or not.

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Younger adults are much less likely than older adults to view Christmas as a religious occasion, and to incorporate religious elements into their celebration of the holiday. Only 39 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds surveyed said they considered Christmas a religious occasion, compared with 66 percent of those 65 and older. Younger adults were also less likely to attend religious services and to believe in the story of the virgin birth. This data is consistent with other recent research showing that young people are helping to drive the rise of the religiously unaffiliated population of the United States, calculated at one-fifth in 2012 (the highest ever in Pew Research polling). At that time, fully one-third of those polled under the age of 30 said they were unaffiliated with any religion. (This article was brought to you by Michael and Dee Norris Realtors, Norris & Company Realty, LLC. Winter Haven Real Estate, Providing your trusted Real Estate Services for over 20 years).

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