The early Church in Jerusalem celebrated Christ's birth on the Epiphany (6th January.)
In the final quarter of the 4th century (e.g. 375 AD onwards), the Jerusalem Church switched to the practice of the Church in Rome of celebrating it on the 25th December instead.
Christmas was banned in England between 1644 and 1660 by the Puritans when they controlled Parliament.
They even forbade people from attending church on that day, and ordered shops to remain open.
The first Christmas tree lit with incandescent bulbs was at the home of Edward H. Johnson (vice-president of the Edison Electric Light Company) at his home on East 10th Street, New York, in December 1882. 
Literature & Lore
Cromwell receives report in 1650 of Christmas Day being celebrated in London despite his orders
(click photo for larger)
Cromwell receives report in 1650 of Christmas Day
being celebrated in London despite his orders
UK National Archives SP 25/15
Report sent to S[i]r Hen[ry] Mildmay
The Councell haveing received severall Informations that there was avery wilfull & strict observation of the day com[m]only called Christmasse day throughout the Cittyes of London & Westm[inster] by a generall keeping of their shops shut up and that there were Contemptuous speeches used by some in favour thereof, which the Councell conceiveing to be upon the old grounds of superstition and malignancy and tending to the avowing of the same and Contempt of the present Lawes and governm[en]t have thought fit that the Parlam[en]t be moved to take the same into Consideration for such further provisions [ed: next page] and penaltyes for the abolishing & punishing of those old superstitions observations and meeting w[i]th such malicious contradiction of offenders in that behalfe as their wisedomes shall iudge fit, They have likewise received informations of frequent resort unto and exerciseing of the idolatrous masse in severall places to the great dishono[u]r of Almightie God, notorious breach of the lawes and scandal of the governm[en]t wherein according to notice given they have already taken some Course and desire the parlam[en]t will be pleased to take that matter alsoe into their Consideration for further remedies & suppression of that Idolatrie in such way as to them shall seeme meet That it be likewise reported to the Parl[amen]t that the Councell is informed that there are still remaining the Armes and pictures of the late King in severall Churches Halls, upon the Gates and in other publique places of the Citty of London That the parl[amen]t bee moved to appoint whom they shall thinke fitt to see the same armes & pictures taken downe and defaced and to give an Account of their executing the same w[i]thin such tyme as they shall thinke fit to allow for that purpose And S[i]r Henry Mildmay is desired to make this report.
Christmas Journal of a detained American revolutionary war soldier24. It is twelve months since I was taken, and as to-morrow is Christmas, and we have a little money, we are resolved to have something more than we had last Christmas; accordingly we sent out for five pounds of flour, one pound of suet, one pound of plums, half a pound of sugar, half an ounce of spice, and two quarts of milk, to mix the same for a pudding.
25. Christmas. To-day had our intended pudding, and as there was so much of it that we could not conveniently boil it all in one bag, we made two of it, and the largest was as much as seven of of us wanted to eat at one meal, with our other provisions; these seven were of our own mess, and three of our neighbors, whom we invited. To-day our baker, who supplies us with bread, instead of brown bread, sent us white, and our butcher, instead of beef, gave us mutton, and instead of cabbage we had turnips; and the butcher's wife gave us oatmeal to thicken our broth, and salt to salt it; so that on the whole, we had not so hungry a Christmas as the last. I must confess I have a very agreeable expectation, if my life is spared and the Lord pleases to permit me, to sit down at my father's table next Christmas.
-- Charles Herbert (Captured American sailor held in Plymouth, England during American Revolutionary War). From "A Relic of the Revolution". Charles H. Peirce, Boston. 1847. Chapter 9.
Food and other items related to: ChristmasBawd Bree; Brining a Turkey; Brussels Sprouts; Bustards; Candied Cherries; Candied Fruit; Candied Peel; Candy Canes; Capons; Cappelletti; Carving a Turkey; Carving Board; Cassia; Chestnut Purée; Chestnuts; Christmas Cakes; Christmas Pudding; Cinnamon Sticks; Clément Créole Shrubb; Cookie Pistol; Cranberries; Cranberry Sauce; Cumberland Rum Butter; Dancy Tangerines; Egg Nog; Gravy; Hard Sauce; Holiday Nog; Ice Cubes; Instant Read Meat Thermometers; Irish Spiced Beef; Lady Apple; Lutefisk; Maccheroni di Natale; Marrons Glacés; Marzipan; Meat Thermometers; Mincemeat; Morcon (Philipino); Oven Bags; Oven Cord Meat Thermometers; Oven Temperatures; Oven Thermometers; Panettone; Parsnips; Pie Plates; Pizzelle; Plum Pudding; Posole Stew; Potatoes; Roasting Meat; Roasting Pans; Royal Icing; Sausage Rolls; Self-Basting; Steamed Puddings; Stollen; Stuffing; Tejocotes; Tortellini; Tourtière; Turkey Lacers; Turkeys; Twelfth Night Cake; Uszka; Wensleydale Cheese with Cranberries; Whipping Cream; Yule Bannock; Yule Log
All December food days
- 1: Eat a Red Apple Day
- 2: Fritters Day
- 2: St Bibiana's Day
- 6: Gazpacho Day
- 6: St Nicholas Day
- 8: Brownie Day
- 13: St Lucy's Day
- 17: Saturnalia
- 18: Bake Cookies Day
- 22: Forefather's Day
- 23: Tom Bawcock's Eve
- 24: Egg Nog Day
- 25: Christmas
- 26: Boxing Day
- 26: Candy Cane Day
- 26: Kwanzaa
- 30: Bicarbonate of Soda Day
- 31: Hogmanay
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