Sleigh What? Christmas misconceptions are common



Christmas is a time of year with a lot of fun and confusion surrounding it.

Connor Prisk, Features Writer

It’s that time of year again for Christmas cheer and celebrating a New Year. However, the things we might be celebrating might not always be true. There are many misconceptions about Christmas.

The term “Xmas” is sacrilegious
When saying “Xmas,” they typically use it as a shorter expression for Christmas. More recently though, others have felt that shortening the title is sacrilegious, because it’s taking Christ out of Christmas. What they don’t know is that the “X” in Xmas is Roman for “chri,” and is just a different way of saying Christmas. It dates back to 1753, but an earlier version of the term goes all the way back to 1551.

Boxing Day is for packing up Christmas gifts
The day after Christmas is nothing too special in America . Although there is a name for it. Boxing Day is not just for packing up everything you got the day before. It’s a day to do shopping and give back to the less fortunate by donating. It dates back to the Middle Ages as a day for servants to be given boxes of gifts for their continued work.

Snow in the “North Pole”

A lot of stories tell of Santa’s house in the North Pole, frozen with snow and ice all year-round. That’s not entirely true. In fact, the North Pole has rarely any precipitation, and is left with a lot of melted ice and floating ice caps. It’s even classified as a desert due to the harsh conditions. The North Pole is nothing substantial to have a house on, unless you want it to be flooded.

Jingle Bells is a Christmas song
Music is a big part of celebrating the holiday season. Contrary to popular belief, “Jingle Bells” is not a Christmas song. If you listen closely to the lyrics, it never specifically mentions anything about Christmas. It was actually written to be a Thanksgiving song, and was originally called “One Horse Open Sleigh”, but changed to “Jingle Bells” in 1859 when it was reissued. After that, it eventually evolved into the Christmas song that we know today.

St. Nicholas solely inspired modern Santa
Everyone has heard the story of jolly old Saint Nick, but he didn’t quite inspire the figure Santa Claus that we know today. In fact, Santa stems from multiple different sources. There was the old Norse Yule festival, where it was believed the Norse god Odin with his white beard would come down in his sleigh to reward the good and punish the bad. In England, Father Christmas would go down chimneys and fill children’s stockings with gifts.

The holiday season can always be confusing, but it’s good to try to sort through that confusion, and whether you believe in these or not, it’s always nice to know some truth about a major holiday like Christmas and why people celebrate it each year.