The historical origins
The first thing we have to keep in mind is the collection of sources. It’s clear that depending on which source we consult the information will be one or the other. Knowing that, or at least having it in mind, we tell you what we have found out after collecting information and comparing sources. The 25th of December coincides with the Nativity, that is to say, the day of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth: the capital figure of Christianity. First, we will tell you some historical facts about the origin of Christmas, and then we will continue with its Catholic origin.
As much as it is believed that the origin of Christmas has only a Catholic origin, this is a misconception. Originally December 25th was for a long time a very significant date for various ancient cultures and civilizations. This was related to the religious beliefs of these civilizations and the astronomical phenomenon that takes place at that time of year: the winter solstice. Some of these cultures had the belief that their sun god was born with the solstice on December 21.
Other towns, as it is the case of the Scandinavians, celebrated in the middle and end of December the well-known celebration as Yule, very related also to the already mentioned summer solstice. On December 26th they commemorated the birth of Frey: God of the sun, nature and fertility. To celebrate his birth they decorated their houses with plants and flowers, and they decorated an evergreen tree that they called Yggdrasil (tree of the universe). In this custom could be the origin of the current Christmas tree, as a later appropriation of the Christian religion, when it arrived and spread to the rest of Europe in the 8th and 13th centuries.