Christmas - December 25th
The best known of the federal holidays is most certainly Christmas Day. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ a prominent religious figure of Christianity, although not all Christian sects celebrate the holiday and many other non-Christians celebrate Christmas as a cultural holiday. Christmas Day is designated as December 25th, though many don’t believe this to be the actually day of the birth of Jesus.
Christmas Eve, December 24th, is also a day of celebration for many with numerous events and observations that lead up to Christmas Day. Christmas became an official federal holiday in 1870 when it was enacted by President Grant. As early as the 1930’s people began expressing concerns over the commercialization of Christmas when President Delano Roosevelt wanted to move Thanksgiving forward to make the holiday shopping season longer in hopes of boosting the economy.
Today new controversy has risen with many feeling that having Christmas Day as a federal holiday violates the separation of church and state. The argument began in the 1980’s but has been repeatedly overruled in courts and remains as a federal holiday. Today there are many recognizable elements to Christmas celebrations, among the most notable being Christmas trees, exchanging gifts, Santa Clause and the nativity scene.