Christmas History

354 AD

25 December is made the official birthday of Jesus

11th Century

The word Christmas is first used (previously it was called Yule). However Christmas is just one of many festivals and is not particularly important.

16th Century

In Central Europe Christmas trees are decorated with candles, wax ornaments and gingerbread. In England people eat mince pies at Christmas. (Originally they actually were made with mince).

17th Century

In Europe Christmas trees are decorated with tinsel


New Years Day is moved from 25 March to 1 January


Christmas trees are first recorded in England


The first Christmas card is designed by John Horsley


Christmas crackers are made for the first time by a confectioner named Tom Smith


Victoria and Albert are shown in a picture in the Illustrated London New with a Christmas tree. As a result Christmas trees become common in England


The ‘bang’ is added to Christmas crackers


Cartoonist Thomas Nast creates our modern image of Santa Claus


Christmas Day is made a bank holiday


Christmas tree lights are invented

Late 19th Century Christmas cake was originally eaten on 6 January but at this time people began to eat it at Christmas