Many non-religious Christmas carols came from the Great Depression era
December 25 was chosen as a day to celebrate the birth of Christ because Christians wanted to stop the festivities associated with the Winter Solstice. The first hymns that were written as Christmas carols were based on scripture and told about the night the Savior was born. Some of them are O Come all ye Faithful, Silent Night, and O Little town of Bethlehem, and O Holy Night. When it comes to secular holiday songs the origin is derived from a dark period in American history the Great Depression era from 1929-1939.
It is important before we move forward to note that the early believers never said Jesus was born on December 25 but this has wrongly been assumed over time. Because of the misinformation, some Christians will not observe the holiday because they know the date is not when the Lord was born as shepherds would not have been in the fields with their flock on a cold winter night.
Nonbelievers found a way to enjoy the religious holiday
Nonbelievers wanted to get in on the holiday and this was especially true of Jewish Americans so they began writing non-religious Christmas songs about the season and not Jesus as the reason. People had families to raise and needed to put food on the table so writing holiday music was a way to make a living. This was especially true during the Great Depression.
Wikipedia reveals that until around 1930 Christmas tunes were religious in nature and referred to the Nativity but thanks to the depression era non-Christians began writing holiday music to keep the bread on their table. This time period was known as the golden era of Christmas and produced such memorable tunes as White Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Winter Wonderland and I'll be home for Christmas.
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