As soon as the clock strikes midnight on Nov. 1, it can feel like Christmas is already underway. Despite this, the holiday often celebrated through gift giving and decorating trees falls on the same date every year: Dec.25.
From the cookies, tinsel, ribbons and omnipresence of Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You," the holiday has evolved past its religious traditions.
So, if you've already hung up your stockings and are eager for Santa Claus to come to town, here's what you need to know about Christmas 2022 and other information about the holiday.
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When is Christmas 2022?
Christmas is Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022. Since it falls on a Sunday, the public holiday of Christmas is Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. Christmas Eve falls on Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022.
The English term "Christmas" is fairly new in origin from its previous name "Yule," says Britannica. In other countries, the holiday's name is closer to "nativity," such as "Navidad" in Spanish, "Natale" in Italian and "Noël" in French.
While the exact birth date of Jesus Christ is unclear, Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ. Pope Julius I chose December 25 as the official date of the Feast of the Nativity, according to History.com.
Despite its religious origins, Christmas is also celebrated as a secular holiday in many countries. In the U.S., Christmas has been recognized as a federal holiday since 1870.
Is Santa real?
Santa is often portrayed as a jolly, older and larger man with a white beard, always dressed in red. But the legend of Kris Kringle is quite different from how we see him today.
The origins of Santa Claus date back to around 280 A.D., the year St. Nicholas was born, says History.com. The monk was known for his piety and kindness, leading to him becoming known as "the protector of children and sailors." His feast day is celebrated on Dec. 6.
So, how did this saint end up being associated with Christmas?
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St. Nicholas remained a popular figure in Europe, particularly in Holland. The name Santa Claus derives from the Dutch nickname, "Sinter Klaas," which is shortened from of Sint Nikolaas, Dutch for Saint Nicholas.
The current depictions of Santa Claus came about in 1804 when John Pintard, a member of the New York Historical Society, distributed woodcuts of St. Nicholas at the society’s annual meeting. The backgrounds of these cuttings displayed stockings filled with toys and fruit hung over a fireplace — imagery we are familiar with today.
In 1809, Sinter Klaas stories were popularized by Washington Irving in his book, "The History of New York," where Irving portrayed Claus as "the patron saint of New York."
Now, Santa Claus is known for delivering toys to good children by way of his sleigh with the help of his reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and the most famous reindeer of all, Rudolph.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: When is Christmas 2022? Here's what you need to know