What is Christmas?
Christmas is an annual Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, which explains the origin of the name of the festival. Christmas is also widely celebrated by non-Christians worldwide.
When is Christmas?
Christmas Day is celebrated on 25 December and is a gazetted holiday in India. Many people also celebrate the evening before Christmas, which is called Christmas Eve. Boxing Day in India is celebrated on 26 December, just a day after Christmas.
Compared to other religious festivals in India, Christmas is a relatively 'small' festival. About 2.3% of the Indian population is Christian. Put into perspective, that's still more than 25 million people! Many Christians attend masses to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Some non-Christians worldwide celebrate Christmas as a family holiday. Father Christmas or Santa Claus is known as 'Christmas Baba' in Hindi, which means Father Christmas.
Instead of traditional Christmas trees, Indians use banana trees or mango trees to decorate. Some Indians also use mango leaves to decorate their homes. Midnight mass is an important service for Christians in India, followed by a big feast and the giving and receiving of gifts. A rising trend for gifting is to draw names and buy gifts for each other, without letting it be known who gave which gift. This is also known as a Secret Santa gift exchange.
Secret Santa gift exchange
Secret Santa is a gift exchange that has its roots in early Christmas traditions. The original ‘Secret Santas’ were the gift-bearing helpers of Santa Claus. Today, it’s celebrated as a gift exchange occasion that renews bonds between family and friends, and as a moment to solidify connections between usually busy co-workers – like a Secret Santa office party. Creating a Secret Santa gift exchange means creating a moment of togetherness and delight. There’s always the anticipation of ‘Who will be my Secret Santa?’ It’s always a fun surprise!
Secret Santa rules
The first step in a Secret Santa gift exchange is to determine who will participate, and then draw names. You can draw names from a hat, but it's much easier and more convenient to draw names online.
After the names have been drawn, it is time to buy each other gifts. On DrawNames.in each participant can create their own wish list. This makes it easy to buy a gift for your giftee. Finally, the last step is to get together and exchange the gifts.
The best Christmas gifts
Christmas isn't complete without giving and receiving Christmas gifts. Whether you are hosting a Secret Santa gift exchange or looking for Christmas gift ideas, you can find the best Christmas gifts in our popular Gift Finder.