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Christmas is an annual festival that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. It is preceded by the season of Advent and initiates the Christmas season, which historically lasts twelve days in the West, culminating in the Twelfth Night; in some traditions, the celebration covers an octave. Christmas is a day off from work in many countries of the world. It is celebrated religiously by most Christians as well as culturally by many non-Christians, and is an integral part of the Christmas season. The traditional Christmas narrative in the New Testament says that Jesus was born in Bethlehem in accordance with messianic prophecy. When Joseph and Mary arrived in the city, the inn did not take place, and therefore they were offered a stable where the Child Christ was soon born, and the angels preached this news to the shepherds, who then spread the information. The rituals associated with Christmas in different countries have a mixture of pre-Christian, Christian and secular themes and sources. Popular modern customs of this holiday include handing out gifts, replenishing the Advent calendar or an Advent wreath, Christmas music and caroling, rich lighting, creating and viewing Christmas nativity scenes, exchanging Christmas cards, church services, special meal, decorated Christmas trees, garlands, mistletoe and holly. In addition, the figure of Santa Claus is inextricably linked with these holidays, bringing gifts to children. As gift giving and many other aspects of Christmas are associated with increased economic activity, the holiday has become an important event and a key selling period for retailers and businesses.

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Fable is a literary genre: a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, legendary creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that are anthropomorphized, and that illustrates or leads to a particular moral lesson (a "moral"), which may at the end be added explicitly as a pithy maxim or saying. A fable differs from a parable in that the latter excludes animals, plants, inanimate objects, and forces of nature as actors that assume speech or other powers of humankind. Usage has not always been so clearly distinguished. In the King James Version of the New Testament, "μῦθος" ("mythos") was rendered by the translators as "fable" in the First Epistle to Timothy, the Second Epistle to Timothy, the Epistle to Titus and the First Epistle of Peter.A person who writes fables is a fabulist. The fable is one of the most enduring forms of folk literature, spread abroad, modern researchers agree, less by literary anthologies than by oral transmission. Fables can be found in the literature of almost every country. The varying corpus denoted Aesopica or Aesop's Fables includes most of the best-known western fables, which are attributed to the legendary Aesop, supposed to have been a slave in ancient Greece around 550 BCE. When Babrius set down fables from the Aesopica in verse for a Hellenistic Prince "Alexander," he expressly stated at the head of Book II that this type of "myth" that Aesop had introduced to the "sons of the Hellenes" had been an invention of "Syrians" from the time of "Ninos" (personifying Nineveh to Greeks) and Belos ("ruler"). Epicharmus of Kos and Phormis are reported as having been among the first to invent comic fables. Many familiar fables of Aesop include "The Crow and the Pitcher", "The Tortoise and the Hare" and "The Lion and the Mouse". In ancient Greek and Roman education, the fable was the first of the progymnasmata—training exercises in prose composition and public speaking—wherein students would be asked to learn fables, expand upon them, invent their own, and finally use them as persuasive examples in longer forensic or deliberative speeches.