Christmas is a holiday with connections to the Haunted Mansion.
Christmas was originally a celebration known as Yule or Yuletide which was practiced by polytheistic residents of Europe to celebrate the Winter Solstice. After being conquered by the Roman Empire, the Romans would invent the celebration of Christmas to coincide with Yule as a means of committing cultural-genocide against the conquered peoples while claiming and redacting their cultural practices. Christmas was declared a celebration of the birth of the Roman-Catholic messiah Jesus Christ although this date being his birthday was fabricated to coincide with Yule as history has no reference to the date prior to the creation of Christmas and the Christian Bible not stating his birth-date but implying it to have likely taken place around September. This affiliation of the date with Christmas also wouldn't have been introduced until about the year 500, approximately 495 years after Jesus' death.
The practices of Christmas are Christianizations of Yuletide practices mixed with the Roman celebration of Saturnalia, a gift-giving holiday held in-favour of the time-god Saturn. The holiday is held on December 25th and the day before it is identified as Christmas Eve. Christmas is frequently affiliated as a gift-giving holiday and time of feasting and would become far wider spread than just a Christian celebration. Folkloric gift-giving figures are also affiliated with the holiday, most notably being the American character of Santa Claus who is a melting-pot figure derived from European pagan spirits and fae-folk, the Roman Saturn and St. Nicholas, the Norse god Odin, celebration beliefs regarding Baby Jesus, and serialized pop-culture such as 19th century poems and advertisements for the soda company Coca Cola.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
In Tim Burton's poem the Nightmare Before Christmas and its 1993 film adaptation, Christmas is one of seven holidays that have their own respective worlds responsible creating them; the other worlds here being Halloween, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, St. Valentine's Day, American Thanksgiving and Independence Day. Found behind a door in the shape of a Christmas Tree carved in a tree-trunk, Christmas is created by the inhabitants of the snowy realm known as Christmas Town which is ruled over by Santa Claus.
In the story, the ruler of Halloween Town is a skeleton named Jack Skellington who finds Christmas Town and decides that he and the residents of Halloween Town would replicate Christmas for that year. He and the townsfolk would create nightmarish toys and decorations with Jack having three demented trick-or-treaters known as Lock, Shock and Barrel to kidnap, "Sandy Claws" so Jack could replace him. However, Jack's Christmas would prove to terrorize the mortal world and result in the USA's military to shoot his sleigh out of the sky. Jack would survive the crash due to being undead and would return to Halloween Town only to find that Lock, Shock and Barrel sent Santa to the lair of the sadistic bogeyman, Oogie Boogie who intended to kill the gift-giver for fun. Jack went on to free Santa and destroy Boogie before returning Christmas to Santa who restored the holiday and even brought its celebrations to Halloween Town.
Charles Dickens' Christmas ghost-story A Christmas Carol was a notable influence in developing the Haunted Mansion. The characters of Ebenezer Scrooge and Jacob Marley were considered by imagineer Ken Anderson to be featured in the attraction and it is believed that Marley inspired the creation of the Hitchhiking Ghost known as Gus and a chained ghost featured in The Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion audio-book. In an unused proposal for the attraction, the seasonal Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay would have revolved around A Christmas Carol.
Haunted Mansion Holiday/Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare
Haunted Mansion Holiday in Disneyland and Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare in Tokyo Disneyland are based on the Nightmare Before Christmas and feature large amounts of Christmas iconography incorporated into the attraction.
The story of the attraction overlay is that the residents of Halloween Town are assisting the residents of the Haunted Mansion in their celebration of the Christmas season. Due to this the mansion is decorated with macabre Christmas decorations, the attic is stuffed with deranged toys, and the ghosts in the snowy graveyard sing a medley of ghostly Christmas Carols.
- Christmas themed meet 'n' greet opportunities are held in the gazebo of Phantom Manor in Disneyland Paris' Frontierland.
- The illustration book collection of The 13 Days of Christmas is themed around Haunted Mansion Holiday in a parody of the 12 Days of Christmas poem.
- The Scary Christmas display of the load area in Haunted Mansion Holiday shows Dr. Finkelstein's brain with the glowing word, "Noel" in its crevices. Noël being the French word for Christmas.