Joined: 10 January 2012
Christmas is a sacred festival of the Christians. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm and gaiety all over the world. It is observed on 25th December to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
It is largely characterized by exchanging gifts within families and by gifts brought by Santa Claus or other mythical figures.
Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Christians. The exact date of the birth of Christ was unanimously fixed some two centuries after his death, as the Catholic Church began to establish its tradition. Now Christmas is celebrated on 25th December in Catholic, Protestant and most orthodox churches.
The period of celebration varies in different countries. In the United Kingdom, the Christmas season traditionally runs for twelve days following the Christmas Day. These twelve days of Christmas are a period of feasting and merrymaking which ends on Twelfth Night the feast of the Epiphany.
Christmas period has grown much longer in some countries including the United States. It begins many weeks before. During Christmas people enjoy shopping and meet one another. The celebration continues up to New Year's Day.
The numerous customs related to Christmas vary from country to country. Most of the familiar traditional practices and symbols of Christmas, such as the Christmas tree, the Christmas ham.
The Yule Log holly, mistletoe and giving of presents, were adapted or appropriated by Christian missionaries from the earlier Asatru pagan midwinter holiday of Yule.
Besides this, in the UK and many Western African countries, 'Father Christmas' is more common. In Anglo-American tradition, he is believed to arrive on Christmas Eve.
In many countries, offices, schools and social communities organise Christmas parties and dances during the several weeks before Christmas Day. Christmas pageants, which include the retelling of the story of the birth of Christ, are common in Latin America.
People sing Carol and visit neighborhood homes and exchange gifts. Traditional feasting with special meal of Christmas dishes is also a part of Christmas..
Joined: 19 April 2011
"What are you doing?" I started to ask. The words choked up in my throat and I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone. Gone was the eager, boisterous soul we all know. He then answered me with a simple statement . . .
"TEACH THE CHILDREN!"
I was puzzled. What did he mean? He anticipated my question and with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree. As I stood bewildered, Santa said,
"TEACH THE CHILDREN!"
Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that now-a-days Christmas has forgotten. "Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a FIR TREE and placed it before the mantle.
"Teach the children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind, all the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man's thoughts turning toward heaven."
He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant STAR. "Teach the children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of His promise."
He then reached into his bag and pulled out a CANDLE. "Teach the children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness."
Once again he reached into his bag and removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree. "Teach the children that the wreath symbolizes the real nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection."
He then pulled from his bag an ORNAMENT of himself. "Teach the children that I, Santa Claus, symbolize the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December."
He then brought out a HOLLY LEAF. "Teach the children that the holly plant represents immortality. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly berries represent the blood shed by Him.
Next he pulled from his bag a GIFT and said, "Teach the children that God so loved the world that he gave his begotten son." Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.
Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE and hung it on the tree. "Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherds' crook. The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother's keeper."
He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL. "Teach the children that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior's birth. The angels sang Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men."
Suddenly I heard a soft twinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled out a BELL,. "Teach the children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring mankind to the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return.
Santa looked back and was pleased. He looked back at me and I saw that the twinkle was back in his eyes. He said,
"Remember, teach the children the true meaning of Christmas and do not put me in the center, for I am but a humble servant of the One that is, and I bow down to worship him, our LORD, our GOD."
Merry Christmas to all
to all DABiansand and and
Joined: 10 January 2012
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