Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas True Meaning and Traditions

Christmas has had a long and varied history. It has been celebrated for centuries by different people, at different times, in different places, and in many different ways. Here you will find links to information about the different ways that the holiday we know as Christmas has been celebrated, or not celebrated, over the years.

An Ancient HolidaySome of our modern Christmas traditions have much older roots, going back to pagan European traditions.

SaturnaliaSaturnalia was a Roman celebration in honor of the god Saturn.

An Outlaw ChristmasThe Puritans didn't believe in the jovial Christmas holiday, so they banned it.

Christmas ReinventedAmericans embraced Christmas in the 19th Century, even inventing some of their own Christmas traditions.

A Christmas CarolCharles Dickens' classic tale reflected and influenced changing ideas about the nature of Christmas.

Enjoy Christmas with Santa Claus at the North pole, an award-winning Christmas web site. Send a letter to Santa Clause or a Christmas card to a friend.

"Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus!

A famous letter from Virgina O'Hanlon to the editorial of The New York Sun, first printed in 1897.

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor---

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so.

" Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?Virginia O'HanlonVirginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!


Christmas Hampers said...

Thanks for sharing the Christmas True meaning and traditions. It was nice going through it. Appreciate the video in the end.

Better Home Business said...

'Twas the Night Before Christmas
(A Visit from St. Nicholas

by Clement Clarke Moore

First Lady Reads "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a Good-Night!"

Better Home Business said...

My Gift To The World

My gift to you is somewhat strange,

it's hidden and silent,

alone and unheard,

but it still lives beneath the darkened sun,

it's love and hope and joy and sight,

it's knowing what's right and wrong,

it cried for life,

and I heard it cry,

I've tried to lift its spirits high,

to let other people wonder of its glow,

its burn for eternal happiness,

our burn for eternal peace.

To give these it's hard,

to respect them it's harder,

I've watched others,

and seen them turn inside out,

lying through the pain of their gritted teeth,

do they know of love?

can they feel the hope?

have they ever cried silent tears?

I myself have cried those silent tears,

alone and scared and silent,

my pain was great,

my anger uncontrollable,

can you feel my hardship,

my hunger of exit to this world?

to have materials and possessions,

I could never have used,

but to have what I give,

perhaps I could have coped,

and that time would now be forgotten,

so now I give,

what I want in return,

I give the golden rule.

I've tried to lead others to peace as is I,

but for this you need their total trust,

and they would not risk it all,

so the act of good came to a stop,

and my hope was just left hanging,

now I still give,

and I do with all my heart,

I bring a gift to everyone,

to make sure I please the sun,

but after the deed I always feel loved,

and I realize once again,

"To give is to be born,

and to receive is to remember.

My Gift To The World

Better Home Business said...


It's that time of year again - my favorite season!! Yep, it's Christmas!! Thanks for stopping by my site! I sure hope you enjoy your Christmas visit here, and my wish for each and every one of you is to have a wonderful holiday and a very prosperous New Year! May God bless you all!

The Ten Commandments of Christmas

1. Thou shalt give thy heart to Christ. Let Him be at the top of thy Christmas list.

2. Thou shalt prepare thy soul for Christmas. Spend not so much on gifts that thy soul is forgotten.

3. Thou shalt not let Santa Claus replace Christ, thus robbing the day of its spiritual reality.

4. Thou shalt not burden the shop girl, the mailman, and the merchant with complaints and demands.

5. Thou shalt give thyself with thy gift. This will increase its value a hundred fold, and he who receiveth it shall treasure it forever.

6. Thou shalt not value gifts received by their cost. Even the least expensive may signify love, and that is more priceless than silver and gold.

7. Thou shalt not neglect the needy. Share thy blessings with many who will go hungry and cold unless thou are generous.

8. Thou shalt not neglect thy church. Its services highlight the true meaning of the season.

9. Thou shalt be as a little child. Not until thou has become in spirit as a little one art thou ready to enter into the kingdom of Heaven.

10. Thou shall not forget to share your joy, peace and faith with those around you.

~ Author Unknown~

Better Home Business said...

'Advent Conspiracy' Seeks to Bring Back Meaning of Christmas

‘Tis the season to shop ‘til you drop, but a movement started modestly by three pastors hoping to convince Christians to live the true meaning of Christmas is spreading across America — and has now headed overseas.

The so-called Advent Conspiracy movement asks Christians to resist the temptation to spend on extravagant gifts and instead redirect their money to helping the needy.

Greg Holder, who pastors a church in St. Louis, Mo., is one of the group's three founding ministers. He says Advent Conspiracy is about having Christians — not retailers — tell the story of Christmas.

"We're not asking you to join this movement out of guilt or distrust or anger," he said. "We want you to know that this is not about saying no to something. This is about saying yes to something better.
“So for us it's re-entering the story, it's rediscovering the story, that's where the 'give more' comes in."

Using a video posted on YouTube to market the movement, the Advent Conspiracy has spread to 1,700 of churches in at least 17 countries on four continents, and can even be found on the social networking site Facebook, where nearly 45,000 people have signed up to support the movement.

Houston Pastor Chris Seay, another of the movement’s co-founders, says he has no interest in forcing retailers to say "Merry Christmas" to shoppers in place of the non-sectarian "Happy Holidays."
"I don't want to invoke the name of Christ at Walmart — it's not the most sacred place," he said. "I would rather you say Happy Holidays ... especially when we're running over little old ladies to get a cheaper television" on Black Friday.

Weary shoppers, laden with packages, see his point.

"It would be nice for (people) to learn to do for others, because that is the true spirit of Christmas and that does make you the most happy," said New Yorker Candice Wylie. "Not receiving, but giving."
"It's about being together (with) family and really what's important instead of just getting caught up in the commercialization of the whole thing and the franticness of Christmas and trying to spend, spend, spend," added shopper Lorraine Cona.

But American consumers pump more than $450 billion in Christmas gift spending into the retail industry, money that’s critical to keeping the economy growing.

“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with spreading the action of giving, but don't demonize retailers in the process," said Scott Krugman, vice president of the National Retail Federation. “Retail sales fuel the economy, creates jobs, tens of thousands of jobs ... and America needs jobs."

He also points out the big retailers like Macy's donate millions of dollars to charitable organizations like the Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. Jude's Hospitals, the United Way and Toys for Tots.

Holder and Seay say they are not trying to bash retailers. It's about rethinking Christmas.
Pastor Patrick McKinley, the movement’s third founder, emphasizes that it’s up the churches to exercise their creativity to let Scripture tell the true Christmas story so "we don't have to sit back to let consumerism tell the story."

In the process, Advent Conspiracy has already raised $2.5 million for Living Water International, a non-profit organization that digs freshwater wells for people without access to clean drinking water.