I Can Say Merry Christmas
I am a Christian. I believe in Christ, not because I have any proof that Christ is the son of God, but because I want to believe. I believe that the teachings that are ascribed to Christ would, if everyone followed them to the best of their ability, make this a far better world. I further believe that this country, The United States Of America, is the greatest country in the world and it is so in part because it has tried to base it’s morals and ethics on and has tried to follow Christian ethics. I am not, however, a bible thumping Christian, an evangelistic Christian or even a regular church going Christian. I am not trying to convert the world or even my neighbors to Christianity. I don’t care if a person is a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, an Atheist, etc. as long as the person is a good person and cares about other people. Continue reading
Merry Christmas Vs Happy Holidays?
In the United States, the month of December is the Christmas Season, not the Holiday Season. To the best of my knowledge there is only one holiday in December recognized by our government. December 25 was made a legal holiday in order to celebrate the birth of Christ. There are no other legal holidays during the month of December. Chanukah, Hannukah, or Hanukah is a celebration and, some say, a Jewish Holiday but it is not a legal holiday. Kwanza is a celebration and not a legal holiday. Christmas Eve is not a day and New Years Eve is not a day. We don’t call the month of May, the Holiday Season, even though that’s when Memorial Day is celebrated. On Martin Luther King Day we don’t have holiday parades, we have Martin Luther King Day parades. We don’t say happy holiday on the Fourth Of July, we say Happy Independence day or Happy Fourth Of July. Why then, do some people insist that we say happy holiday and holiday season when we are celebrating Christmas? Continue reading
The myth behind kissing under the mistletoe
Have you ever wondered where some of our modern traditions came from? As the Christmas season approaches, I have been doing some research regarding certain holiday-related topics. My findings may surprise even the biggest scrooge!
Mistletoe has been revered by certain cultures for many, many years. The ancient Celts of Britain felt that Mistletoe held sacred powers of healing, and that it contained the soul of the tree from which it was cut. In the Celtic language, Mistletoe means “All Heal”. Continue reading
Where and When did Christmas Cards Start
This year, many people around the globe will send Christmas cards to share holiday greetings with family and friends. The annual holiday letter has become a popular method for folks to stay in touch and update their circle of acquaintances with family news and events. These traditional cards and letters have evolved over the generations to become the newsletters and greetings that they are today. But there is a long history of the Christmas cards that goes back beyond the modern society to an entirely different century and culture.
England was the country that saw the first Christmas card more than 150 years ago. In 1843, a man by the name of Sir Henry Cole wanted to find a way to alert his friends to the plight of the poor that Christmas season. He commissioned John Calcott Horsley to paint the first Christmas card with a picture of a happy family surrounded by people helping the poor and needy. The sentiment inside the card simply read, “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you.” This simple greeting card was the humble beginnings of what has become a multi-million dollar industry today. Continue reading
The Christmas Tree Tradition
Evergreens were used to decorate homes during winter long before Christmas became a holiday. Evergreens were believed to keep witches, ghosts, evil spirits and illnesses away from homes where they were displayed.
Germany is credited with the traditional Christmas Tree celebration of decorating trees and bringing them into their homes. It is believed that Martin Luther, the 16th century Protestant reformer was the first to add lighted candles to the tree. He wanted to recapture the sparkling stars on a dark night and how the stars illuminated his walk home, so he brought a tree into his home and placed it in the center of the room. He then wired the tree branches with lighted candles. Continue reading
Many Holiday Christmas Traditions
Christmas is a yearly holiday when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus and many families exchange Christmas gifts. It is celebrated on December 25th.
There are many holiday traditions including Christmas dinner, sending Christmas cards, visiting Santa, baking Christmas cookies and making homemade Christmas candies. Homes are decorated inside and out with colorful lights and holiday decorations. People usually try to spread goodwill, compassion and peace during the Christmas holiday season.
Some countries celebrate on Christmas Eve, other on both Christmas Eve and Christmas day, while other countries celebrate Boxing Day on December 26th. One church, the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates Christmas on January 6th. Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Christmas on January 7th. The date is just a tradition and is not considered to be Jesus’ actual birth date. Continue reading
Edible Ornaments For Christmas
By Roy Thomsitt
Although it is now more decades away than I care to admit too often, there were four things I loved most about my childhood Christmases in England:
1. The excitement of the Christmas gifts being put under the Christmas tree, and then the family opening of the gifts on Christmas morning;
2. The food; all the special sweets being put out Christmas Eve; Christmas Lunch with the turkey, lots of roast potatoes, brandy butter, and Christmas pudding being set alight at the table;
3. All the Christmas ornaments and Continue reading
How Christmas Ornaments Have Evolved
By Roy Thomsitt
Things have come a long way since a Christmas ornament was likely to be just a ball hung by the window, or later on a Christmas tree.
Historians believe that this original Christmas decoration descended from a witch ball. The original purpose of a witch ball was to fend off evil spirits. However, being traditionally glass made, these balls were also very decorative, and people started to see their use for decorating the home. They were great decorations, so they started to move around the house a bit, and the original Continue reading
The Other Reindeer
Maybe it’s the undeniable alliterative appeal of Rudolph the Red-Nosed reindeer that makes him the most known or popular of all Santa’s nine flying reindeer. It certainly doesn’t seem as easy to come up with a similar catchy description for the others – Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen – as named in the song.
The story of Rudolph whose glowing red nose made him a standout, first appeared in 1939 when Montgomery Ward department stores distributed about 2.4 million booklets with the poem in the form of a story about “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” It was written by Continue reading
Thanksgiving In Siberia – Still Laughing
Living for a year in Siberia was bound to results in a few laughs. There was no funnier time than my effort to celebrate Thanksgiving.
The Set Up
As an American male, my idea of cooking was dropping by the local Chinese restaurant on my way home from work. We are talking about a person who considers cooking rice a culinary challenge of the highest order. This lack of skill came to the forefront while spending a year teaching at a university in the Siberian city of Chita. Continue reading