Who Started Christmas?
This morning I heard a story on the radio of a woman who was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable and after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids. She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season time of the year.
Overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every house-warming, taste all the holiday food and treats, getting that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, making sure we don’t forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card.
Finally the elevator doors opened and there was already a crowd in the car. She pushed her way into the car and dragged her two kids in with her and all the bags of stuff. When the doors closed she couldn’t take it anymore and stated, “Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up and shot.”
From the back of the car everyone heard a quiet calm voice respond, “Don’t worry we already crucified him.” For the rest of the trip down the elevator it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.
Don’t forget this year to keep the One who started this whole Christmas thing in your every thought, deed, purchase, and word. If we all did it, just think of how different this whole world would be.
Source:- Sherry’s Inspirational list
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Was Santa Claus Invented by
Coca Cola? The True History
The true story of Santa Claus remains one of the biggest mysteries of all time. Stories and legends of this jolly, red-clad symbol of kindness and Christmas cheer have been passed around for centuries in countries all over the world. Some believe Santa Clause has his roots in Christianity while some believe that he was really based on the mythological god, Odin. Others think that he was invented by the Coca Cola companies in the early 1900’s to sell more pop.
Below are a few different explanations for the history of Santa Clause.
One story of Santa Claus, or St. Nicholas as he is often referred to, says that he was a Christian bishop named Saint Nicholas of Maya. As this account has it, Saint Nicholas was a bishop who gave wedding dowries to poor women, allowing them to catch husbands and avoid lives of prostitution. This Saint Nicholas can still be seen on German holy cards.
Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands
In Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, Santa Claus is thought to be based on the Norse god Odin (or Woden), god of wisdom, war and death. Legend was that Odin would throw a party around Christmastime for other gods and dead warriors, and that he would ride to the party on his horse, Slepnir. Children in these countries leave straw, carrots or sugar in their shoes for Odin’s flying horse, which are replaced with treats or gifts during the night.
Austria and Italy
Early folk tales in southern Austria and northwest Italy tell of a holy man who reforms a hideous child-eating monster. As the story goes, there was a large demon, covered in furs (known as Belsnickle, or “Furry Nicholas”) that snuck into homes at night to kill village children violently and stuff them up the chimney, or drag them away to be eaten later. A saint traps the demon with magic shackles, forcing him to bring the children toys and candy instead, to make up for how many of them he ate. In some stories, the demon persuades imps and other creatures to help him, similar to Santa’s elves, and in others, he chooses to go back to Hell instead.
The Brits’ rendition of Santa Claus, dating back to the 17th Century, is most similar to ours. Santa, or Father Christmas, was a bearded man in a green, fur-lined robe, that starred in the Charles Dickens story, A Christmas Carol, as the “Ghost of Christmas Present” – no pun intended.
America, called the melting pot of modern civilization, is also the melting pot of Santa Claus mythology. British, Dutch and early American influences came together to give us the Santa Claus that most of us are familiar with today: the jolly old man, distributing gifts yearly with the help of his entourage of elves and reindeer. The Coca Cola/Santa Claus myth stems from when companies in the early 1900s, like White Rock Beverages and Coca Cola began using Santa’s image to promote their products-and of course, his distinctive red and white colors didn’t help dispel the rumor.
The only thing we’re really sure of is that Santa Claus was not invented by Coca Cola, as the urban legend states. But no matter where the real Santa hails from, what he stands for remains the same throughout every country: kindness, goodness and the generous, giving spirit associated with Christmas.
The American version of the Santa Claus figure received its inspiration and its name from the Dutch legend of Sinterklaas (a Dutch variant of the name Saint Nicholas).
Dutch colonists took this tradition with them to New Amsterdam (now New York City) in the American colonies in the 17th century.
As early as 1773 the name appeared in the American press as “St. A Claus,” but it was the popular author Washington Irving who gave Americans their first detailed information about the Dutch version of Saint Nicholas. In his History of New York, published in 1809 under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker, Irving described the arrival of the saint on horseback each Eve of Saint Nicholas.
This Dutch-American Saint Nick achieved his fully Americanized form in 1823 in the poem A Visit From Saint Nicholas more commonly known as “The Night Before Christmas” by writer Clement Clarke Moore. Moore included such details as the names of the reindeer; Santa Claus’s laughs, winks, and nods; and the method by which Saint Nicholas, referred to as an elf, returns up the chimney. (Moore’s phrase “lays his finger aside of his nose” was drawn directly from Irving’s 1809 description.)
The American image of Santa Claus was further elaborated by illustrator Thomas Nast, who depicted a rotund Santa for Christmas issues of Harper’s magazine from the 1860s to the 1880s. Nast added such details as Santa’s workshop at the North Pole and Santa’s list of the good and bad children of the world. In the first Nast illustration, Santa was delivering Christmas gifts to soldiers fighting in the Civil War. The cartoon, entitled “Santa Claus in Camp” appeared in Harper’s Weekly on January 3, 1863.
A human-sized version of Santa Claus, rather than the elf of Moore’s poem, was depicted in a series of illustrations created by Haddom Sundblom for Coca-Cola advertisements introduced in 1931. In modern versions of the Santa Claus legend, only his toyshop workers are elves.
An advertising writer named Robert May, invented Rudolph, the ninth reindeer, with a red and shiny nose, while working on a catalog for the Montgomery Ward Company in 1939.
In looking for the historical roots, one discovers that Santa Claus, as we know him, is a combination of many different legends and mythical creatures.
The basis for the Christian-era Santa Claus is Bishop Nicholas of Smyrna (Izmir), in what is now Turkey. Nicholas lived in the 4th century A.D. He was very rich, generous, and loving toward children. Often he gave joy to poor children by throwing gifts in through their windows.
The Orthodox Church later raised St. Nicholas, miracle worker, to a position of great esteem. It was in his honor that Russia’s oldest church, for example, was built. For its part, the Roman Catholic Church honored Nicholas as one who helped children and the poor. St. Nicholas became the patron saint of children and seafarers. His name day is December 6th.
In the Protestant areas of central and northern Germany, St. Nicholas later became known as der Weinachtsmann. In England he came to be called Father Christmas. St. Nicholas made his way to the United States with Dutch immigrants, and began to be referred to as Santa Claus.
In North American poetry and illustrations, Santa Claus, in his white beard, red jacket and pompom-topped cap, would sally forth on the night before Christmas in his sleigh, pulled by eight reindeer, and climb down chimneys to leave his gifts in stockings children set out on the fireplace’s mantelpiece.
Children naturally wanted to know where Santa Claus actually came from. Where did he live when he wasn’t delivering presents? Those questions gave rise to the legend that Santa Claus lived at the North Pole, where his Christmas-gift workshop was also located.
This SPECIAL Blog is to help in your ENJOY CHRISTMAS.
I do hope you enjoy and a have a wonderful Holiday period…
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” ~ Psalms 100:4