Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas is upon us... Myths and Legends and a little humour

I know, I know this photo is super blurry, but I still love it, I love the Christmas Angel on top of the tree.  I'm not a Star on the tree person, I am an Angel topper kind of gal.  I think I will do a little Christmas theme for this month, you know the myths, legends, stories etc., behind the season we celebrate with gusto.  I personally love Christmas, I don't love the fact that we have to get together with people we may not see for the rest of the year and be all happy families, I kind of think that is just crazy.  What better recipe for disaster, than put people who don't like each other enough to talk all year long in one room together, along with enough food to make yourself sick and enough booze to not remember.  Then on top of that expect them to get along.  See crazy.  My family, well my children and son-in-law all get on great.  My mum and her husband are coming this year, it will be nice and it will be interesting.  That's a whole other story......Anyway I am looking forward to Christmas.  I love that even though my girls are 20 and 25 they still love getting their Chrissy presents.  This year for the first time we are doing the secret santa thing where you choose one person to buy for, we'll see how that goes.  I do kind of like the tree absolutely groaning with the presents under it.  And I have to admit I am the best Christmas present buyer ever!!!!!!  Well I am the best money spender ever and I hope that translates into best present buyer.   So let's get to a little Christmas Trivia.......

  • In 1836, Alabama is the first state in the USA to declare Christmas a legal holiday.

  • In 1907, Oklahoma became the last USA state to declare Christmas a legal holiday.

  • The Christmas tree comes to us from Germany. Martin Luther is credited with being inspired by the starry heavens one night, and expressing his feelings to his family by bringing a fir tree into his home, and attaching lighted candles to its branches. Fir meant fire, and fire is an ancient symbol for spirit. The tree also pointed toward the heavens.Evergreens were thought to represent the ever-burning fire of life. The color green signified the life force through the year. Eventually decorative balls represented the planets, while the star that radiates from the top reminds us of Bethlehem. The entire tree and decorations teach us that the universe is witness to the Incarnation.

  •  Red at Christmas reminds us of the fire of the Spirit. Green affirms nature, and the ongoing life. And in the Incarnation, Spirit unites with nature.

    In fact, the Christmas tree symbolizes to us a further appreciation of Jesus' birth. It is a means of retelling a miracle in a colorful and beautiful way so that we can further understand and appreciate Jesus' entering our world.

    Actually, the tree is a reinterpretation of pagan rites, along with the use of other greens and decorations to commemorate in ancient times a celebration of the feast of Saturnalia - the birth of the Sun in the sky at the Winter Solstice. Along with the giving of gifts, the feast was later Christianized with the selection of December 25th to announce the birth of the Son of God to the world.

    The tree also tells the story of a cosmic event - a mystery. In personal celebrations of Christmas the tree begins its use in the 16th century, and is later brought to America by German immigrants.

    The heavens and earth rejoice in the coming of the Lord of Life. Our decision must be either for our Christmas tree to represent the celebration of the birth of Christ, or simply an acknowledgment of the pagan festival of the Winter Solstice.

    What does the beauty of the Christmas tree say to you?
    The Christmas tree today is a common custom to most of us. There are many interesting connections to ancient traditions such as Egyptian and Roman customs, early Christian practices, and Victorian nostalgia.However, most scholars point to Germany as being the origin of the Christmas tree.

One of the earliest stories relating back to Germany is about Saint Boniface. In 722, he encountered some pagans who were about to sacrifice a child at the base of a huge oak tree. He cut down the tree to prevent the sacrifice and a Fir tree grew up at the base of the oak. He then told everyone that this lovely evergreen, with its branches pointing to heaven, was a holy tree - the tree of the Christ child, and a symbol of His promise of eternal life.

Another story from Germany is about Queen Victoria. She often visited relatives in Germany and while she was there, she fell in love with Prince Albert. After they were married, they moved back to England to raise their family. Prince Albert decorated a tree and ever since that time, the English, because of their love for their Queen, copied her Christmas customs including the Christmas tree and ornaments. This story took place in the 19th century, around 1830.

Another story about the origin of the Christmas tree says that late in the Middle Ages, Germans and Scandinavians placed evergreen trees inside their homes or just outside their doors to show their hope that spring would soon come.

So honestly who knows the real origin of the beautiful Christmas trees we have today.  I like the story about it giving hope that spring would come to the Germans and Scandinavians, though here in Australia as we swelter during the hottest part of our year we would be hoping for some wintery relief.  I love the story about Queen Victoria and Prince Albert how romantic, and as a Christian I like the symbolism of the tree as told through Martin Luther.  So for whatever reason you have a tree this year, gather around it and enjoy spending time with your families, giving and sharing and loving.  After all isn't that what we really see Christmas as a time of?  Now a little laugh....

The family was seated around the Christmas dinner table.
Mum turned to their six-year-old daughter and said,

' Would you like to say the blessing? '
' I wouldn ' t know what to say, ' the girl replied.
' Just say what you hear Mommy say, ' the wife answered.
The daughter bowed her head and said,
' Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner? '

1 comment:

  1. That was a great laugh, I think I would have died right then and there. I liked all your Christmas trivia, I am an angel girl myself. I love ornaments, they are usually gifts that I have gotten over the years. But they are my little treasures! I loved your last photo, that could be a beautiful Christmas card. Take care, I hope you are having fun in the heat. I am so envious!!!!lol.


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