All Things Christmas

Santa Around the World!

Christmas Around the World, Santa Claus

Santa Around the World! Santa is indeed a very popular figure around the world. To Christians in the African Republic of Ghana, Father Christmas comes from the jungle. In Hawaii he comes by boat. On the Nerang River in Australia he rides water skis, wears a white beard and red bathing trunks. In Brazil Grandpapa

Santa Discovers America

Santa Claus

Santa Discovers America Europeans first brought Saint Nicholas to America in the fifteenth century. On his first voyage, Columbus named a port in Haiti for Saint Nicholas; and the Spaniards originally called Jackson, Florida, “Saint Nicholas Ferry”. When the Dutch emigrated to America they took their beloved saint with them. At the prow of the

Saint Nicholas – The Legend Begins

Santa Claus

Saint Nicholas – The Legend Begins Saint Nicholas was not left to rest in peace after his death, for in those days the bodies of holy men were of great value, not only spiritually but commercially. News leaked that the Venetians were coming to carry off the saint’s body. The merchant seamen of the port

The Real Saint Nicholas

Santa Claus

The Real Saint Nicholas Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of just about everything. He is the national saint of Russia and Greece and churches named after him number in the thousands – more than 400 in Great Britain alone. He is the patron saint of judges, murderers, pawnbrokers, thieves, merchants, paupers, scholars, sailors, bakers,

The Glastonbury Thorn

Christmas Symbols

The Glastonbury Thorn The glastonbury thorn legend ties in Christ’s death as well as the celebration of his birth. The legend goes that soon after the death of Christ, Joseph of Arimathea came to Britain to spread the message of Christianity. When he traveled there from the Holy Land he brought with him his staff.

The Poinsettia

Christmas Symbols

The Poinsettia A favorite flower in the United States is the poinsettia, with its beautiful, red, star-shape. It is called the “Flame Leaf” in Central America or “Flower of the Holy Night” and was brought here over a hundred years ago by Dr. Joel Poinsett, our first ambassador to Mexico. Most of the poinsettias used

The Christmas Rose

Christmas Symbols

The Christmas Rose A well known English plant, the Christmas rose, is a true Christmas flower. It is sometimes called the Snow or Winter Rose. It blooms in the depths of winter in the mountains of Central Europe. Legend links it with the birth of Christ and a little shepherdess named Madelon. As Madelon tented

Holly

Christmas Symbols

Holly The Druids believed that holly, with its shiny leaves and red berries stayed green to keep the earth beautiful when the sacred oak lost it leaves. They wore sprigs of holly in their hair when they went into the forest to watch their priests cut the sacred mistletoe. Holly was the sacred plant of

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Ivy, Laurel and Rosemary

Christmas Symbols

Ivy, Laurel and Rosemary Ivy Ivy has been a symbol of eternal life in the pagan world and then came to represent new promise and eternal life in the Christian world. Ivy is more of an English Christmas green than an American one. It is considered a feeble clinging plant, rather feminine in nature, not

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Mistletoe

Christmas Symbols

Mistletoe Mistletoe is an aerial parasite that has no roots of its own and lives off the tree that it attaches itself to. Without that tree it would die. Mistletoe was thought to be sacred by ancient Europeans. Druid priests employed it in their sacrifices to the gods while Celtic people felt it possessed miraculous

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Looking at the History of Carols..

Christmas Symbols

Looking at the History of Carols.. In looking at the history of carols, we can find no better expert than the late Maria Augusta Trapp who’s life story became known as “The Sound of Music.” On a South American Christmas concert tour in Caracas, Venezuela, she wrote, ” Singing at Christmas goes back to the

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History of Advent

Christmas Symbols

History of Advent It cannot be determined with any degree of certainty when the celebration of Advent was first introduced into the Church. The preparation for the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord was not held before the feast itself existed. One of the earliest references to Christmas being celebrated on December 25 appeared

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Christmas Tree Legends

Christmas Symbols

Christmas Tree Legends Many legends exist about the origin of the Christmas tree. One is the story of Saint Boniface, an English monk who organized the Christian Church in France and Germany. One day, as he traveled about, he came upon a group of pagans gathered around a great oak tree about to sacrifice a

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Evolution of the Christmas Tree

Christmas Symbols

Evolution of the Christmas Tree Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition in the sixteenth century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. Some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles if wood was scarce. The Christmas tree custom became popular in other parts of Europe.

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The Christmas Tree

Christmas Symbols

The Christmas Tree For families in North America, Germany and other parts of Europe, the Christmas tree is the symbol of the Christmas season. Other evergreens have been a part of mid-winter festivals long before Christ. They played a symbolic part because they stayed green and alive when other plants appeared dead and bare. They

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